It is has been six years since I visited the Monterey California area. This year I was there in the beginning of December for a conference. It is both tough and a beautiful time to travel. The conference was at the Hyatt Regency, which isn’t located downtown, so it’s not an ideal location if you want to be able to walk around Monterey. There is a golf course, so I was able to get a beautiful picture of the sun rising over the course.

Sun rising over the golf course


It was great to see Carmel by the Sea decorated for Christmas. There also was a full moon, which made walking around town extra cool.

Six years ago, I found a great restaurant Cassanova. If time allowed, I knew I wanted to go there again during this trip. I was glad there was time for a few of us to go to the restaurant. It was great food, company and laughs.

Van Gogh’s table is in a room at Cassanova. Next time I return to Cassanova, I would like to have a dinner at Van Gogh’s table.

Wine tasting in Carmel Valley, in my opinion, is one of the best places to do wine tasting. Carmel Valley has it all over 20 wine tasting rooms, great restaurants, and amazing people. When I visited Carmel Valley six years ago, I first looked into doing a wine tour. The concierge at the hotel I was staying explained how that wasn’t necessary for this area, because all the wine tasting rooms and restaurants were in walking distance of each other. I was glad that I didn’t do a tour and have done self guided here. Great hotels are close by too! Great spot for a future Girl’s weekend.

Parsonage Winery

We started our wine tasting in Carmel Valley at Parsonage Winery. They have beautiful red wines and is what they are known for producing. We tasted their reserve wines. One of the things I like to do is to ask the locals where to eat and their favorite wineries. Their recommendations helped us plan out our day. Their tasting room is decorated with quilts that were sown by Mary, one of the winery owners.

Boekenoogen Vineyards and Winery

Boekenoogen was recommended to us by Parsonage. It was a great winery too! I joined the wine club while I was there. They have good Chardonnay’s and Pinot Noir’s. The wines of Carmel Valley remind of the Burgundy region of France. Personally, I don’t like buttery Chardonnay’s and I have found that the wines in this region are not usually like that. Amanda was great in their tasting room. We were there on a Friday and happy that the tasting rooms weren’t busy, so we could learn more about the wines.

Joullian Winery

Around the corner from Boekenoogen is Joullian Winery. They have a beautiful tasting room and barrel room. Their wines are beautiful as well!

Cafe Rustica

The biggest decision we had was which of the great restaurants to chose for lunch. We asked the locals and Cafe Rustica was our choice. It was great and loved the weather was warm enough for us to sit outside.

Cowboy Pete

Carmel Valley has a taxi and his name is Cowboy Pete and his dog Lucy! We ended our great day with a “tour” of the town with Cowboy Pete. It is a tractor and he works for tips. It was the perfect way to end our day!

All photos were taken with iPhone 11 ProMax and edited with Veil Presets. Photos are the property of Travel With Laughter and written permission must be received to use them.

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