Weekend in Monterey - Day 3 - Quaint Cottages and Grand Sand Castles

(Continued from Part IV)

We spent our last day in the Monterey area exploring Carmel. Carmel is a quaint village put on the map by former celebrity Mayor Clint Eastwood. It sits along the water which explains its "By-The-Sea" moniker.

Where else can you find a weather-worn wooden snail? Escargot, anyone?

We started with some fuel at the Carmel Bakery and Coffee Company. Their multi-seeded pretzels were divine.

The creative window display also made me smile.

Carmel has a look to it that makes me feel like it comes directly from Lord of the Rings. Actually, it's less edgy and sinister than Lord of the Rings. On second thought, I felt like I'd just been dropped into the Smurf forest while strolling through downtown. The cottages just ooze a certain smurfy quaintness.

Even the cats in the area have a certain charm. We found this little Cheshire Cat at The White Rabbit, a store devoted to Alice in Wonderland memorabilia.

Carmel has a lush quality to it. This house is practically engulfed by a wall of greenery.

Our real motivation for coming out to Carmel was to check out the fanciful Sand Castle Building competition on the beach. Would be sand architects could use any natural materials they found. There was some interesting stuff that the tide brought in, including these rubbery tubules.

People took their creations very seriously.

There seemed to be a canine theme this year which pervaded many of the works. This bad-ass guard dog was my personal favorite sand sculpture.

I was also happy to see the felines get their due as well.

Hmm...no one seemed to be standing near this pile of sand. Could this be a finished sand castle? It seems like someone is trying to channel the mound of mashed potatoes in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

We actually arrived on the scene on the earlier side so many works were still in progress. Check out this link for some pictures of the completed sand castles. What an awesome, whimsical experience!

(Continued to Part VI)

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Sidewalk Safari: Weekend in Monterey - Day 3 - Quaint Cottages and Grand Sand Castles
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