24 Hours in Carmel

 

24 Hours in Carmel

It’s hard to believe that our Babymoon was already a month ago. What a wonderful adventure that quick, five day trip was for both of us. It was one of the first vacations during which we both disconnected from work, focused on us and just relaxed together. The entire trip was so amazing that when we discussed it, in preparation for the upcoming posts, there wasn’t one thing that either of us would change. 

As you review our ititinerary, keep a few things in mind:

  • We had limited vacation time since I am saving for maternity leave. If we could have made it a longer trip, we would have preferred to extend it by at least one or two nights.
  • However, since I’m pregnant and the Big Sur Highway was closed, we are hard pressed to think of places we would have stayed longer. Instead, if I wasn’t pregnant and Big Sur wasn’t closed, we would have done one night in Big Sur and a night in Sonoma.

A number of people have emailed me asking for specifics regarding the places we stayed, dined and explored during our trip. Today’s post is focused on the one for which I’ve received the most requests – Carmel or Carmel-By-The-Sea. 

Where We Stayed: We absolutely loved our choice to stay on the coast at Tickle Pink at Carmel Highlands. The inn is located just a quick, ten minute drive from downtown Carmel but it felt a world away with the gorgeous views, large room, ocean waves and service. While we looked at many of the inns located in Carmel, we wanted to enjoy the ocean setting since we knew we’d spend plenty of time exploring Carmel. There are 35 rooms at this small inn and when we booked, our only request was to have a view of the ocean and one of the rooms with a wood burning fireplace.  It was such a treat to sit on our balcony, listening to the waves crashing and watch the sunset, then walk a few steps into our room and enjoy a small cheeseplate and roaring fireplace.

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What We Did:

  • Seventeen Mile Drive – We loved leisurely driving the historic 17-mile drive which takes you through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove while passing famous golf courses, stunning views and mansions. We stopped to have lunch and explore Pebble Beach Golf Club and would recommend having lunch outside at The Bench, their casual terrace restaurant.  
  • Carmel-By-The-Sea –  I would recommend exploring the downtown shops early, before the tourists arrive. We spent an hour meandering through small shops, sipping coffee and enjoying breakfast sandwiches. Check the website to see what time the shops open, depending on the day of the week, to ensure that you’re able to shop as well as meander. Don’t hesitate to make a few wrong turns, get lost and explore as I promise the small alleyways and courtyards are where the magic comes to life.
  • Enjoyed the Beach – We went on two wonderful adventures along the Carmel-By-the-Sea beachfront including an hour beach walk from 4-5pm before sunset and then a 5 mile run along the footpath.  The footpath provided the perfect way to take in the beach’s natural beauty as well as the incredible homes, including the famous Frank Lloyd Wright home, The Della Walker House.

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Where We Dined: Luckily, a few weeks before our trip, we took time to do some research and make reservations as it seems like the top restaurants book quickly. We opted to enjoy seafood while we were there versus one of the many French or European restaurants. Other than dinner, we didn’t worry about any other reservations and just stopped in the small restaurants and coffee shops while we explored.

  • Flying Fish Grill – This cozy, inventive restaurant serves a menu of Asian-Seafood infused dishes that have been delighting locals and toursits alike for years. Known as one of the institutions in Carmel-By-The-Sea, this spot books quickly and even a few weeks out we were only able to snag a late reservation. We loved the California Tower, artichokes and almond encursted sea bass. 
  • Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Co – This spot opens early so is a perfect place to grab a to-go cup of coffee before exploring town and a bite to eat. Their miniature cinnamon rolls are amazing!
  • Salumeria Luca – This Italian bakery and sandiwch shop is also home to the Big Sur Bakery Pop Up until the bakery is able to reopen. Therefore, the lines were long while we were in town but well worth the wait and moved quickly.  There are plenty of benches, shady spots and parks in the downtown area, so I would recommend getting your order to go. We enjoyed two of their signature sandwiches as well as a Big Sur Bakery chocolate chip cookie.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments or send me an email as I’m happy to help!

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Altitude Camp with Brooks Running

Happy Monday! I am back in New York after an incredible weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico with Brooks.

As you guys may recall, I was invited to join the Brooks Ambassador Team last year and am currently enjoying my second year as a member of their incredible ambassador team. This year there are nine inspirational women on the team.  Even though we all love Brooks and running, I love that beyond that we are a unique group which represents various running abilities and goals.

FullSizeRender

Brooks Blog Ambassadors from Left to Right (Janae, Jes, Tina, Anne, Emily, Me, Meghann, Kristen, and Lora)

Each year, Brooks invites the ambassadors to an annual trip which typically combines running, products and getting to know more about the brand. This year’s trip as a weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico to better understand how the Brooks Beasts, aka their elite team, train.  Since there are benefits to training at altitude, the Brooks Beast team heads to Albuquerque for six weeks of altitude training each season. After last week’s snow and ice in New York, I was thrilled with the warm, sunny location as well as the boutique hotel where we stayed. There were around 40 awesome social media influencers, editors, and ambassadors in attendance this weekend. It was wonderful to not only catch up with my fellow ambassadors but also meet and get to know the other Camp Brooks attendees. We spent our weekend learning from their coaching staff and experts, logging miles via track and trail workouts, trying out new gear and forging relationships with other runners.

Camp Brooks 2017-28 (1024x768)

Here are some of the highlights from the weekend of running, learning and fun! 

  • Getting inspiration when I need it most. As we’ve talked, running has become more difficult these days with every week of pregnancy. While I am not ready to hang up my running shoes and fully switch to walking and other workouts, this weekend helped remind me that even short runs are rewarding.  Out of the 9 ambassadors, 5 of them are moms so it was wonderful to hear their tips and tricks for running through pregnancy and as a new mother. There were moments when I was self-conscious of going slow, especially when surrounded by some speedy runners, but both the fellow ambassadors and the Brooks Beast team reminded me that I’m running for two and should be proud of every step. By the end of the weekend, I logged 7.5 miles of running and jogging which was a win in my book.

IMG_1737

  • Getting dust on my shoes on the New Mexico trails. I fell in love with trail running when we lived abroad in Switzerland but haven’t been able to spend much time on the trails since moving back to New York. Saturday morning the group took a bus to the Michael Emery Bear Canyon trail to enjoy an hour of exploring the trails with a trail run. We split up into different pace groups to enjoy out an out and back run while enjoying gorgeous blue sky and sunshine. It was so fun to run by cactus, wildflowers and prairie dogs while keeping our pace slow during the 4 miles due to the 6,000 elevation.  Our entire group agreed that we could have stayed out there for hours exploring and enjoying the sights.

IMG_1753IMG_1729IMG_1727

  • Feeling warm and comfortable while running the trails, thanks to new gear.  Brooks outfitted each of us with some great new trail gear for our run Saturday morning, which you can see Tina, Anne and I wearing in the below picture. The Cascadia Running Jacket is the lightest, most innovative jacket including side and back ventilation via cut-outs, pack in pocket feature and expandable back to make room for throwing it on over a bookbag or hydration pack.  Even though it is super thin, it kept us all warm during the first half of the run and many people who have tried it swear that it also leaves you nice and dry on a rainy adventure.  In addition to these jackets, we wore the Greenlight running crops, Run Happy t-shirts, and the Caldera trail running shoes. On the trail these shoes made me feel supported and stable, but the comfortable fit made them comfortable enough to wear during yesterday’s long flight home. I also love the fun pink and purple colors – a change versus what I see in most trail shoes.

  • Learning tips and tricks from the Brooks Beast elite team.  Throughout the weekend, the Beast Elites served as our coaches and trainers sharing tips and tricks with us straight from their training plans. One of the most helpful portions was the warm-up workout they shared with us at the track Friday afternoon. We worked our way through this warm-up before starting the track workout and I loved learning a few new ones as well as being reminded of old favorites. It’s so important to focus on getting your muscles warm and activated before any workout, especially speed sessions.

  • Getting motivated and supporting others during a challenging track workout. I knew that trying to participate in the track workout wasn’t a smart idea since it was 80 degrees and sunny when we arrived at the track Friday afternoon.  But, instead of sitting on the sidelines, I did my best to join in the fun while altering the workout to keep things safe.  I jogged around the track, covering around 3.5 miles, cheering and motivating everyone while they completed the following workout:
    • 3 minutes at your 5k pace
    • 2 minutes recovery slow jog/walk
    • 200 meters at your one-mile pace
    • 4 minutes recovery slow jog/walk
    • Repeat the above 3 timesIMG_1809

In case you’re wondering, I’m wearing the Pick Up Tank, 5” chaser shorts and Launch in the above picture. As you guys know, the pick up tank has been a favorite of mind both before pregnancy and during thanks to its long length and soft material. This tank stays in place for EVERY workout whether you’re doing downward dog or running sprints. I was thankful to get a new pair of the Chaser Shorts as the ones I have at home are a large and no longer fit around my growing hips and stomach. These fun blue and white shorts will be regulars throughout the rest of my pregnancy. 

IMG_1764

  • Learning about health and nutrition from Dr. Kyle Pfaffenbach, the Brooks Beast Elite Team nutritionist.  I wish I could share a video of this presentation as it was so interesting and so many aspects are applicable not only to elite runners but also any person looking to lead a healthier life. Some of the highlights that I captured on my phone include the following:
      • Every body is unique and therefore we each have different responses to exercise and nutrition.
      • Remember that diet and exercise go together. You can’t make bad food choices and then think that you can “run it off” later.
      • Focus on the things that you can control versus stressing over those that you can’t such as age and genetics.
      • Become more engaged in your diet by monitoring and journaling the way your fueling and training makes you feel.
      • Diet, like training, is always a work in progress.
      • Omega 3 fatty acids are a great way to help reduce cholesterol, improve recovery and serve as an anti-inflammatory.
      • If your overall diet isn’t in place, a vitamin or supplement can’t be a magic bullet.
      • Recovery and refueling are important, especially after tough workouts. His favorite recovery drink is Bob’s Redmill Whey Protein mixed with regular or unsweetened chocolate almond milk. I’m going to order some of this so Bo and I can use this after our Orangetheory workouts!
  • Having run and relaxing with the group at the Brooks Beasts house. The Brooks Beasts were kind enough to open up their home on Saturday evening for an energy bar competition, cookout and sunset party. The large group split into teams for an energy bar competition during which we developed our own recipe for either a bar or ball using ingredients like oats, honey chia seeds, almond butter, and cinnamon. It was a hilarious and fun competition resulting in some tasty treats and a lot of enthusiasm. IMG_1801

The rest of the evening we hung out at the house enjoying a barbecue and hanging out with everyone including the Beasts. Huge props to Katie Mackey who hung out with our group and answered ALL of our questions.  I also had the chance to finally meet Brian aka Pavement Runner in person after following his blog and social outlets for YEARS. He was such a good sport, taking a selfie with us ladies.   As the sun began to set everyone huddled on the huge porch which overlooked the valley and provided a perfect view of the desert sunset!

pavement runner selfie

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  • Deepening my relationship with my fellow Brooks Run Happy Ambassadors.  Even though we rarely see each other in person, we shared hours of laughter and discussions this weekend about things including running, blogging, training, parenthood and more. Spaced out across the US, I’m so thankful to Brooks for bringing together such a strong group of women.

IMG_1800

Thank you, thank you thank you to Brooks for inviting and covering the costs to participate and take part in this incredible opportunity as well as including me as one of the Run Happy Ambassadors! I’m so proud to be part of this #runhappy brand!

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Altitude Camp with Brooks Running

Happy Monday! I am back in New York after an incredible weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico with Brooks.

As you guys may recall, I was invited to join the Brooks Ambassador Team last year and am currently enjoying my second year as a member of their incredible ambassador team. This year there are nine inspirational women on the team.  Even though we all love Brooks and running, I love that beyond that we are a unique group which represents various running abilities and goals.

FullSizeRender

Brooks Blog Ambassadors from Left to Right (Janae, Jes, Tina, Anne, Emily, Me, Meghann, Kristen, and Lora)

Each year, Brooks invites the ambassadors to an annual trip which typically combines running, products and getting to know more about the brand. This year’s trip as a weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico to better understand how the Brooks Beasts, aka their elite team, train.  Since there are benefits to training at altitude, the Brooks Beast team heads to Albuquerque for six weeks of altitude training each season. After last week’s snow and ice in New York, I was thrilled with the warm, sunny location as well as the boutique hotel where we stayed. There were around 40 awesome social media influencers, editors, and ambassadors in attendance this weekend. It was wonderful to not only catch up with my fellow ambassadors but also meet and get to know the other Camp Brooks attendees. We spent our weekend learning from their coaching staff and experts, logging miles via track and trail workouts, trying out new gear and forging relationships with other runners.

Camp Brooks 2017-28 (1024x768)

Here are some of the highlights from the weekend of running, learning and fun! 

  • Getting inspiration when I need it most. As we’ve talked, running has become more difficult these days with every week of pregnancy. While I am not ready to hang up my running shoes and fully switch to walking and other workouts, this weekend helped remind me that even short runs are rewarding.  Out of the 9 ambassadors, 5 of them are moms so it was wonderful to hear their tips and tricks for running through pregnancy and as a new mother. There were moments when I was self-conscious of going slow, especially when surrounded by some speedy runners, but both the fellow ambassadors and the Brooks Beast team reminded me that I’m running for two and should be proud of every step. By the end of the weekend, I logged 7.5 miles of running and jogging which was a win in my book.

IMG_1737

  • Getting dust on my shoes on the New Mexico trails. I fell in love with trail running when we lived abroad in Switzerland but haven’t been able to spend much time on the trails since moving back to New York. Saturday morning the group took a bus to the Michael Emery Bear Canyon trail to enjoy an hour of exploring the trails with a trail run. We split up into different pace groups to enjoy out an out and back run while enjoying gorgeous blue sky and sunshine. It was so fun to run by cactus, wildflowers and prairie dogs while keeping our pace slow during the 4 miles due to the 6,000 elevation.  Our entire group agreed that we could have stayed out there for hours exploring and enjoying the sights.

IMG_1753IMG_1729IMG_1727

  • Feeling warm and comfortable while running the trails, thanks to new gear.  Brooks outfitted each of us with some great new trail gear for our run Saturday morning, which you can see Tina, Anne and I wearing in the below picture. The Cascadia Running Jacket is the lightest, most innovative jacket including side and back ventilation via cut-outs, pack in pocket feature and expandable back to make room for throwing it on over a bookbag or hydration pack.  Even though it is super thin, it kept us all warm during the first half of the run and many people who have tried it swear that it also leaves you nice and dry on a rainy adventure.  In addition to these jackets, we wore the Greenlight running crops, Run Happy t-shirts, and the Caldera trail running shoes. On the trail these shoes made me feel supported and stable, but the comfortable fit made them comfortable enough to wear during yesterday’s long flight home. I also love the fun pink and purple colors – a change versus what I see in most trail shoes.

  • Learning tips and tricks from the Brooks Beast elite team.  Throughout the weekend, the Beast Elites served as our coaches and trainers sharing tips and tricks with us straight from their training plans. One of the most helpful portions was the warm-up workout they shared with us at the track Friday afternoon. We worked our way through this warm-up before starting the track workout and I loved learning a few new ones as well as being reminded of old favorites. It’s so important to focus on getting your muscles warm and activated before any workout, especially speed sessions.

  • Getting motivated and supporting others during a challenging track workout. I knew that trying to participate in the track workout wasn’t a smart idea since it was 80 degrees and sunny when we arrived at the track Friday afternoon.  But, instead of sitting on the sidelines, I did my best to join in the fun while altering the workout to keep things safe.  I jogged around the track, covering around 3.5 miles, cheering and motivating everyone while they completed the following workout:
    • 3 minutes at your 5k pace
    • 2 minutes recovery slow jog/walk
    • 200 meters at your one-mile pace
    • 4 minutes recovery slow jog/walk
    • Repeat the above 3 timesIMG_1809

In case you’re wondering, I’m wearing the Pick Up Tank, 5” chaser shorts and Launch in the above picture. As you guys know, the pick up tank has been a favorite of mind both before pregnancy and during thanks to its long length and soft material. This tank stays in place for EVERY workout whether you’re doing downward dog or running sprints. I was thankful to get a new pair of the Chaser Shorts as the ones I have at home are a large and no longer fit around my growing hips and stomach. These fun blue and white shorts will be regulars throughout the rest of my pregnancy. 

IMG_1764

  • Learning about health and nutrition from Dr. Kyle Pfaffenbach, the Brooks Beast Elite Team nutritionist.  I wish I could share a video of this presentation as it was so interesting and so many aspects are applicable not only to elite runners but also any person looking to lead a healthier life. Some of the highlights that I captured on my phone include the following:
      • Every body is unique and therefore we each have different responses to exercise and nutrition.
      • Remember that diet and exercise go together. You can’t make bad food choices and then think that you can “run it off” later.
      • Focus on the things that you can control versus stressing over those that you can’t such as age and genetics.
      • Become more engaged in your diet by monitoring and journaling the way your fueling and training makes you feel.
      • Diet, like training, is always a work in progress.
      • Omega 3 fatty acids are a great way to help reduce cholesterol, improve recovery and serve as an anti-inflammatory.
      • If your overall diet isn’t in place, a vitamin or supplement can’t be a magic bullet.
      • Recovery and refueling are important, especially after tough workouts. His favorite recovery drink is Bob’s Redmill Whey Protein mixed with regular or unsweetened chocolate almond milk. I’m going to order some of this so Bo and I can use this after our Orangetheory workouts!
  • Having run and relaxing with the group at the Brooks Beasts house. The Brooks Beasts were kind enough to open up their home on Saturday evening for an energy bar competition, cookout and sunset party. The large group split into teams for an energy bar competition during which we developed our own recipe for either a bar or ball using ingredients like oats, honey chia seeds, almond butter, and cinnamon. It was a hilarious and fun competition resulting in some tasty treats and a lot of enthusiasm. IMG_1801

The rest of the evening we hung out at the house enjoying a barbecue and hanging out with everyone including the Beasts. Huge props to Katie Mackey who hung out with our group and answered ALL of our questions.  I also had the chance to finally meet Brian aka Pavement Runner in person after following his blog and social outlets for YEARS. He was such a good sport, taking a selfie with us ladies.   As the sun began to set everyone huddled on the huge porch which overlooked the valley and provided a perfect view of the desert sunset!

pavement runner selfie

IMG_1796

  • Deepening my relationship with my fellow Brooks Run Happy Ambassadors.  Even though we rarely see each other in person, we shared hours of laughter and discussions this weekend about things including running, blogging, training, parenthood and more. Spaced out across the US, I’m so thankful to Brooks for bringing together such a strong group of women.

IMG_1800

Thank you, thank you thank you to Brooks for inviting and covering the costs to participate and take part in this incredible opportunity as well as including me as one of the Run Happy Ambassadors! I’m so proud to be part of this #runhappy brand!

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