Honeymoons are a great excuse to visit a foreign country, but savvy Here Comes The Guide brides know they’ve gotta do a little homework on their destination’s customs and etiquette before they travel. Because we live to make your wedding planning as pain-free as possible, we were pleased to discover a helpful website that explains proper travel etiquette for exotic destinations all over the world.
Even though I’m not currently planning a trip, I found that the site has fascinating insights about different cultures. For example: Did you know that kissing your hubby’s cheek in public is taboo in India?
P.S.: For an outsider’s perspective on life in California, surfer dudes and valley girls might enjoy the section entitled, “How to Behave in California”!
When we last left me, I was reveling in the tranquil charms of Capitola’s Monarch Cove Inn… But another sublime experience awaited me in Carmel-by-the-Sea. I was welcomed to L’Auberge Carmel by a smiling host proffering a fresh watermelon cooler, and I easily settled into the laid-back luxury of this European-style hostelry. The lavishly appointed guestrooms embrace a charming garden courtyard where intimate events are held, but now all was quiet, save for the trickling of a fountain.
The venue’s acclaimed new restaurant, Aubergine, was the scene of my most memorable meal to date—one minute the engaging and talented Chef Christophe (the perfect Food Network star!) was sending out imaginatively presented, vegetable-centered dishes for me to sample; the next he was pulling up a chair and chatting amiably about the quality of the tomatoes at the local farmers’ market. The sommelier was equally impressive and Pastry Chef Mendoza’s fruit carpaccio, arranged like flower petals, was a visual masterpiece. I envied the lucky bridal couples, who can entrust their gourmet wine and food dreams to this talented culinary team (no doubt wowing their wedding guests in the process)!
The Monarch Cove Inn made me feel refreshed, and L’Auberge made me feel pampered. All in all, not a bad two days’ work!
My favorite part of working at Here Comes The Guide is visiting wedding locations. During a recent jaunt along the California coast, I spent two very different evenings in two very special places.
I had visited the Monarch Cove Inn before and was eager to return. I like to think of this pretty haven—named for its proximity to a monarch butterfly habitat—as my own little Santa Cruz area secret, but it was a full house when I arrived.
Perched on a bluff above a quiet curve of shoreline, the quaint Victorian inn is styled with the romantic trappings of the past, and enjoys a panoramic ocean view. I began a sunset stroll at the Inn’s own rose garden, and continued for several blocks along a paved path that skirts the cliffs above the sea. At night, I slept with windows wide open, the cool breeze and sound of the waves lulling me to dreamland. Breakfasting on the patio just outside my room, I sipped tea beneath the boughs of an apple tree and meditated on the watery blue horizon blinking in the sunlight. I didn’t want to leave…
(To be continued!)