We hit the road at 7:30 am on Friday and found ourselves at the delightfully tacky Madonna Inn around early lunchtime. Three of the four of us had never been, so duh, easy stop. The "50 shades of pink" bathroom is not to be missed, nor is the BLT or corned beef hash with poached eggs and biscuits in the "Copper Cafe".
Nepenthe Restaurant is a magical stop along Big Sur, the beautiful stretch of coastline in central California. It is always worth a visit in my book! It first opened in 1949! You can enjoy a meal at the restaurant, a snack at the cafe or find a unique piece of jewelry in the gift shop. We didn't eat anything here, but we clearly enjoyed the view!
*Warning, if you easily get car sick this stretch of the 101 freeway is VERY windy! Also we sympathize with you if you get stuck behind a car that drives VERY slowly and uses their turn signal at every. single. curve. Yes, that happened, it was lame.
Carmel, aka Carmel-by-the-Sea, is probably the greatest town in America. I have been visiting this quaint, charming, elegant town since I was a baby girl. It is where my great-grandmother, Esma, had a home and where my dad attended boarding school as a rascally teen. Anyway, I was super excited to be here for a night with three of my besties!
We stayed at the Carmel Mission Inn just outside of the town center, and cashed in on their impressive happy hour before heading to dinner. All you have to do is buy one cocktail or wine/beer beverage and you get to help yourself to a buffet! I was holding out for a big dinner, but my posse had no hesitation on the mussels and spaghetti. Okay, I did have some cheese cubes.
For dinner we ended up at Mediterranean Restaurant. It was a Mediterranean Restaurant! I had a gyro salad, you know, trying to be a little healthy and get in some veggies. The food was good, nothing out-of-this-world, but decent. The manager was pretty badass. He checked in on us all night and gave my friend Samantha a pretty generous wine-tasting round. There are no pictures because it was very dark and the ones I did take look terrible.
For breakfast we were pumped to try Cafe Carmel. We walked by it the night before and instantly decided, based on the ornate window display, that we would be back when the sun came up.
We ordered an egg sandwich, breakfast burrito, the world's biggest almond croissant...and plenty of coffee. Everything was delicious! I would definitely come back the next time I visit.