Love is the Greatest Adventure

Carmel-by-the-Sea Anniversary

If I had to sum up the past four years of marriage in one word, it would be adventure. Seven different apartments in three different states/two different countries, job transitions, becoming dog-parents, road trips, serving in kid’s ministry together at church… it has been the adventure of a lifetime. We celebrated our first wedding anniversary in Sydney, our second reliving our wedding weekend, our third downtown Chicago, and this year was our fourth. These past four years were absolutely worth celebrating!

So that’s what we did! In January, Mo and I drove down to one of our favorite little towns on the coast, Carmel. We had stayed in Carmel over Labor Day weekend and loved the relaxing atmosphere, good vibes, and beautiful beaches and trails that Carmel had to offer. But first, lunch at LinkedIn. Like I mentioned, there have been a number of job transitions for both of us since getting married. Just this past January, I transitioned into a full-time Exercise Specialist and personal training role at LinkedIn’s headquarters. One of the perks of working there is the food, and let’s just say Mo has been visiting me at work about once a week! Is it to see me or eat the food… I’ll let you guess. Mo picked me up at work and we had a quick lunch consisting of Jamaican jerk chicken, gnocchi with a butternut squash puree with fried sage and toasted hazelnuts, and a arugula salad with goat cheese, roasted forelle pears, shaved red onion, sliced almonds and a house-made Faurot Ranch red beet dressing. The weekend was off to a great start!

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We arrived in Carmel and settled into our B&B for the weekend, Horizon Inn and Ocean View Lodge. It was a different B&B than we stayed at over Labor Day, but we loved that it had more of a cozy apartment feel to it. The fireplace was perfect for those “chilly” California January nights! We loved the breakfast picnic basket that would magically appear on our doorstep in the mornings. We chose Porta Bella, an Italian restaurant downtown Carmel, for our anniversary dinner, and toasted to many more adventures to come.

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The next morning, we woke up and got some exercise in before starting the drive down Highway 1 to Big Sur.

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Big Sur

The drive along the coast to get to Big Sur is stunning. We pulled over multiple times to admire the scenery, eventually stopping for lunch and coffee at Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant. I had read about this quaint place and it lived up to all my high expectations – both in aesthetics and taste! And the coffee… one of the best flat whites I’ve had since Sydney. It paired well with an orange cherry scone and Mo tried their carrot ginger soup.

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Our next stop was McWay Falls. A short hike led us to this waterfall that emerges from the mountains and into the ocean.

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Pfeiffer Beach is known for its purple sand so we of course had to see for ourselves!

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On the way to Bir Sur, you’ll drive over Bixby Bridge, an iconic concrete bridge built in 1932. The design and color seems to fit in perfectly with the coastal landscape that surrounds it.

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On our way back to Carmel, we stopped to watch the sunset at Rocky Point Restaurant with a beer in hand for Mo and a glass of rosé for me. It was the perfect way to relax after a full day of driving, sight-seeing and hiking.

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If I’ve learned anything these past four years, it’s that you can plan ahead as much as you want, but when life offers you opportunities, some are too good to pass up. We can honestly say that we have no idea what this next year of marriage will bring us, but it’s off to a great start! Here’s a quick glimpse at what we’ve been up to so far. 

San Francisco

Blue Bottle coffee, organic veggies and homemade pie at the Ferry Building farmer’s market.

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Hot Chocolate 5K through Golden Gate Park (where Mo got a 5K PR… by 2 seconds!).

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Half Moon Bay

Watching the sunset at the beach and eating the most amazing lobster roll at Sam’s Chowder House (not pictured… I was too busy eating to take pictures!).

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Ridge Winery

Picnics and wine tasting at Ridge Winery. Some of our favorite “wine picnic” snacks include blueberry goat cheese and crackers, falafel, hummus and pitas from the Sunnyvale Farmer’s Market, raw veggies, and of course… dark chocolate.

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Valentine’s Day

Mo’s kind of dish: Chicago deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s
My kind of dish: a 6 mile hike at The Stanford Dish + lunch avocado toast at Local Union 271 in Palo Alto. Luckily, we were able to do both!

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With a trip to Yosemite planned for over my birthday, my folks coming out to visit next month, and a half marathon 4 weeks away, it’s safe to say that there’s lots more fun ahead of us!

Thanks for following along on our adventure and please feel free to leave any suggestions for either travel… or marriage!

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