Monday seemed to be a sleepy day in Carmel . . . actually I have the sense that every day is a sleepy day in the off season. After breakfast in the hotel we wandered the town a bit - everything except for the market and a few restaurants was shut up tight.
Given that the shops weren't looking for our dollars we packed up and headed south.
Our original plan was to have a scenic drive down the coastal highway but the combination of fires last summer and the rains this spring have produced a series of landslides that have the highway blocked. Plan B involved heading over the hills east of Carmel and linking up with the highway through the Central Valley. It was a dull drive through the flat fields, made a bit more exciting by me forgetting to get gas and the struggle to find an open gas station in the wee communities we passed.
Finally we arrived in Paso at 11:30. Early to settle into our rental but just in time for lunch. We parked downtown. Paul wanted to go to his favourite Mexican restaurant . . . which was closed on Mondays. Instead we went to a new spot for us and had a BIG beer and a BIG plate of Mexican food - carnitas for me.
Once we were finished, we made our way to the rental. The house is a restored 1890 schoolhouse along the rambling country roads west of the city. We stayed here in 2014 and fell in love. We were curious to see if everything was as wonderful as it was previously - it was!
After settling in we headed to the nearest ship to gather some supplies.
It helps that the nearest shop is a Trader Joes. :-)
We also stopped at a butcher which sells local, naturally raised meats for some dinner supplies. Our normal routine is to eat lunches while we are out and about and have a nice dinner at the house.
Given how gorgeous the kitchen is how could I NOT cook here??????
On the way back we popped into a winery located around the corner form our house. We had visited Jada not long after it opened years ago and were happy to return to see what was happening. Jada has gained a reputation for both Rhône and Bordeaux-style wines. Wine critics have assigned scores as high as 95 points to the limited production, stand-alone varietals and blends.
Winemaker, David Galzignato, crafts the wine from the estate vineyards surrounding the tasting room and winery. Following 100% biodynamic practices in all of the vineyard blocks, the winery is in the second year of a six year certification program. Biodynamic farming often uses organic farming techniques that many of the great, first-grown wineries in France follow to produce their wine. Working with biodynamic consultant Philippe Armenier, the team at Jada is striving to improve upon the fruit that is already producing high quality wine.
We decided to do a wine and cheese pairing which proved to be a fabulous decision! It is amazing how the two bring out so much in one another . . . a sip of wine, a nibble of cheese, more wine, more cheese. MMMMM Happy Jerry and Paul.
When we got back to the house and the groceries were out away it was formally nap time. I love slow vacations with plenty of time for naps.
Later we had some charcuterie and vino at the big dinging table - not sure we ate here at all when we were last here - it was summer then so our of our meals were outside.
Dinner was steak (unfortunately the grill ran out of gas mid-grill so I had to finish it off on the stove), gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce, and salad.
Later we sat outside, sipping wine, and looked up at the stars. . . a great finish to the day.