Monday, April 21, 2014

Carmel- by- the Sea

Carmel-by-the Sea was recently voted one of the most romantic places destinations in the country.  It's easy to fall in love with such a beautiful and charming place.   

Our recent California trip included a weekend at the
 historic Normandy Inn on Ocean Avenue.

On previous trips we have stayed at the Lamplighter Inn, Seven Gables and Green Gables.   This time we decided to stay right in the
 heart of Carmel so we could 
just walk to everything in the little village.

The Normandy always has beautiful flowers in terra cotta pots in the courtyards and along the front sidewalk.  

Baskets of flowers are hanging along the walkways 

and from the large trees on the property. 

We had originally wanted to stay in the 
Blue Bird Cottage again 

 (only a few doors down)  but were told that it was already booked due to Doris Day's 90th birthday celebration.  Apparently there are several inns and hotels she owns or has interest in, most notably the Cypress Inn.  The rooms were blocked for her guests and birthday extravaganza so
 when the Blue Bird wasn't available I remembered how pretty the flowers were at the Normandy and it's
 great location for walking throughout the village.  

source: Normandy Inn website

   At the Normandy I loved the library and lobby area decorated in 
  warm woods and french fabrics.  

The fireplace in the lobby was unique in shape and decor.

Our room was very pretty,  clean and comfortable and I fell in love with the fireplace right away.

When I saw the fireplace with the Quimper tiles I instantly thought of Sarah from Hyacinths for the Soul and her love of Quimper dishes and tiles. 

Here's a closeup for Sarah of the tiles

We only had a peek of the ocean through all the cypress pines but we could hear the ocean.  The rooms in Carmel don't have air conditioning since it is rarely needed,  so windows and dutch doors are left open until the
 evening when   
fireplaces are a must to keep the room 
cozy and warm.

I loved the room's little nook
 with a live white orchid as the centerpiece.

The toile fabric and style of this chair was so pretty and 
a perfect compliment to the room. 


The bed was super comfortable and had it's own
little nook too. 

The inn is charming, french inspired,  right in the 
heart of Carmel and just a few blocks from 
the beach.  

Shopping is a joy in Carmel and the window 
displays are just so beautiful and make you want to go in 
each and every shop!

We had a lovely visit with friends and shared some fabulous meals.  Our weekend in Carmel and the 
Monterey Peninsula couldn't have been any lovelier. 

Our trip took us on down the coast to Avila Beach...

I'll share that next week.

I'm linking with 

Oh, the Places I've Been

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring at Maison Fleurie

Maison Fleurie 
is a beautiful historic bed and breakfast in the 
heart of  Yountville, California 
 located within Napa Valley.

The inn's old brick is covered in boston ivy and the porch is  welcoming with a fuchsia azalea
 in full bloom and plenty of seating. 
I 've always wanted to stay at the inn after finding it on the internet,  but whenever we traveled to California the inn was always booked.  This time we decided on a spring 
trip and I reserved early so we could 
stay in a room with a fireplace.

Our room was decorated with lovely french toile, Provencal  fabrics and the furniture was tasteful and time worn.    
The fireplace warmed the room as mornings
 and evenings were
 quite chilly.

The bathroom was private, large and newly renovated with a spa tub.   Very nice for a historic inn.

The inn is French inspired with antique accessories including many bakery accessories.  The inn was once a bakery in Yountville and is located right behind 
Bouchon and down the street from the French Laundry. 
  The vignettes near the kitchen door were perfect 
examples of the decor.

The living room and dining room combination was rustic and cozy with warm woods and great architectural pieces.
The fireplace warmed the room as breakfast was served.

I think the bowl of lemons was just perfect 
on the mantel.

I so want a dish rack like this someday for my own home..they are so hard to find and this one is just perfect!


The lobby was warm and inviting

with beautiful views of the mountains!

This island cart caught my eye and I wondered how I could squeeze it into my suitcase.  What a great piece for an 
entry or kitchen.

 Just outside, the garden was full of bloomers

all along the sidewalk

and even included an orange tree!

Nelly Moser Clematis Vine

I think Yountville is one of prettiest  towns I've ever visited and if you love flowers then you'll fall
 in love too!

The buildings have so much charm and the 
roof top sitting area of the inn is a perfect place
 to have coffee.  

I loved the lanterns  and metalware on the rooftop too.

We took an early morning walk around the town and enjoyed strolling past
 well kept gardens and pretty homes.

 In the Marketplace courtyard we  found 
wisteria cascading over an arbor. 
The smell of wisteria was strong and fragrant and the clusters of wisteria were stunning! 

I love the hanging lantern and the roof line of 
this pergola.

The Marketplace is a great place to shop or dine.
The warehouse building has been restored 
and the grounds are manicured.


Yountville is picturesque  and the home of many award winning restaurants.

I loved this statue in the park, a well placed chef as  Yountville is home to some of the best chefs in the country.

We had dinner at Brix, a farm to table restaurant 
located at the north end of Yountville.   

The restaurant grows most of the fruits and vegetables used in their recipes and I highly recommend the food. 
Our meal was fabulous and the service impeccable! 

The garden is behind the restaurant and is beautifully maintained.   A few furry guests were visiting too. 

   I love that they were served water by the
 waiter on a  silver platter!

We returned to our room to pack up and check out and I snapped a few pictures from our second floor balcony.

I love this majestic tree that towered over the rooftops.

A view of the hot tub and private garden.

Maison Fleurie lived up to our expectations and
 needless to say we can't wait to return.

I'm linking with Tablescaper's

Oh, the Places I've Been!

P.S. If anyone knows why my font size keeps changing I'd love to correct it!