Archive of ‘Hiking’ category

Sunday Splash: Big Sur + Carmel

[ Arrash & I in Big Sur ]

If you’re planning a trip to Carmel (even if it’s just a day trip), you have to check out these places.

Back in June, Arrash & I went to Carmel to celebrate my birthday & we discovered an amazing restaurant and two really cool wine tasting rooms.

Oh & we also tried to hike, but all the trails were closed because of the landslide that happened earlier in the year. Looks like some of them might be opening soon though if you want to check them out!

Since the trails were closed, we just parked on the road and walked by the shore. I loved it! It’s gorgeous there—definitely a great place for a date. If you bring a beach towel & some sandwiches, you can even just lay out at the beach.

Arrash told me to bring a change of clothes so we could go from hiking to dinner—again, apparently it’s a thing now, & luckily I knew exactly what to bring.

After we left Big Sur we went to Carmel for wine tasting. YUM!!

We went to Wrath and tried one of their tasting sets (is that what it’s called? LMK).

My favorite was the 2013 Pinot Noir. Here’s their description of it:

Wrath 2013 SLH Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands:
fresh palate with bright acidity highlight notes of cherries, dried herbs & raspberries

It was SO good. I usually steer clear of red wines (mostly to keep my teeth white, but also because I love a crisp white wine). But, I couldn’t have enough of this one. It was delicious. Possibly the best red wine I’ve ever had.

Next, we went to Scheid Vineyards, already a little tipsy—whoops ; ) My favorites there were their 2016 Pinot Noir Rose Estate Grown Monterey (a really delicious dry rose) & their 2016 Albarino.

Here’s their description of the Albarino:

2016 Albarino:
Pure and vibrant with lemon-lime aromas, flavors of ripe peaches and apricots, and mouthwatering acidity

Feeling even more buzzed (at least I was), we went to dinner at Montrio Bistro in Monterey—and I kid you not, I think about this one appetizer we had there alllllll the time. Seriously, all the time.

It was their “Mixed Mushrooms” with polenta.

It was so good we ordered it twice.

I randomly get cravings for it, so I’ve had to create some easy ways to get me through them.

Usually, I’ll get some mushroom soup from Whole Foods salad bar or this canned organic cream of mushroom soup, or I’ll sauté some mushrooms with olive oil, salt + pepper, and nutritional yeast. They do the job, but it’s obviously not the same thing. So hopefully we’ll go back there soon & I can order it again ; )

I also really love that their seafood is sustainable and they only use organic local produce. Big fan of that!

Okay, so next time you’re planning a trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea, check out these places:

  • Wrath — try the 2013 SLH Pinot Noir
  • Scheid Vineyards — try their 2016 Pinot Noir Rose & 2016 Albarino
  • Montrio Bistro — order their “Mixed Mushrooms” with polenta (twice!)

LMK if you guys have some places we should check out in Big Sur/Carmel/Monterey. I’d love to check them out next time we’re there.

Okay, I’m off to finish my tea (Yogi Kava Stress Relief—Arrash says I should have this daily), & get ready for bed. Sweet dreams!

<3,
Bita

[ More pics from Big Sur – this place is gorgeous! ]

Hiking essentials:

 

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How to go from hike to dinner ( without taking a shower )

EEK, sometimes you gotta do it…

This past Valentine’s Day Arrash & I hiked Big Basin in Boulder Creek ( in Santa Cruz County ), & saw the “natural bridge” at the Natural Bridges State Beach.

& then we went straight to dinner.

Well, technically we stopped by a local restaurant for a drink and an app first, but the point is there was no time for a shower before our vday dinner.

Clearly, Arrash made the plans ; ) LOL

But really… That was part of the fun—hopping from one activity to the other, without spending too much time on hair & makeup.

It was refreshing.

& super exciting! ( it was mostly surprises )

So I had to figure out how to go from hiking to dinner at a restaurant without looking or feeling gross.

[ Arrash & I at the top of Big Basin ]

Here’s what worked for me…

If you’re going straight from hiking to dinner at a restaurant…

Bring these items with you:

  • Baby wipes to wipe your face ( & armpits, LOL, if you want to… Pretty sure I did )
  • Your makeup ( so you can apply fresh makeup before dinner )
  • Deodorant
  • Perfume ( a small bottle or rollerball )
  • A change of clothes for dinner… I recommend bringing a top that doesn’t cling too much and is sleeveless or has cap sleeves ( sleeves after a hike suck because you’re still warm & that can make you sticky… Or is that just me? ) I brought black skinny jeans that I could put on in the car and a vneck. Yes, we changed in the car… So stretchy jeans were KEY. For shoes I wore white Keds. I think going for a casual, effortless-but-cute look makes it SO much easier!

Also, remember to put on sunscreen—so important! 

If you can, choose a restaurant that’s not too fancy so you can get away with a casual look & be comfortable with it.

Avoid curls—choose a hairstyle you can’t mess up while hiking. I went with straight hair. Easy-peasy.

After the hike:

  1. Wipe your face & put on fresh makeup ( if you want to )—point is, don’t leave on old makeup or pile on more makeup without taking it off first. It’s not good for your skin since you’ve been sweating ( it’ll clog your pores ). And layering on more makeup never looks as good as a fresh face, don’t you think?
  2. Apply deodorant & perfume. I took my small perfume bottle but if you have a perfume rollerball that works too! I might do that next time.
  3. Put on your change of clothes & fricken enjoy that dinner. YOU EARNED IT! Have dessert too : ) I did!

Speaking of dinner & dessert… If you guys are in the Bay Area or planning a visit you HAVE to check out the restaurant we went to because I still day dream about the food. It was that good!

We went to Au Midi, a French restaurant in Aptos ( also in Santa Cruz County )

It’s kind of a hidden gem.

From the outside, you’d never know how amazing their food is. It’s drool worthy.

& the experience was perfect!

P.S. when we walked in we saw a lot of French people dinning there, which I always think is a good sign considering it’s a French restaurant. If you go to a Persian restaurant, for example, and there’s no Persian people there… You should find a different restaurant ; )

Here are a few snapshots of what we ate ( demolished )

[ Au Midi’s soup de jour ]

[ Au Midi’s Stuffed Zucchini & Sea Scallops entrees ]

[ Au Midi’s Bergamote dessert. OH MAN, this was good!!!! ]

We started with the soup de jour ( AMAZING! ), and then got two entrees to share ( so we could try more, hahaboth of them were delicious! ), and then we had dessert.

Oh, and we ordered a bottle of wine and some dessert wine, too, to pair with our dessert…

Does anyone else make noises when they eat something they really like? Because I do…

I’m kind of like Wally Mars ( played by Jason Bateman ) in The Switch.

& boy did I make noises eating that dessert… Not sorry about it : )

Okay, I’m off to shower. Chat soon!

<3,
Bita

[ Loved this wine! ]

“Hike to Dinner” vibes:

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