Vacation Photos: Monterey and Carmel

For the MLK holiday, we went on a long weekend trip to Carmel and Monterey. It's only an hour and half from San Francisco, but has a completely different vibe so it really felt like a vacation. We arrived early on Saturday, checked into our hotel in Monterey, and headed straight to the beach in Carmel.

Unlike the Bay Area beaches, the beaches in Carmel are white and sandy, and even though it was the middle of January, it was warm enough to lay out on the beach in a swimsuit. The waves were particularly good that weekend (it was the same weekend as the Mavericks Invitational in Half Moon Bay) so Lucas got some quality surf time in.
On Sunday, we took the historic 17-Mile Drive, which runs from Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach. That stretch of coastline is beyond scenic - it's gorgeous! I definitely recommend doing the drive right before sunset so you can stop at one of the lookout points and watch the sun go down over the Pacific.
Monday morning, we went on a whale watching trip. I geek out over animals, so I jumped at the chance to see sea lions, otters, and whales up close. I've also been completely jealous of Kristina since she went whale watching in Vancouver in elementary school, so I was finally able to see my 10-year-old dream realized. We were fortunate enough to see a killer whale, several pods of grey whales, and dolphins. Lucas was definitely a good sport and pretended to be as into it as I was. :)
Other highlights of the trip include: cheese tasting, antique shopping, and getting cheap couples massages.

Here were a few of our favorite things to do in Monterey and Carmel:

Katy's Place - This place has to-die-for breakfast - French toast, waffles, and pancakes galore!

Village Corner - Such a cute little place in downtown Carmel with an outdoor patio to people watch. :)

Casanova - It's a converted house, so it's a cozy little restaurant with amazing French & Italian cuisine. It has an amazing wine cellar too, so make sure to ask to peek inside.

Cannery Row Antique Mall - There are tons of antique vendors with fairly reasonable prices.
The Cheese Shop - This place is an amazing, non-pretentious cheese shop. You can go in and sample any kind of cheese you can think of and they won't make fun of you if you ask ridiculous questions.
Carmel Plaza - What can I say? They have J.Crew, Anthropologie, and Kate Spade, so I was sold. We may or may not have gone three times. I'll never tell. :)

What I'm Listening To...

Here is an upbeat song to get you through your Tuesday. I think it's technically about the Jonestown mass suicide, but it makes me happy nonetheless. :)

Lena Dunham Interview

Have you tuned into Alec Baldwin's podcast, Here's the Thing? He interviews fascinating people like Judd Apatow and Billy Joel. I came across it today and proceeded to listen to about 10 interviews in a row. His interview with Lena Dunham, the creator and star of Girls, is great. Highly recommend listening to it!

Tahoe Trip 2013

This past weekend, my company took its third annual ski/snowboard trip to Lake Tahoe. Wildfire is unique in that we all really love each other (truly!), so we were all psyched to go on the company trip. On Friday afternoon, we left early and departed for Tahoe on chartered buses. Each bus had a theme and I was on the "Party Animal" bus (please refer to the masks, y'all).
After a whopping EIGHT hour bus ride (just so you know, it should be a 3 1/2 hour bus ride but we hit two accidents, had to stop to put chains on our tires, etc. etc. etc.), we arrived and had dinner at a local restaurant in Tahoe. After that, our buses attempted to drop us off at our condos, but one of the buses got stuck in the snow (because the aforementioned chains came off of the tires...) and some folks didn't get back to their condos until 3 am - yikes!
Regardless of the disaster that was Friday night, we woke up to fresh snow on the ground and we were ready to go. The temperatures were an icy -8 degrees on Saturday, but the conditions were perfect otherwise. We spent the entire day on the slopes, and my dear friend Tara and I mustered up the courage to ski down one black diamond at the end of the day.
After our ski day, we engaged in some much needed apr├Ęs-ski activities: hot tubbing, eating, and drinking. We had a huge banquet followed by an after party in the ski village. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love Wildfire. It's hands down the best company with the best people. Already anticipating Tahoe 2014! XOXO

Pup Marketing Campaign

This is too cute not to share.  This morning, Refinery 29 posted about Where I Was From, a Brooklyn-based online store, and this genius marketing campaign where they dressed up an adorable pup in their clothes and accessories. His little face is so sweet, it breaks my heart...such a nice break from too-skinny models. Bravo!

Prabal Gurung for Target

I'm a big fan of the designer/Target collaborations and I have a few pieces from both the Jason Wu for Target and the Missoni for Target collections. The new Prabal Gurung for Target look book seems fun, colorful, and young, and flipping through it makes me so excited for warmer weather. Here are a few of my favorite looks from the look book via Teen Vogue.

On another note, I've been really bad about blogging the last few weeks. The weeks after the holidays are a bit of a bummer, and it's hard to feel inspired. Still, I've had some pretty great experiences recently, including an amazing trip to Lake Tahoe last weekend with my co-workers, so I'll be posting more often. XOXOXO

My Holidays: 2012

I had a holiday break filled with non-stop family time, which was amazing and refreshing! We played board games, ate great food, and knocked out several wedding planning duties. Incredibly grateful for my friends and the two wonderful families in my life. Here are a few of the highlights...

Having a sleepover with my BFF:
Bowling and dinner with my family to celebrate my Dad's birthday:
Spending Christmas with my siblings and my sweet pups for the last time as a single lady:
Epic Scrabble, Spades, and Catch Phrase battles with my family:
Visiting Lucas's family in Wilmington and taking long walks on Wrightsville Beach with the pups:
Attending an engagement party thrown in our honor, which was lovely and thoughtful:

Visiting with our sweet niece, Kaya, which was such a joy:
Hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing holiday season. What did you do? xoxo Jill

Auld Lang Syne

New Years Eve always makes me think of this scene from Sex And The City. As cheesy as it is, I love this part of the movie, because it is all about togetherness and friendship.

What did you do for NYE? We went to an oyster roast last night at Wrightsville Beach and then I got up bright and early this morning to catch a 7:15 AM flight back to San Francisco. I'm already nostalgic for my family, friends, and the South, but I can't wait for the excitement that 2013 holds. Wishing all of my blog friends a happy 2013! xoxo Jill