Monday, January 15, 2018

Carmel Day 2- Porta Bella Restaurant

After visiting the Murphy’s house we all realized that our stomach had been rumbling. Carmel was a heaven of all exotic restaurants. Mr. Man took  the responsibility to finding a good one, where every one of us could get their desired food. At that moment we were on Ocean Avenue, and he found out a French Restaurant, Porta Bella on Ocean Avenue. 

Moreover, the restaurant was just beside Cottage of Sweets which was one of our must see place.


It was cold chilly cloudy day. We slowly walk through the sidewalk , and reached a small old door with a beautiful Christmas wreath hanging on it. I slowly pushed the door, and it open with little squeaky sound, and we entered in a warm cozy eatery with burning fireplace inside. The warm nice feeling just took away the fatigue, and we were ready to devour some mouthwatering food. 

We got a table near the window from where we could see the street, where people had been walking on their Christmas best attire.

 My son couldn’t order anything else but pizza. I’m not a pizza fan, it is the food when no option usually are left. I’m a fish loving person, so when I saw salmon in the menu card I quickly decided to order that. Mr. Man ordered beef burger. 

Anyway, we were not in hurry, we enjoyed every single bit of our food. At the last our server served a little desert , and told it was on the house. I just can’t describe the feeling when the cream in it just slowly moved down my throat. We were all full, on the top of that we had been eating limitless sweet things during that tim, so I didn’t order another plate. I didn’t know the name of it, so I asked him. It was Baklava. The cream and the crunchiness of that made a heavenly combination. That was really a sinful bliss. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Carmel Day 2 - The walking tour

We reached Carmel in  the pitch dark, so we couldn’t see anything. Next morning when I woke up and look through the glass door of the balcony. I could see endless the deep blue ocean covered with gray clouds hovering over the horizon.

Anyway, we wanted to take walking tour around the town, but  we didn’t know from where to start. So, we went to the hotel office, the lady there suggested going to the visitors center, which was in a beautiful mall.

The lady in the visitor center gave us a detailed map, and as well as the list of fairy tale houses. She told that the little town was within one square mile,so better to walk around. Luckily we didn’t take the car with us. We readily planned to go towards the ocean first , then while coming back we would visit the other little places. 

Our hotel was just outside the downtown. The specialty of the town, that most of the building were maintaing their facades. The way they were built early twentieth century still look the same, but inside everything had been changed. Our first stop was the furniture shop.The shop was nothing but another normal furniture shop. However it was actually the dairy farm dated back when it was developing, and it was a little town indeed , rather than tourist destination.

The furniture shop

 Next stop was the drug store, but what was so special? Actually the drug store changed to a different shop, most probably an art gallery, but the original sign was still kept on the wall. When the city decide to take down all the big facade, but they kept the name of the drug store for some unknown reason. 

The town had numerous hidden passages. Those hidden passages were actually lanes and by lanes with the blocks. It is difficult to see those lanes, but you have to search to find those hidden lanes. Some of the lanes would take you through the blocks to the other sides.  The two sides of those lanes had beautiful shops, art galleries, and beautiful other things. One of them was Secret Garden. I would rather write about it in another post.We went most of the lanes. Most of them leads to the other side of the blocks, but some of them leads to the entrance of the some cozy restaurants, even some of them leads to the entrance of private residence. 

Murphy's house

We went to the Murphy’s house, which was built in 1902. Murphy was 19 years old when he built the house. Most of the building in downtown are built by Murphy.

Mr. and Mrs. Murphy

 After visiting the Murphy’s house we felt hungry. After searching we found out one French restaurant named Porta Bella. The food was scrumptious.
After having food, again we started our walking tour. Then we started walking towards to ocean side.Each and very houses on the ocean side were extremely beautiful, and very much unique in their own way. All the houses in carmel had some different ouch, which made them district from other houses in rest of California. On the top of that, unlike other parts of California, Carmel was full of greenery. With beautiful green front yards, the hilly land, the old houses, and could weather gave carmel a fairy tale environment. It was very much like Bibury Village in UK. Anyway, after strolling around the ocean side again we came back to the downtown. I really didn’t know the rout, by which we strolled, I just depended on Mr. Man. 

 One of the building in our list was L’Auberge. L’Auberge was nothing but another beautiful inn. 

However, it had a little history. It was first apartment building in Carmel, which was actually built for artists. Then again we started walking and reached Church of the Wayfayer. It was most probably first built in 1903. On the opposite was Cypress Inn. That in was built in completely Mediterranean style. 

Again we started strolling again. We reached another beautiful mall. My son wanted to go a Christmas shop. Each and every decorations were extremely beautiful but too expensive.
Again we came to the visitor center from where we started our walking tour. Our next destination was fairy tale houses.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Carmel Day 1 -Yafa Resturant

As I told you that my house was getting remodeled, and just before Christmas we got our house back. So, the Christmas was super busy, from cleaning the house to arranging everything. In the mean time, Mr. Man arranged a small trip to Carmel. The plan was to start from home around noon on 23rd December. However, I had been still cleaning and arranging things around till 12 in the noon.  Anyway, after finishing all cooking, eating, cleaning, arranging we at last depart from home around 2 in the afternoon. When we reached Carmel, it was already dark. I couldn’t see anything. I felt that Mr. Man parked the car on some one’s driveway. He told me that he parked car on roadside, and he needed to go on foot to find our inn, where we were gong to stay for next two nights . Anyway, he parked the car on the front road of the inn. After finishing all the work at the office we luckily got a parking spot on the inn’s parking space, as that was the last one left. *smile*

Our next work was to find a restaurant nearby. Carmel is full of exotic restaurants. We found a Moroccan restaurant very near of our inn, and we decided to go there, as all of us love Mediterranean food. 

Lentil Soup

It was not far from the inn. So, we decided to walk there. Anyway, after walking little on the dark road, we reached a very small door, which went down a little from the sidewalk. We almost missed the door. My son, pointed out the little door of the restaurant. That was a very little cozy restaurant with maximum occupancy of 40, named Yafa.

Chicken with apricot sauce

Inside it was dimly lit, an old gentleman had been singing most probably on Moroccan language, but it was very beautiful to the ear. Music and dance has no language barrier. If the music is nice to ear, and the dance is beautiful to eyes, then you can watch without knowing the language. The interior was very much  Mediterranean in style. We ordered our food, and was  listening to the songs.

Lamb ravioli

 Suddenly one man took out one drum kind of small instrument, and started beating in a quick rhythm, so that you will feel dancing. The owner of the restaurant came with waist belts, and offered all the ladies there to dance. Few of them started dancing, but I didn’t. In my life I never danced. *smile*. However, that was really a fun time.


The food was extremely delicious. I never rated chicken with apricot sauce. So, I ordered that. It tasted heavenly. When my son found ravioli in the menu card, he effused to eat anything but lamb ravioli. Mr. Man wanted to eat small, and he ordered shrimp. After all days of work and driving (though I didn’t drive) this warm cozy feeling with delicious food took away all the fatigue from the body and mind. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A day trip

On first day of the year, Mr Man didn’t want to stay at home. 31st night he suggested going on a day trip to Tahoe. Though I didn’t say anything, my answer was negative. He was just like a kid, he didn’t want to listen. When I told him that I was tired, he told me that he would drive, so I didn’t need to worry. I couldn’t make him understand that I just wanted to stay at home and have rest. Anyway, we woke up early in the morning. I packed up all the possible winter garments in the car, in case if we need. While driving on the way, we continuously talked about our last year winter vacation to Tahoe. The memory of the vacation will never be faded from the memory.If you want to read about our last year visit to Lake Tahoe, please click here.

On the way we even stopped at the same Starbucks, where we went last time amid pitch-dark and torrential rain. Anyway, this time Tahoe was totally different. Due to lack of rain Tahoe was almost dry, and could see only patches of snow here and there. We didn’t go up to the lake. We decided to go Donner Ski area, before the lake. The Ski area looked miserable. They could only make a small path of snow for skiing, and few people were skiing there. I’ve never seen such empty Tahoe. Anyway, my son did tube sliding for few hours and we decided to go back.

Auburn Museum

I wanted to go to Auburn, which is a historic small town established during California Gold Rush. Last year we went Placerville which is the next town to Auburn. The little downtown was old in true way. It showed every point how the small towns grew at that time, without much planning. As the area was hilly, the sidewalk was little funny. Some time, the sidewalk ended up in staircase. Yes, a public staircase to on the other side. 

We parked our car at the parking area of Auburn Museum. As it was 1st January, the museum was closed. So, we couldn’t find any information about the little old town. 
We decided to just walk around. In the mean time my son got impatient, he didn’t want to walk around with us. I was lost interest as I couldn’t find much information. I could see all the old building, and I was eager to know about each building, but I had no option. While walking we suddenly found a huge statue of the man, and we went to find out.

Claude Chana

 From there we came to know that the statue was of Claude Chana, who came to Auburn during Gold Rush, and built a little adobe. After staying one year there, he went to Sutter’s fort to work there. Again he came back to Auburn with couple of men in search of gold. Anyway, during that time whine the population started growing in that area, the people deiced to give a name, Auburn was chosen. 

The little history I got from Interment. To my disappointment,  the museum was closed, so, I couldn’t get chance to find all little history , which generally hard to find. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year, 2018

We are just few hours away from another year. In less than twelve hours another year will come, sun will rise again on the East giving us new hope to pass another year. This year came and just gone by within a blink. 

So many things happened only within 365 days, some of them were good, constructive, some were not. Mother nature was angry time to time, and showed us her fury, yet she is gentle, she is loving.

Anyway, my year was mixed of many things. We jumped into remodeling our house, at one point I lost all my peace, and couldn’t even thinking of getting back the house. However, on the other way remodeling gave me something that might not I would do. When, there was a big problem with the bathrooms, I went to stay with my sister in Philadelphia. I knew if the remodeling didn’t happen, I wouldn’t go to her. 

Off late I couldn’t keep up in the blogosphere. Sometimes I only posted on Fridays. I couldn’t sit and write down. I couldn’t take good pictures to show you. But your positive comments always make keep going. I’m really grateful to get many good virtual friends in the blogosphere. 
I don’t make any resolutions. Resolutions give me more stresses. So, I’ve decided to keep going, doing work, and thinking all positive.

Wish all of you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. May the yea will bring all happiness, peace, good health, and all things positive.

See you again in the next year

Friday, December 29, 2017

Five on Friday

We went to a short trip to Carmel by the sea. Today evening we came back home. So, I did nothing as much since morning. I’ll write in details about the trip. The little town by the sea is just like a fairy tale town. I think any time I can go there and relax. Carmel wouldn’t be boring anytime to me. Anyway, after eating out continuously since Saturday we wanted to have some home cooked food. So, I cooked in the evening, and the day was mellow.

I had work in the morning. So, there was no time to relax with a cup of tea. After coming back I cooked dinner, and clean up a little. I have much more to clean.

Today I had work in the evening. So, I got the whole morning to clean. The living room was in mess. I fought I could finish within 12:00. However, it took me forever to finish the living room, and kid’s room. 

Today was another hectic day. I cooked for two days, the I deep clean my kitchen. On the tip of that the contractor guy came to finish few more things. They left the ion the afternoon. Then I went to work.

Today again I had a long day. I left home at 5:30 in the morning for work. Came back around 2:30. Then again went to Costco, as I ran out of many things. In the evening I really couldn’t move myself.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Five on Friday


Yes, at last we are going to get back our home. The contractor has told that he is going to hand over tomorrow. We are getting back our home on Tuesday. After doing the volunteer duty in school I came back home to start my baking spree. I’m already late in baking, as I’m not going to get much time from tomorrow. I have cleaning house, and going for work from tomorrow. Before going to pick my son from school I could bake six cakes (two together at a time). The baking is not in my hand , it depends on the oven. At least I baked few yesterday. So I have to bake only two more which I can manage tomorrow.


I had work in the morning. I had a conversation with the contractor in the morning, and he said that he has only half day work to finish. Though he said that he will finish in half day, but he was still working at 3:30 when I came back home. He smiled and said that , “half day is never going to be a half day”. Anyway, little minor things are still to finished, which he going to do after Christmas. After he left the house, the we started working, and it was just a next to impossible job to do. One bed we could easily manage to take inside one room. Then we got stuck with the next bed. That is heavy, still we could manage to carry that, but the we stuck in the hall way. Then on that tilted position Mr. pull apart the parts. Then we carried it inside the room. Then again we stuck while assembling the bed. In the meantime my son had meeting with his team for the Odyssey Of the Mind competition. We rushed to drop hime there. After coming back again tried to assemble the bed, but somewhere we had been making mistake. Again it was the time to pick him from there. I had no energy left to cook dinner. We had burger and came back to fix the bed. At last able to fish out the instruction booklet from a drawer,then we understood the mistake. After all the drama when we went to bed the clock was ticking 12:00.


In the morning I had my last physiotherapy session. I’m feeling much better now. After coming from there, I started working on again with the cleaning. The garage was on the hot big mess. I started with that. It took a  whole lot of time to do that. When I went to pick my son, I was dead tired. Still I had work in the evening.


After working a lot I decide to pamper myself a little. So,we three friends went to nail spa. It helped me lot to get back my much needed energy. The whole morning I did nothing. We there hanged out in the morning with coffee, then went to nail spa. Then I went to school to volunteer for the Holiday Party. My son’s teacher gave a sweet little gift.


Again I started working on the garage. I decided to move the things to the respected room first, and cleaned out the garage. I finished moving almost everything, and left few little things to move. The garage was looking much better. 
Lastly, wish all of you a Merry Christmas. Enjoy !!