Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I thought it would be a great idea if BVZ and I took one last trip just the two of us before baby arrives. BVZ said that since I will only be pregnant 6 or 7 times in my life (ha, ha), I definitely deserved something special. We decided to head down the coast to Carmel and stay at the posh Bernardus Lodge. It is an absolutely gorgeous property and has its own vineyard and winery. Their Chardonnay is named after the owner's wife (Ingrid), as is the name of the vineyard the grapes come from.

The room we stayed in was big and beautiful and came equipped with a full selection of wines and snacks.

Plus, fresh roses every morning...

My favorite part of the whole place was the giant, marble bathroom with a super huge tub.

Plush linens and a feather bed...

All the wine and snacks in the room were 'complimentary'. Now, I know that nothing is really complimentary because you are paying for it in the room rate, but even so, it is brilliant marketing. There is nothing more appealing than propping your feet up on the outside deck and having a great snack and cold drink in the room after a long drive. This should be a mandatory policy for all hotels.

The rest of the property was gorgeous. The outside cafe:

Random fountains:

Bocce ball and croquet lawn:

A very relaxed BVZ....

Saturday morning we got breakfast delivered in bed and then went to the spa for massages. So great. I sometimes wish we were the kind of people who could then just lay around all day, but we aren't, so after our rub downs we headed into Monterey to go to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.

It is a spectacular place full of interactive exhibits and more marine life than you thought was possible to fit into one building.

He is NOT comparing me to a whale in this picture....

My favorite exhibit by far were the jellyfish. They were truly other-worldly. The exhibit was done up much like an art exhibit, with incredible lighting and simple, silent tanks. It was breathtaking.

One of the most popular exhibits were the sea lions. Everyone oohed and aahed over how cute they were, but they were totally vicious! They would wrestle each other for food (they were NOT playing around), and bang each other up against the glass to get dinner from their roommates. We saw them eat some birds (not sure if that's their diet or the birds just have bad luck), but those poor birdies were getting ripped to shreds. It was awesome.

That night we went into the town of Carmel for dinner and enjoyed the artsy fartsy small town atmosphere. Sunday we spent the morning at the pool. It was all done up Tuscan style and the pool itself was perfectly clear and a balmy 80 degrees.

He's having fun, just anxious for his Heineken (this is at about 10:30 am, mind you)...

It was a perfect weekend away and something I look forward to doing 6 or 7 more times (I kid, I kid).

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