Monday, August 10, 2009

3 years goes by in a blink of an eye

On Thursday, Thatboy and I celebrated our three year anniversary. It's amazing how fast three years can go. I can actually remember our first three year anniversary, marking the date we had been dating three years. Thatboy's law school buddies all warned him that I was going to start petitioning for a ring. After all, it is "three or flee." I've never been impressed with his friends' relationship advice, because after three years, I was not the one petitioning for a more definite commitment. It took 2 more years before before I agreed to be Mrs.Thatboy, and another year before we made it happen. Maybe that's why these past three years have flown by - it's only a drop in the bucket compared with the many years we've already been together.

The past year has been the hardest "married" year for us. Which is symbolic given that the third year was the hardest "dating" year for us too. During both years our relationship has been given its hardest tests. It's a little premature to say now, so I can only hope that the tests of the past year will stregnthen our relationship. Our past experience has shown that we grow together in times of hardship and I know Thatboy has proven this year just how supportive and exceptional he can be.

To celebrate our relationship, we've filled the month of August with trips! One in "our own backyard" (California) and one a little farther afield (You'll have to tune in next week for that one).

Back when we celebrated our dating anniversaries, we took turns planning trips to explore California on our anniversary. We picked up the tradition again this year with a trip to Carmel. While Thatboy had taken numerous daytrips to this picturesque local, he'd never really explored the area, and as for me - it would be my very first visit!

We flew Alligent Airlines and got in to Monterey around 12:30. We managed to score an amazing deal from Alamo by booking re-diculously last minute.

Our car? The Nissan Versa - SO fricking cute. I'm in love with that car- except the accessories suck. No arm rest, no glove compartment.

We headed out to 17 mile drive. OMG gorgeous. We kept stopping for picture ops because we couldn't get over how beautiful it was.

The weather was unbelievably perfect. The report said it was supposed to be in the low 60s, but it felt more like the high 70s. The waves lapped the sands straight out of a romance novel.

The rocky cliffs formed a beautiful contrast to the white sands and clear green water. We got the chance to see sea lions, seals, very brave squirrels, and deer. And while we watched, dolphins and whales frolicked before us. It was as though Snow White had hit the peninsula.

The great part about the drive was not only the shore, but the beautiful forest of cypresses.

We took the drive all the way to downtown Carmel where we stopped for lunch at Dametra Cafe.

I cannot rave enough about this place. When we were sat, we were already drooling over the smells and sights of the food. And then came the music. The owner came out with an oud and brought out the chef to serenade the honeymooners beside us with Besame Mucho .

They had the entire restaurant singing. There's nothing we like better than a good old fashioned restaurant sing-a-long. When our meals came, our love of the restaurant was confirmed.

Thatboy had the Istanbul kebab - ground beef kebabs over rice pilaf.

I had the great greek salad which we decided was the winner of the two - gyro meat over a greek salad. The gyro meat was phenomenal and the salad itself was noteworthy with creamy feta, and a delicious herby salad dressing. We're such a cute and sweet couple the waitress brought us a complementary baklava for dessert - telling us how much she liked us.

Thatboy thought it was the best baklava he'd ever had.

After lunch we headed to the hotel with a brief stop at the supermarket for a little after dinner drinks. Then it was off to Carmel River Inn. I'm not going to lie - it wasn't anything special. Kinda divey in fact. Thatboy felt like it was straight out of a B Movie Horror Flick. BUT it gets the job done. The room was cute with a dutch door and a balcony overlooking a very pretty wooded area. It's too far from downtown to walk, but just down the street from the mission which we then got to see on a daily basis. Besides - we do have that rental car for a reason.

After a brief nap, we headed in to dinner at Casanova - there's a story here. We were supposed to have our anniversary dinner at Citronelle , a Michael Richard's restaurant at Carmel Valley Ranch. I had made reservations and everything. Tuesday night I got a confirmation from "The Dining Room" at Carmel Valley Ranch. Wednesday I got a call from "The Dining Room" at Carmel Valley Ranch. I couldn't find any information about Citronelle being "The Dining Room" and finally I found out that "The Dining Room" was a transition from Citronelle . Well there was no need to eat at a non-Michael Richard's restaurant, so we changed our reservations to Casanova, which is supposed to be the "most romantic restaurant in Carmel."

It wasn't. To begin with, the tables were stacked almost on top of us. Then there was the kid behind me whose parents had never taught him table manners. Seriously, if I had behaved like him at a restaurant, my parents would have never taken me out. I was bumped so much I felt like I was on a turbulent air ride. He continued to get up and down out of his seat as his parents sent him all around the restaurant. SIT DOWN. IF YOU CAN'T STAY SEATED AT A RESTAURANT, YOU'RE NOT OLD ENOUGH TO EAT OUT. When he wasn't jumping in and out of his seat, he was pushing it back and forth into my chair, and moving around the table to hang on the other people's chairs. The meal was nothing to write home about. It's a three course menu, starting with fantastic tapenade and olives and an uninspired asparagus antipasta. Then came the redeeming "second course."

Thatboy had artichoke with a tomato aioli .

I had unbelievable spinach gnocchi in a cream sauce. Dinner did not meet the second course standard.

Jon was unimpressed with his filet mignon , feeling his mashed potatoes were the highlight of the dish.

I was equally unimpressed with my short ribs, which tasted more like pot roast. My crispy polenta side was surprisingly bland with the highlight being the green beans in balsamic vinaigrette.

We didn't even bother to stay for dessert, just got our check and headed home so we could rise and shine and see more of what Carmel had to offer.


  1. We just went, too! I wanted to go to Dametra, but Mr. Monkey said he didn't want Mediterranean food. However, we went to Casanova, too, albeit for brunch, which was lovely.

    Happy anniversary!

  2. What a lovely way to celebrate your time together!!! Hardship does make a relationship stronger only if you focus on each other and not yourselves and you 2 did that brilliantly!!! I know, I am an ole duck already and have been through some tough times...

  3. Happy anniversary! Looks like a beautiful trip. OK the dutch doors at the motel are the cutest thing, never saw those before at a hotel.

  4. Happy Anniversary! California is so beautiful!

  5. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Happy Anniversday and many more happy years together:D

  6. Happy anniversary!
    And I totally agree, kids should know table manners if they are going to be out in restaurants!

  7. What a great way to celebrate you anniversary!
    I love the first picture, so pretty!

  8. Happy anniversary Kate & J! :) Glad you guys had fun exploring my hometown. :) As a tip, Casanova is best for lunch (where you simply order the gnocchi for cheaper and you're in heaven). :) Hope the rest of the trip was lovely though!

  9. Happy anniversary! I'm so jealous of your many road trips!

  10. Happy Anniversary! Can't wait to read about the rest of your trip!

  11. happy anniversary! Beautiful wedding pic! : )

  12. Holy Mary 3 years!!! I feel like you were just at the S&S saying the i dos! Congratulations! May many, many more years of health, happiness and good meals be in your future ;)

  13. Congrats! I am on my parents' scary computer mmonitor which means your pics all look,well, wrong, but I can tell they would be pretty. :) I just wanted to say though I used to have arguments with my father in law over whether he could remove my kids from their seats and hold them because I am firm on them staying in their seat when out to eat. Drives me nuts when kids wander around! (-Laura, The Spiced Life)

  14. happy belated anniversary!

    at the risk of being redundant, those pictures are breathtaking. beautiful!

    but not as beautiful as the first one, which made me smile a smile that i can't seem to wipe off. so sweet!

  15. happy belated anniversary! looks like you had a fun trip, and I hope that your second trip is wonderful. =)