Tuesday Giveaway Linky

Welcome to Tuesday Giveaway Linky with Simple Sojourns and A Frugal Friend. Link up your giveaways and find some to enter!

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Join us every Tuesday (giveaway linky will go live 6pm Pacific time Monday) and link up your current giveaways. Easy Peasy! Or if you love to enter giveaways, stop by every week to see what giveaways are listed. Join the party, it’s going to be fun! 

    • Link directly to your blog giveaway, not your homepage.
    • Keep them family friendly.
    • Your link must be a blog giveaway – all non-blog giveaways and/or affiliate/spam sites will be deleted.

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Carmel Beach – Carmel By The Sea

One of the many treasures along the coast of California is Carmel By-The-Sea. Snuggled along the shore of Carmel Bay is this extraordinary little town with a unique array of restaurants, hotels/inns, art galleries, and a seemingly endless number of shops of various kinds. Olive oil tasting as well as wine tasting are a favorite pastime. Only about one square mile in size, Carmel By-The-Sea has one of the most popular post offices we have ever had the pleasure of visiting. In this friendly town residents and business proprietors alike check in at the post office regularly. You see, there are no numerical addresses in Carmel By-The-Sea. Not a one. We stayed between 3rd & 4th Ave on San Carlos Street. That’s the location of the Hofsas House Boutique Inn. While there we had dinner at Basil Seasonal Dining, which is also on San Carlos, but between Ocean & 7th Ave. Not having a specific address may sound confusing, but it’s not. It’s a kick and we had so much fun exploring.

Carmel Beach - Simple Sojourns

With that said … at the end of Ocean Avenue in Carmel By-The-Sea is the iconic Carmel Beach City Park. Rated “One of America’s Top Beach Towns,” Carmel Beach is open 365 days a year and welcomes dogs. And unleashed, no less! 

Carmel Beach - Simple Sojourns copy

We sat for quite awhile observing several varieties of canines enjoying the surf and sand and running like the wind. It was a refreshing sight seeing them frolicking about, sometimes at full speed ahead. They seemingly paired up with two or more in a group, as if they were there for a meet and greet.

Carmel Beach - Simple Sojourns

The famous white sands are surrounded by beautiful blue water and lush greenery. Popular with visitors and locals alike, Carmel Beach offers volley ball on sand courts, parking and restroom facilities.  

Carmel Beach Landscape - Simple Sojourns

There are hiking paths for hikers, and of course waves for surfers. And it’s also a popular backdrop for weddings. Having grown up around Southern California beaches we were both very impressed with the beauty of Carmel Beach.

Carmel Beach City Park | Simple Sojourns
Carmel Beach Park - Simple Sojourns

Carmel Beach Tree - Simple Sojourns

Carmel Beach City Park - Simple Sojourns
Our experience:

Why: Road trip

When: March 2016

Who: Just the two of us

What: Carmel Beach City Park – Dog friendly beach

Where: Carmel By-The-Sea

Open For: 365 days a year

Vibe: Beachy keen!

Website:  Carmel Beach

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Tuesday Giveaway Linky

Welcome to Tuesday Giveaway Linky with Simple Sojourns and A Frugal Friend. Link up your giveaways and find some to enter!

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Our current giveaways:

American Girl Saige's Art Studio Mega Bloks - Simple Sojourns

American Girl – Saige’s Art Studio Mega Bloks Set Ends 4/26

 Debra’s current giveaways:

American-Girl-Mega-Bloks-Saiges-Art-Studio

American Girl Mega Bloks Giveaway

Join us every Tuesday (giveaway linky will go live 6pm Pacific time Monday) and link up your current giveaways. Easy Peasy! Or if you love to enter giveaways, stop by every week to see what giveaways are listed. Join the party, it’s going to be fun! 

  • Link directly to your blog giveaway, not your homepage.
  • Keep them family friendly.
  • Your link must be a blog giveaway – all non-blog giveaways and/or affiliate/spam sites will be deleted.

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Walking with a friend in the dark

Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.

~ Helen Keller

Walking with a friend in the dark - Simple Sojourns

February 19, 2014 – iPhone 5

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Fresh Peach Salsa with Vegan Crab Cakes and Gluten Free Vegan Black Bean Burgers

Our kids grew up on food from our garden and meat from animals we raised. The kids and I cared for and fed the animals. Then, when the time came, I prepared and served said meat, but never partook. I simply couldn’t eat anything I had called by name, even though they had been raised as a food source. As I look back that may have been an indication I would become vegetarian. And now, with my gluten-free restrictions, it’s no wonder mealtime at our house can be a bit tricky at times.

gardein vegan - Simple Sojourns

I’ve come up with several ways to simplify our menu without having to make too many different dishes at once. With their convenient vegan plant-based products, gardein makes it so easy. We love gardein and are happy to partner with them on this post. gardein can be prepared in a short amount of time, which makes it a healthy “fast” food option. We recently had ‘crabless’ crab cakes, and black bean burgers with fresh peach salsa. 

Fresh Peach Salsa Ingredients - Simple Sojourns

The salsa recipe is simple, with most ingredients a staple in our fridge and pantry. I like peach and sweet peppers because I’m not a big fan of hot salsa. This combination makes for an incredibly good and mild salsa. If you’re a fan of spicy hot, simply switch/include hot peppers.

Fresh Peach Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 4 peaches – peel, pit and slightly chop these babies up.
  • 2 large tomatoes – slice and slightly dice. Remove skin if desired.
  • ½ sweet onion – slice and slightly chopped.
  • 1 handful of cup fresh cilantro leaves – I chopped them slightly and removed most of the stems.
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 – 1/2  cup sweet peppers chopped 
  • 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2 a fresh lime
  • Season to taste.

Fresh Peach Salsa Ingredients Chopped - Simple Sojourns

Directions:

  1. Pulse/chop the peaches, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and garlic in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, simply chop (and chop and chop) the ingredients and mix together in a bowl. 
  2. Add the sweet peppers and vinegar. 
  3. Add the juice from 1/2 fresh lime (Make sure seeds don’t sneak by).
  4. Add seasoning and chill until ready to use.
  5. Fresh salsa will last up to 2 weeks sealed and refrigerated.

Fresh Peach Salsa Served - Simple Sojourns

I’m all about mild, but David prefers hot. So we try to always have both mild and hot salsas on hand. And preferably homemade.

Fresh Peach Salsa with gardein Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Burger - Simple Sojourns

Besides being vegetarian, I also eat gluten-free. gardein’s Chipotle Black Bean Burger is gluten-free, has 6g of protein, and is an excellent source of fiber. That makes me a happy and healthy camper! I love these burgers, especially with a spoonful of our peach salsa.

Fresh Peach Salsa with gardein Vegan Crabless Cakes - Simple Sojourns

David had gardein’s Mini Crispy Crabless Cakes. Three crabless cakes contain 9g of protein and 32mg of Omega. They’re delicious as a meal or an appetizer. 

So, are you ready to make plant protein a part of your everyday life? gardein has a variety of solutions. Check out their beef, chicken, fish, turkey and gluten-free meatless products. They even carry a line of pocket meals. And don’t miss the $1.00 off coupon! #MeetChef

Fresh Peach Salsa
Yields 3
Write a review
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 peaches – peel, pit and slightly chop these babies up.
  2. 2 large tomatoes – slice and slightly dice. Remove skin if desired.
  3. ½ sweet onion – slice and slightly chopped.
  4. 1 handful of cup fresh cilantro leaves – I chopped them slightly and removed most of the stems.
  5. 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  6. 1/4 – 1/2 cup sweet peppers chopped
  7. 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
  8. Juice from 1/2 a fresh lime
  9. Season to taste.
Instructions
  1. Pulse/chop the peaches, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and garlic in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, simply chop (and chop and chop) the ingredients and mix together in a bowl.
  2. Add the sweet peppers and vinegar.
  3. Add the juice from 1/2 fresh lime (Make sure seeds don’t sneak by).
  4. Add seasoning and chill until ready to use.
  5. Fresh salsa will last up to 2 weeks sealed and refrigerated.
Simple Sojourns http://simplesojourns.com/
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5th Avenue Deli in Carmel By The Sea

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean are many cities and towns that dot the California coast. Cathi & I always enjoy the uniqueness of each of the various California beach communities we visit. It doesn’t matter if we’re driving or on foot, we always find interesting shops and places of interest to explore. 

5th Avenue Deli - Simple Sojourns

While in Carmel By The Sea we were introduced to the 5th Avenue Deli on the recommendation of Carrie, of the Hofsas House. So it seems the ‘Big Apple’ is not the only place to enjoy a full-on deli experience.

5th Avenue Deli Carmel By The Sea - Simple Sojourns

True to Carmel By The Sea charm, the 5th Avenue Deli storefront sign is small but to the point.

5th Avenue Deli in Carmel By The Sea - Simple Sojourns

Great ambiance and a plethora a choices

Monterey Bay Point Lobos State Reserve - Simple Sojourns

Our 5th Avenue deli lunch was enjoyed while taking in the sights and sounds of point Lobos State Reserve.

Point Lobos State Reserve - Simple Sojourns

Point Lobos State Reserve is a beautiful picnic spot.

~ The Facts:

Why: California Coast Road trip

When: March 17, 2016

Who: David & Cathi

What: 5th Avenue Deli & Catering

Where: 5th Avenue between San Carlos and Dolores Street, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Type: Quick service walk in delicatessen with a variety of Catering menus. Delicious sandwiches, salads, fresh made soups, with a salad & taco bar. Sandwiches are made to order. Cathi had an avocado and tomato sandwich on gluten free bread. Picnic and Gift Baskets are also available.

Open For: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (delivery for lunch and dinner)

Hours: Monday – Saturday  7:00 am – 5:30 pm. Sunday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. 

Vibe: Deli delicious!

Website: 5th Avenue Deli

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Tuesday Giveaway Linky

Welcome to Tuesday Giveaway Linky with Simple Sojourns and A Frugal Friend. Link up your giveaways and find some to enter!

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Our current giveaways:

Summer-Camp-Essentials-Giveaway

Summer Camp Essentials Ends 4/20

American Girl Saige's Art Studio Mega Bloks - Simple Sojourns

American Girl – Saige’s Art Studio Mega Bloks Set Ends 4/26

 Debra’s current giveaways:

American-Girl-Mega-Bloks-Saiges-Art-Studio

American Girl Mega Bloks Giveaway

Join us every Tuesday (giveaway linky will go live 6pm Pacific time Monday) and link up your current giveaways. Easy Peasy! Or if you love to enter giveaways, stop by every week to see what giveaways are listed. Join the party, it’s going to be fun! 

  • Link directly to your blog giveaway, not your homepage.
  • Keep them family friendly.
  • Your link must be a blog giveaway – all non-blog giveaways and/or affiliate/spam sites will be deleted.

[Read more…]

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Basil Seasonal Dining in Carmel By The Sea

Nestled in the heart of  ‘downtown’ Carmel-by-the-Sea, you’ll find the delightful restaurant Basil Seasonal Dining. Basil’s menu is based on seasonally available products, locally grown produce, and organic ingredients.

Basil Seasonal Dining Restaurant - Simple Sojourns

It has the distinction of being the first Certified Green Restaurant in Carmel. Basil is the essence of modern and creative California cuisine. While staying at the Hofsas House, we walked just a few short blocks to Basil for dinner. We chose the option of dining outside.

Basil Seasonal Dining - Simple Sojourns

Basil Seasonal Dining, is also known as Basil Carmel, or simply Basil. Located in the Paseo San Carlos Courtyard, on San Carlos between Ocean & 7th, Basil has indoor and outdoor seating. In cooler weather heaters as well as blankets are available. Basil is also a dog friendly establishment. 

Basil Menu - Simple Sojourns

The menu has many delicious options to choose from. Chef Soerke Peters has a ‘farm to table’ food passion and uses only local, organic, sustainable and free range ingredients. And all ingredients are hormone and antibiotic free. The seafood options are local and fresh daily.

Basil - Sourdough Bread with Basil Dipping Sauce - Simple Sojourns

We chose to start with Fresh Sourdough Bread with Basil Dipping Sauce.

Basil Winter Salad - Simple Sojourns

The Winter Greens Salad has pear, pine nuts, and goat cheese and is served with an apple cider vinaigrette dressing. Vegans can order without goat cheese, as Cathi did.

Vegan Cauliflower Soup - Simple Sojourns

The Vegan Cauliflower Soup can be enjoyed by vegans and non vegans alike. Delicious!

Basil Grilled Pork Chop - Simple Sojourns

Grilled to perfection, the Pork Chop with Huckleberry-Apple compote, rutabaga-potato mash and Russian kale was very tasty. Cathi ordered the brightly colored Vegan Roasted Vegetable Plate and was very good about sharing, although reluctantly. That’s how much she liked it!

Basil Sorbet with Seasonal Fruit - Simple Sojourns

At the end of a perfect evening meal, we enjoyed two different desserts: Blood Orange and Pomegranate Seasonal Fruit Sorbet with Raspberries and Mint …

Basil Flourless with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream - Simple Sojourns

… and Flourless Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Mint. Both were incredible!

Basil Seasonal Dining Restaurant - Simple Sojourns

~ The Facts:

Basil Seasonal Dining (or Basil Carmel, or Basil)

Location: San Carlos Between Ocean & 7th, Carmel By The Sea, CA 

Type: Organic, local, sustainable & free range ingredients without any hormones or antibiotics. Vegan selections are available. Basil is the first and only Certified Green Restaurant in Carmel and known for its modern and creative California cuisine.

Reservations: Basil is small with limited inside seating capacity; outside dining also available. Reservations are required, especially on weekends: 831.626.8226

Open For: Lunch, Diner and Sunday Brunch

Hours:  Mon – Thu 11:30 AM – 9:30 PM | Fri – Sat 11:30 AM – 10:30 PM | Sun 11:30 AM – 9:00 PM

Chef/Owner: Soerke Peters 

General Manager/Owner: Denis Boaro 

Vibe: Relaxed Fine Dining

Children: Yes, children are welcome. There were several children dining while we were there. 

Pets: Basil is dog friendly

Bar: No, but there is a specific Cocktails & Beer menu along with Basil’s Wine List, offering 50 different selections, all from local wineries 

A la carte price range: $5 – $28, with some selections at Market Price (MP)

Website: Basil

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Keep Life Simple

keep life simple | Simple Sojourns

A Simple Sojourns Printable

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Hofsas House – A Boutique Inn – Carmel By The Sea

We recently took a road trip along the central coast of California. The scenery was beyond beautiful and ranks high on the list of nature’s many wonders. From giant impressive redwood trees to the powerful crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, the California coast is a must-see adventure. We spent three days in the one-of-a-kind village of Carmel By The Sea. It’s unique in its forest like setting so close to the sea. Most everything in the village is within walking distance; restaurants, art galleries, boutique and gourmet shops and more.

Hofsas House Inn - Carmel By The Sea - Simple Sojourns

On the northern edge of the center of Carmel By The Sea is the Hofsas House, a family owned and operated boutique inn. We had the pleasure staying a few nights and truly felt as if we were honored guests. We’re very delighted to partner with Hofsas House on this sponsored post.

The drive to Carmel is chock full of scenic vistas and points of interest, so allow ample time. Not because of traffic, but because it’s a lovely drive that will have you stopping for the views as well as for photo opps.

Hofsas House Entrance - Simple Sojourns

The famous white sands of Carmel Beach City Park are less than a 30 minute walk from the Hofsas House. The lobby of the Hofsas House has an impressive oversized copper fireplace that immediately makes one feel welcomed. The friendly staff is more than helpful when it comes to anything a guest might need or want. Staff members are also quick to offer advice and directions to anywhere in Carmel By The Sea. Carrie, the owner and general manager, is third generation Hofsas House. As a young child she spent summers helping her grandmother at the inn by showing guests to their rooms. By the time she was twelve she was welcoming guests at the front desk. It’s easy to see in Carrie’s eyes and smile the devotion she has for the inn and her guests. She’s also one of the sweetest, most knowledgeable and personable concierges we’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

Hofsas House King Room with Fireplace - Simple Sojourns

Our large king room, with an ocean view and fireplace, was delightful. Each room is uniquely furnished with decor that makes for cozy and comfortable surroundings. The fireplace isn’t just for show either. We enjoyed burning the provided logs for both warmth and ambiance. 

Hofsas House Room 45 - Simple Sojourns

Each guest room has a dutch door, which seems to be a novelty in Carmel By The Sea. We enjoyed leaving the top half of our door open to feel the warm breeze and gaze on the gorgeous sunset. And we saw no sign of flying insects, or otherwise. Whether this is the norm or seasonal, we know not. But I’m here to tell you, it was an awesome phenomena. Even the bathroom window opened with no screen. We delighted in keeping that window open too.

By hotel/motel/inn standards the bathroom was quite roomy. There was plenty of counter space and room for two people to easily move about. Our particular room did not have a bath tub option. But if one would suit your needs, request a room that has one when booking.

Hofsas House Sparkling Cider and Cheese - Simple Sojourns

We were greeted with a bottle of organic sparkling cider as well delicious local cheeses along with crackers. There are also options for connoisseurs of fine wines.

Being on a road trip, we had a variety of our favorite snacks and beverages with us. The in room refrigerator was perfect for keeping our necessary items cold.

Hofsas House Continental Breakfast - Simple Sojourns

Remember the lovely lobby mentioned earlier? Every morning from 8am to 10 am there’s a complimentary continental breakfast served. We found a delectable selection of pastries (delivered daily from a local bakery), fresh fruit, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, milk and orange juice. You can partake of the buffet choices in the lobby or fill a basket to take back to your room. It works out great if one is an early riser (like me) and a sleepy head (like David).

Hofsas House Heating Swimming Pool - Simple Sojourns

The Hofsas House swimming pool is heated year round and, along with the dry saunas, are open daily from 9am to 9pm. Located poolside is the meeting/conference room, which makes the inn perfect for business conferences, family reunions and/or weddings. Depending on the sitting arrangement, the room can seat up to 40 people. 

Hofsas House - Simple Sojourns

With 38 uniquely decorated and spacious rooms and suites, the inn falls well into the boutique category for hotels/inns.

Our car stayed parked while we were in Carmel By The Sea. The restaurants along with shopping and art galleries are well within walking distance of Hofsas House. Last year David had both of his hips replaced. One in April and the second in June. And… we walked to every place we visited within the village, with the exception of  to/from the beach, and is was absolutely delightful. 

Sunset at the Hofsas House - Simple Sojourns

Now for some good to know fun facts: 

Carmel By The Sea is just one square mile. That includes downtown and the lovely ‘personality plus’ homes in the rolling forest that together make Carmel By The Sea.

Carmel By The Sea has no numerical street addresses. Not a one! To keep the small town atmosphere alive, everyone picks up their mail at the post office. There is a feeling of community as neighbors, shop owners and the like, see each other at the local post office.

Carmel By The Sea is dog friendly. We noticed many businesses serving free doggy treats. It’s rare to walk by a door without a bowl of water sitting nearby. Even Carmel Beach City Park is dog friendly. We sat for quite some time just watching the dogs running, splashing and playing together with their owners and other dogs on the beautiful white sands.

Carmel By The Sea is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2016, having been founded in 1916. Watch for special events on the official Carmel By The Sea visitors site.

Hofsas House Sparkling Cider at Sunset - Simple Sojourns

David and I have traveled the world and have had the opportunity to stay in a variety of hotels. Hofsas House was a stand out experience that we enjoyed immensely. We very much look forward to our next stay there. We may even bring the kids and grandkids. Besides the single king room we stayed in, Hofsas House also has several family suites. I can’t think of a better family holiday then being together with our three generations, enjoying the artistic village of Carmel By The Sea, the white sands of the local beach, and so many other attractions in the Monterey Bay area. 

The Facts –

Why: Road trip

When: March 2016

Who: Just the two of us

What: Hofsas House – A Boutique Inn located between 3rd & 4th Ave on San Carlos Street.

Where: Carmel By-The-Sea

Room Types: A variety of 38 unique rooms. Singles, suites and some pet friendly.

Continental Breakfast

Pet Friendly

Binoculars at the front desk to loan for whale watching

Amenities: All rooms have free wireless, cable television, telephones with voice mail, coffee makers, hair dryers and private bathrooms with shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and a vanity kit.  Some rooms have: a fireplace, ocean view, private balcony, kitchenette, wet bar, microwave and refrigerator. Irons and ironing boards are available on request. Heated swimming pool, pool side meeting/conference room, dry saunas, off street parking, 

Local Interests: Downtown Carmel By-The-Sea, Carmel Mission Basilica, Point Lobos State Reserve, 17-Mile Drive, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Pebble Beach, Monterey Historic Cannery Row

Website: Hofsas House

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