Visiting Hofsas House in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Hofsas-House-HeaderFor my husbands birthday I surprised him with a two day honeymoon to the 3rd romantic city in the world Carmel-by-the-sea, California. You see we got married in less than a week, and immediately packed up our belongings to move to the United States. We never did have a chance to have our honeymoon, so I took it upon myself to book a small one for us. The only thing I told him leading up to his birthday was to clear his weekend schedule, something I knew would prove to be difficult.

Imagine an unplugged weekend where you reconnect with your loved ones. A beautiful place where the entire town shuts down at sunset and is completely quiet. Street signs, and store fronts made from wood, no street addresses to get to a place, just the customized names on houses or businesses. This is Carmel, a welcoming and friendly atmosphere from everyone who was visiting and living there. The incredible pacific coast line was simply breathtaking. Today, I’m taking you through our trip and stay at the Hofsas House.

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Romance-pkg-on-bed

Wine-and-Cheese

Laying-on-rose-petalsWe called Hofsas Hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea our home for the past two days. The location of Carmel-by-the-sea is about a square mile on Carmel Bay. Hofsas House is walk-able to Carmel itself, where it has many boutique stores to meander through, a diverse selection in restaurants and wineries, everything in walking distance.

Once we collected our room keys and walked in through the pink dutch doors, we were taken back by the hospitality. Our room was completely decorated into this romantic honeymoon suite with rose petals, fireless candles and Hershey kisses (an added upgrade guests can request for a fee) with a massive king sized bed with treats and a dog bed off to the side for Alfie. On our bedside table there was a bottle of wine and a cheese platter from The Cheese Shop, which guests can order to their room for $30. Talk about a warm welcome, hey?

Hofsas-House2The three of us (Alfie came too!) took off for this two day weekend to explore this town for the first time. We have heard a lot about this place and its beauty. We were welcomed with open arms, even after arriving an hour later than anticipated due to traffic, from the charm of the Hofsas House, which is in its 3rd generation of the family run business. We had about an hour to get ready for supper at The Grill when we arrived. Perfect time to re-curl my hair, swap out my cozy clothes and change into a silkier blouse and skinny jeans for our date night.

Fireplace-Alfie-and-ICarmel is much cooler at night, so we took advantage of our in-room fireplace and had a cozy fire each night. There’s nothing quite like sitting in in front of a warm evening fire.

Enjoying-our-fireplace

Hofsas-House-breakfastThere were trays available if we wanted to enjoy our continental breakfast in the comforts of our room.

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Selfies-at-Hofsas

Hofsas-House-looking-out

Alfie-chewing-on-boneCarmel is known for being incredibly dog-friendly with tons of restaurants catering to your pooches. At Hofsas House, not all rooms are dog-friendly but the ones that are take special care and go the extra mile to make your family pets feel much more at home. Alfie is crated and we bring his with us when he travels, but to our surprise he hopped on the plush dog bed in front of the fireplace to chew on one of his bones that we picked up in Carmel at Diggity Dog.

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Carrie-of-Hofsas-HouseCarrie Theis started working at Hofsas House with her Grandmother Donna Hofsas, the founder of Hofsas House over sixty years ago. Carrie has since taken the position full time and moved to Carmel to run Hofsas House. You can tell she takes great pride in not only the business aspect of Hofsas House, but she truly lights up, talking about Carmel. She gave us many suggestions as to what to do while we were in Carmel along with supplying us with wine walk tour tickets, and reservations to The Grill, a fantastic restaurant where we had a delicious 3 course meal, which I’ll talk about in an upcoming blog post. Our impression of Carrie is that she doesn’t care just about the business she runs with the family, but more about the village itself.

Out of the 38 rooms on the Hofsas House property they are each decorated differently. Looking past the retro feel to the room we had, it has its charm. The room itself was huge and we had a lot of extra space which felt comfortable. I got sparkly eyes looking out the Dutch doors in the morning when I realized the view we had. There’s nothing like waking up in the morning and taking in the Pacific Ocean air. It’s clear I missed the ocean living in central Canada for a number of years after growing up in Newfoundland.

Arriving-at-Hofsas-House

Alfie-and-me-outside-HofsasSaturday night we were completely wiped from our day adventure to Point Lobos where we had a picnic lunch provided by 5th Avenue Deli. We hadn’t planned on staying all afternoon until the sun set, but the place was more breathtaking than we had imagined. More on that spot soon! I loved the hospitality we received from Carrie and everyone at Hofsas House last weekend. Since we are so close to Carmel, we’re excited to return sometime to explore the other areas we didn’t get a chance to. Big Sur is definitely on our to-visit list, along with a trip to the neighbouring city, Monterey.

Hofsas House Hotel

San Carlos St, Carmel, CA 93921, USA
Phone: 831-624-2745

To learn more visitwww.hofsashouse.com

Our stay was hosted by Hofsas House, however the opinions in the blog post are 100% my own.

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Our 2 day honeymoon

2-day-honeymoonI mentioned last week I wouldn’t reveal what I got The Guy for his birthday because we wanted to experience it together first before telling everyone! Now that our unplugged weekend is over, we can explain. I took my husband on a 2 day honeymoon this past weekend, to the romantic town of Carmel-by-the-sea.

It was every bit of relaxing, breathtaking and enjoyable all with beautiful scenic views of this wonderful little town.

We needed to disconnect from the world a little bit, so that’s exactly what we did. Many people get caught up in this comparison trap, and I for one fall for it too. I try and realize when I’m doing it, so I can snap out of it. It’s an evil thing.

Instead we must create our own memories, our own happy getaways, vacations, being alone with one another and not scrolling through twitter and instagram or reading the news during supper.us-in-Carmel

The Guy and I never had a honeymoon and I don’t consider this a true honeymoon since it lasted 2 days, but it’s as close as we’re getting to one right now. Eventually I’d love to go away with him on a longer trip. For now, this was a fantastic getaway to unwind, explore the West Coast lifestyle and simply be present. I don’t want to lose that special bond I have with my husband because I’m not present with him in the moment. We’re always connected online, and can easily fall into being disconnected with the most important people in our lives.

This weekend we made memories.Alfie-and-I-Carmel-Beach

Later this week I’ll go more into depth about our adventures, where we stayed and where we ate; but for now enjoy a couple of pictures :)Point-Lobos

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La-Balena-Lasagnette

Pt-Lobos

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Taking-pics-at-PtLobos

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Sitting-at-Pt-Lobos

La-Balena-cauliflower

Supper-at-The-Grill

Have you been to Carmel?

Where did you go on your honeymoon? If you’re not married — where would you like to go?

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University Cafe, Palo Alto

Header-Uni-CafeMy friend and I are still pretty brand new to Northern California, so we usually get together once a week and go to new-to-us places and explore. Occasionally stopping for lunch, or a nice an easy walk in the park with a quenching iced coffee.

Sitting-at-Uni-Cafe-Palo-AlYesterday while exploring Palo Alto, we stopped into University Cafe. Initially we were going look it up on Yelp to see if it received enough good reviews to pop in and have a bit of lunch.

University-Cafe-cashBut the place was hoppin’ with people during the lunch hour, so we decided for ourselves it must be good.

University-Cafe-cokeI ordered myself a coke, it came out with a mason jar full of ice. Kinda cute.

Friends-at-Uni-CafeThe ambiance of the restaurant was inviting, with the open concept layout. It was easy to get a table, indoors to get away from the heat of the day. We were lead towards the back of the restaurant near the open kitchen, as my friend required a high chair for her little boy.

University-Cafe-menuOur server was really funny, and recommended a few things to us on the menu. I’m a sandwich girl through-and-through, and rarely venture out of that comfort zone, so I went with the University BLT. As for their price point, I would say it’s moderately priced, considering it’s in the heart of the downtown Palo Alto, and the beautiful Stanford University campus. As you can see from the lunch menu we were given, the prices range anywhere from $8-$15 for their food.

University-Cafe-BLTOnce our food came out, I tasted the soup immediately. I love a good hearty tomato soup and this one was excellent. My friend had the same soup, but ordered a Fresh Lump Crap Burger — a crab burger! Something I would have never thought was even a thing. She said it was incredibly filling and so delicious. My sandwich on the other hand, was absolutely massive. I was eager to dig in since I didn’t grab breakfast yesterday. Unfortunately the sandwich was one of my least favourite sandwiches I’ve ever consumed. All the ingredients separately were terrific, but the bread — oh man, the bread was not exciting at all. It’s not that it was stale, it was paper thin, fell apart and crumbled easily and was fluffy all at the same time. Does that make sense?

Eating-the-BLTIt made such a mess, and I’m glad I had my napkin in my lap because it went everywhere. The dijon aioli sauce on the sandwich must’ve been made with a dab of horse radish, because it was spicy, tangy and weird. Not the best choice. I don’t mean to complain, simply stating how it is.

University-CafeI’d go to University Cafe again in a heart beat, due to their service and give the menu another go. My soup was to die for, and the place was pretty happenin’ so I know people enjoy the food there. I know for next time, I won’t order their BLT. ;)

University Cafe
271 University Avenue
Palo Alto, CA
94301
(650) 322-5301

Do you have a go-to menu item when you’re out?

For the locals reading, have you been to University Cafe?

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