A Quick Wedding Weekend in Carmel

A Quick Wedding Weekend in Carmel | www.girlmeetsgold.com

If you follow along on Instagram, you may have seen our quick getaway to Carmel! It’s been one of my favorite places to visit since I was a kid (we’ve always made a trip around the holidays) and, this year, we got to spend a weekend there for a family wedding. And it was wonderful. :)

Carmel is definitely a place that sparks a lot of nostalgia for me. We tend to go to the same spots with every trip but I wanted to share some of our favorites plus a few things to do in Carmel in case you’re planning your own visit.

A Quick Wedding Weekend in Carmel | www.girlmeetsgold.com

Where We Stayed

Since we have dogs, we now (of course) exclusively stay somewhere that allows them. Carmel is incredibly dog-friendly, so it’s fun to bring them and it’s not difficult to find places they’re allowed. We ended up at Carmel Garden Inn, which is a great location just at the edge (and up a few blocks) from Ocean Avenue.

It’s an adorable bed & breakfast with quintessential, quaint Carmel charm—cottage vibes, fireplaces and florals. If you can snag a room with a patio, I would highly recommend it!

Obviously, you still can’t leave your dog unattended in your room. On a normal trip, we’d take them everywhere with us (restaurants included) but since we were in Carmel for a wedding, we ended up using Rover for a pet sitter, which I highly recommend!

A Quick Wedding Weekend in Carmel | www.girlmeetsgold.com

Ever since I was little, we’ve been going to Pâtisserie Boissiere as the first stop upon our Carmel arrival. My parents always ordered the French Onion Soup (add sherry) and it’s only been in my recent adult years that I’ve finally enjoyed (and craved!) it myself!

An adorable setting for French country food, this is the perfect place to stop for brunch, lunch or a quick pastry bite. They do also serve dinner, though we’ve never been! For a light lunch, we split a seafood sandwich on a croissant and (bien sûr/of course) added the French Onion Soup.

Bonus: they’re dog-friendly! They’ll pop you into a perfect little section at the back.

A Quick Wedding Weekend in Carmel | www.girlmeetsgold.com
A Quick Wedding Weekend in Carmel | www.girlmeetsgold.com
A Quick Wedding Weekend in Carmel | www.girlmeetsgold.com

There’s nothing quite like Carmel’s charm. A walk from the Inn to downtown will greet you with plenty of flower stops and photo ops. In the mornings, walk downtown to grab your morning cup at one of many coffee stops. We picked up coffees + breakfast sandwiches at Cafe Carmel and walked across the street to Carmel Plaza to enjoy it outside on the patio with the dogs. There are plenty of tables + a plethora of opportunities to window shop!

Carmel Plaza gives me so much nostalgia because it’s where we used to see Santa (the real one 😂) around Christmas time. If you’re able, Carmel during the holidays is a must!

A Quick Wedding Weekend in Carmel | www.girlmeetsgold.com
A Quick Wedding Weekend in Carmel | www.girlmeetsgold.com

The actual wedding was at a beautiful and historic church followed by reception atop Il Fornaio restaurant. This was the perfect location to catch a beach + sunset view. Absolutely stunning and easy to grab a drink there if you’re looking for a quick stop. It’s connected to Pine Inn which is another great option to stay downtown.

A Quick Wedding Weekend in Carmel | www.girlmeetsgold.com
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It was a bit of a whirlwind weekend with all the wedding events and family gatherings but a trip to Carmel Beach was a non-negotiable. It’s dog-friendly (they can be off-leash!) and the dogs LOVE it. Weather in Carmel is pretty mild (it definitely gets cold) but when the sun is out and you’ve just walked from one end of Ocean Avenue to the beach, you’ll be plenty warmed up. With that being said, I just generally always bring a layer any time of year—though we do always tend to go from Oct-Dec. I packed my essentials: jeans + cashmere tee + comfy layer.

A Quick Wedding Weekend in Carmel | www.girlmeetsgold.com

On our last morning, we had breakfast at the Inn (veggie frittata, hard-boiled eggs and pastries) and then grabbed a quick smoothie before heading back home. We tried Carmel Belle and their smoothie selection was wonderful.

A Quick Wedding Weekend in Carmel | www.girlmeetsgold.com

Recap + More To Do:

• We stayed at Carmel Garden Inn & it’s adorable. I recommend trying to get a room with a patio if you can.

• Carmel is very dog-friendly but we used Rover for a pet sitter during the wedding events and had an amazing experience!

• Have lunch at Patisserie Boissiere. Get the French Onion Soup. Also dog-friendly!

• Window shop at Carmel Plaza. Beautiful around the holidays!

• A lot of the places we eat have a nostalgia factor for me but we love: Little Napoli for dinner, Grasings Restaurant has a pet-friendly patio for dinner, The Tuck Box is cute/quaint for breakfast

• Cottage of Sweets for after-dinner chocolates 😋

• Pop into all the cute shops on Ocean Avenue

  • Check out the Cypress Inn and Carmel Mission

As always, thank you so much for reading, and if you have a Carmel-by-the-sea trip planned—enjoy!!

xo Tyler

The Outfits

A Day Trip to Napa

A Day Trip to Napa

Whenever the weather starts to warm up around here one of my favorite things to do is head to Napa Valley. It’s a pretty quick trip for us living in the Bay Area (about a 45 minute drive), so it’s easy to do a day trip for a little wine tasting, eating, relaxing, shopping, exploring—really anything that suits you. It’s just a beautiful place to spend your time and you can’t go wrong with any avenue you choose. We went for an early birthday celebration and I typically get a lot of requests to share our itinerary, so I wanted to dedicate a post to our quick day trip!

You can also see what we did for my 30th birthday weekend in Napa last year and my sister’s bachelorette party a couple years ago.

Also—skip to the end of this post to see a full list of Napa recommendations.

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Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Vacation

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Vacation

This post is a bit delayed but I figured it’s better late than never! If you follow along on Instagram, you might already know we took a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico last month. And it was pretty wonderful. It’s somewhere I’ve been going the last 5 or so years ever since my parents bought a condo there. Fun fact, they actually honeymooned in Puerto Vallarta almost 40 years ago, so it’s always been a special place for them. Now, it’s a special place for all of us—my sister and her husband even got married there! 

We feel incredibly grateful to have a wonderful home to stay there but, because of this, I unfortunately don’t have hotel recommendations. However, I’m always happy to try to help in any way I can, so feel free to reach out with any questions in that realm and I’ll do my very best. 

Their building is located in Zona Romantica (the Romantic Zone), which is where we spent mostly all of our vacation. It’s filled with plenty of boutique hotels, art galleries, cafes, global restaurants, cute cobblestone streets, beaches and more.

The majority of this post is dedicated to what I wore but I’m also sharing a list of some of our favorite places to eat, plus things to do and see. I hope you enjoy!

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6 Classic Vacation Essentials

6 Classic Vacation Essentials

With the season warming up and our trip to Mexico around the corner, I’ve been doing a little bit of vacation shopping and wanted to share some of my personal favorite, must-have finds. While I always seem to gravitate more towards trendy, feminine, flirty pieces in the warmer months, I’ve been trying to keep my wardrobe classic and want my vacation wardrobe to also reflect that as much as possible. Below are six of my must-have, vacation essentials for any warm weather trip!

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16 White Dresses under $100

White Dresses Under $100

No.1 linen shirt dress // No.2 trapeze dress // No.3 midi sundress // No.4 wrap dress // No.5 chambray midi dress // No.6 lace midi dress // No.7 slip dress // No.8 midi dress // No.9 off shoulder dress // No.10 cotton dress // No.11 ruffle dress // No.12 off shoulder dress // No.13 midi tee dress // No.14 off shoulder dress // No.15 linen button-down wrap // No.16 t-shirt dress

From mini to maxi, wrap silhouettes to ruffles and everything in between, a little white dress might be the biggest style staple for the spring and summer season. They’re the epitome of effortless and make styling a breeze. Whether tossed on with a denim jacket for spring daytime, paired with strappy sandals and a beach bag for vacation or dressed up with wedges for a summer soiree, the little white dress will take you through warmer days with pure ease.

Find the style staples to get you started for the season!

A linen shirt dress is both classic and modest and can do double duty for day to night.

For beach days and breezy nights, this midi sundress is a must.

A wrap dress flatters every frame—truly!

I have this silk slip dress and it’s equal parts sexy and effortless.

For an upcoming vacation, this midi dress shows the perfect hint of skin—on the back!

Anything off-shoulder is always on-trend for the warmer months. Try a ruffled style for feminine flair or this one for something classic and simple.

Another vacation favorite, this cotton dress is sweet as can be—I love the detailing.

Simple and laid-back, this t-shirt style midi dress is a great comfy way to test the midi trend.

What’s your personal favorite style?

x Tyler

THE DRESSES

5 Things to Do in San Francisco

5 Things to Do in San Francisco | www.girlmeetsgold.com
5 Things to Do in San Francisco | www.girlmeetsgold.com

If you’re going to San Francisco....

5 Things to Do in San Francisco | www.girlmeetsgold.com

...be sure to take a jacket!

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5 Things to Do in San Francisco | www.girlmeetsgold.com

Living in the Bay Area, there’s certainly no lack of things to do. Whether you head north to Napa Valley, explore the city or visit the East Bay, you really have a vast array of options. From beach days to nature hikes; city life to wine country. It’s honestly an incredible area I truly feel lucky to both live in and be from. 

Growing up in the suburbs of the East Bay (about 25 miles outside San Francisco), a trip into “the city” was always a treat and something I was able to start doing “on my own” in high school. We would take the train in for a shopping trip in Union Square. In college, we’d meet “in the city” for drinks when everyone was back home. And in my few single years after college, it seemed like the only place to meet people was “in the city.” 

Fast forward to now and I started going “into the city” less and less. Call it having less free time or more “wanting to spend your free time with Netflix, your dogs and a murder documentary” but, somehow, over the years, it happened. 

But on a Saturday in the middle of February, after almost a month of rain and being cooped up inside, Patricia Nash Designs inspired me to take a trip...into the city. 

5 Things to Do in San Francisco | www.girlmeetsgold.com
5 Things to Do in San Francisco | www.girlmeetsgold.com
5 Things to Do in San Francisco | www.girlmeetsgold.com

Aa a brand inspired by discovery, Patricia Nash values both wonder and wander and her designs are inspired by her own travels, memories, people and places she cherishes. With meticulous craftsmanship and loving design, her handbags, footwear and accessories are perfect to take you through your own everyday travels and adventures. Plus everything in between.

For me, a day trip to San Francisco entails plenty of walking. I’m sure you’ve all heard of its infamous hills. I slipped into these Fia Loafers for the first time and was instantly amazed at their level of comfort. Memory foam flats? Yep! Memory foam flats that feel like you’re walking on a cloud. We were able to walk through the Marina and uphill through Pacific Heights with ease.

I also took along her Raffia Meldola Satchel which is both spacious and beautifully crafted with unique details. I absolutely love the acrylic tortoise-shell-effect handles. It also has plenty of pocket space, along with a detachable strap and scarf.

Of course, if you’re heading into the city, layers are a must. San Francisco and the entire Bay Area is made up of microclimates, meaning you can go from cold to hot to windy and pretty much everything in between. Keep in mind, the closer you get to the water, the colder it can be. Overall though, San Francisco weather is pretty mild.

5 Things to Do in San Francisco | www.girlmeetsgold.com
5 Things to Do in San Francisco | www.girlmeetsgold.com
5 Things to Do in San Francisco | www.girlmeetsgold.com
5 Things to Do in San Francisco | www.girlmeetsgold.com
5 Things to Do in San Francisco | www.girlmeetsgold.com

We spent our day in the Marina, grabbed coffee, picked up flowers, meandered up through Pacific Heights and caught a tiny bit of the Chinese New Year parade all while enjoying this beautiful city and each other’s company. And it was glorious.

And without further ado, whether you’re a Bay Area Native like me or visiting this city by the Bay for your first time, here’s 5 things to do in San Francisco…

No. 1 Meander Through the Marina:

If you’re looking for a place to start in San Francisco, try the Marina. You can catch a picturesque view of the Golden Gate just as easily as you can grab coffee and brunch, pick up fresh flowers and do some boutique shopping. Make your way up towards Pacific Heights and The Presidio for quintessential SF mansions and city views. 

No. 2 Bike Across the Golden Gate:

Everyone should do this at least once. We did this for my 27th birthday to check something off my bucket list and it was truly an exhilarating feeling and incredible experience. It’s easy to rent bikes from plenty of places, depending on how far you feel like biking. Tip: once you head across the bridge, grab a drink in Sausalito and take the ferry back. Also Tip: the bridge is incredibly windy. Why I didn’t realize this, I have no idea. It’s San Francisco.

No. 3 Play Tourist at Fisherman’s Wharf 

If you took the ferry back from Sausalito, you’ll end up at The Ferry Building at the Embarcadero. Brave the crowds and play tourist. With Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll have plenty of water (or seal) views. Tip: this is also a great area if you want to spend a rainy day indoors. There’s both the Exploratorium and Aquarium. You can even go to Ripley’s Believe it or Not and the Wax Museum if that’s your thing. Or, grab clam chowder and a lobster roll at Hog Island or Pier 23 plus an Irish Coffee at The Buena Vista. You’ll also be really close to Ghirardelli Square. You can catch a cable car and take it all the way to Powell Street. 

No. 4 Go Shopping in Union Square

If you took the cable car from Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll find yourself hitting the end of the line at Powell Street and the heart of Union Square. Take some time to meander through Westfield Mall or simply walk up towards Union Square for a day of downtown shopping. 

No. 5 Take in the SF Views

For when you’re just in it for the #PhotoOp, San Francisco has plenty of places to take in the views or get a gram-worthy shot. Try Twin Peaks, Hawk Hill, Alamo Square, Coit Tower, Lombard Street, Kirby Cove for a swing that overlooks the Bay, or grab drinks at a high-rise like Top of the Mark or The View Lounge at the Marriott. End with dinner at The Cliff House or Waterbar. 

As always, thank you for reading. Have you spent time in San Francisco?

XO Tyler

THE OUTFIT

Special thanks to Patricia Nash Designs for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.

4 Swimwear Styles in Neutral Tones to Try This Season

4 Swimwear Styles to Try This Season | www.girlmeetsgold.com

Whether you’re heading on vacation or prepping for the warm weather season, there’s a swimwear style to suit you. I’m breaking down the must-have styles below!

Strapless

If you don’t bring a strapless swimsuit on vacation, did you even go on vacation? Ok, yes of course you did, but it’s truly a must-have style in any woman’s collection. If tan lines aren’t your thing or you want a style that wears seamlessly under your vacation dresses and spaghetti straps—a strapless or bandeau style is for you. Tip: look for one with a removable halter strap to go from sporty to strapless in an instant. Something without underwire will also be most comfortable.

Sporty

Whenever heading on vacation, I always make sure to bring something that will be both comfy and practical. Leave the strapless styles for sunbathing, something strappy in a sporty silhouette will be your best friend for snorkeling, jet skiing, swimming—and everything in between. Look for styles with thicker straps for added support!

Feminine

For something sweet to pair with shorts hanging by the pool, a flirty and feminine swimsuit will be your best friend. Look for ruffles or sheer details like lace and crochet or try a flirty off-the-shoulder silhouette. A well-placed ruffle or a hint of sleeve can be just the extra bit of coverage you crave. Tip: white makes a tan pop!

One-Piece

One-piece swimsuits have made a major comeback in the recent years. And with good reason. They’re a great way to stay both comfortable and cool and can offer plenty of coverage or show plenty of skin. They can be sleek, chic and classic and still just as sexy (if that’s your thing). Pick your style preference—sporty, feminine or strapless—and I promise you’ll feel confident in this silhouette this season.

4 Swimwear Styles to Try This Season | www.girlmeetsgold.com

What’s your favorite swimwear style?

As always, thank you for reading!

x Tyler

30th Birthday Weekend in Napa

napa valley outfit

What better way to spend your birthday than with a weekend getaway in Wine Country? It's a quick trip for me we do often living in the Bay Area but I knew it would still be a special place to celebrate my 30th. Whether you want to relax and pamper or dine and drink wine, Napa Valley has everything you need to make your birthday (or any getaway) a celebration. 

If you’re planning a trip, (whether it’s your 30th or not), or simply hoping to schedule your weekend activities with ease, I highly recommend using Visit Napa Valley. You can utilize their planning guides and pre-planned itineraries or even reach out to their concierge service to create your own complimentary itinerary. At the very least, it's a great way to see all Wine Country has to offer in one place—from hotels to wineries to activities. 

I had my mind set on relaxation and since I've done a lot of wine tasting in Napa Valley, knew I also wanted to find a winery or excursion with a little something extra. We ended up staying at Silverado Resort and Spa for the weekend and when I mentioned we'd have a large group on Saturday, Visit Napa Valley recommended Sterling Vineyards. For a few more of my past favorite wineries, see this post. Below is a breakdown of our Friday-Sunday itinerary with details to follow.

The weekend itinerary:

Friday: 

4:00 pm: Check in at Silverado Resort and Spa, Napa

6:30 pm: Dinner at The Grill at Silverado Resort

Saturday: 

12:00 pm: Tasting at Sterling Vineyards, Calistoga

2:30 pm: Lunch at Brix, St. Helena Highway

5:00 pm: Drinks on the Patio Terrace Bar at Silverado Resort

9:00 pm: Late dinner at The Grill at Silverado

Sunday (the birthday): 

9:00 am: In-room breakfast at Silverado Resort

10:00 am: Pool time + Cabana at Silverado Resort

12:00 pm: Facial at The Spa at Silverado Resort

The Hotel

I knew I wanted somewhere with a little bit of everything to offer, somewhere we could enjoy ourselves without even needing to leave, and Silverado Resort and Spa truly exceeded my expectations. If you’re looking for something charming yet grand, elegant and tranquil, luxurious yet retreat-like, it really covers all the bases. Driving up to the resort was a dream. Nestled in the rolling hills of Wine Country, the resort is spread across acres of gorgeous greenery. Whether you're a golfer, prefer to be pampered or want to wine taste into the weekend, there's something to suit you. Prepare to be greeted at the Mansion before checking into one of their distinct neighborhoods. 

silverado resort and spa
silverado resort and spa

We stayed at the Mansion Estates, which felt tucked away and intimate but was still central and made it easy to get around. It felt like we were staying in our own little 1-bedroom bungalow. With a full kitchen and our own side and back patio, it was light and bright and had everything we could need for the weekend. 

silverado resort mansion estates
silverado resort napa
silverado resort and spa room
silverado resort
birthday weekend in napa
silverado resort outdoors

After settling into our room, we meandered out to discover the layout of the resort. We were located right near one of their 10 pools, a quick hop away from their tennis courts, and right to the side of their Wedding Suite and services. Sidenote: The Mansion Garden was breathtaking and if you're looking for a scenic space in Wine Country for your big day, I highly recommend taking a look.

silverado resort mansion garden
silverado resort mansion garden

We popped into their nearby Marketplace and Café which was perfect for grabbing snacks and anything extra we needed. After stocking up on wine, cheese & crackers and salami, we enjoyed our self-made charcuterie plate and a quick drink on our patio overlooking the lush landscape. Truly the perfect way to set the weekend. After that, we had dinner at their restaurant, The Grill. I highly recommend the mussels and grilled artichoke. The restaurant overlooks the golf course and, while I am no golfer, I was told this is *the* place to do it. We ended the evening exploring the gardens and finished with chocolate covered strawberries and in bed and if that's not the perfect day, I don't know what is. 

summer style in napa
silverado resort Grill
silverado resort grill
napa weekend getaway birthday

The Tasting

Saturday morning we had a tasting reservation at Sterling Vineyards in Calistoga. Friends and family met at Silverado and we took a Lyft up to the winery, about half an hour away, but you could just as easily book transportation for a larger group. In the past, I've loved Beau Wine Tours for a bachelorette weekend. As I mentioned, Sterling was the perfect way to wine taste with a little "something extra." When you get to the winery, you start with an aerial tram up to the tasting rooms and overlook. We booked their Silver Experience, which included a seated tasting and self-guided tour. Tip: Give yourself extra time than the allotted 1-hour tour to take in the view.

napa outfit ideas
nest wine tasting in napa
napa wine tasting outfit
napa valley outfit

After our tasting, we headed back down to Napa for lunch at Brix. This was the perfect setting for an outdoor lunch with an expansive view. The gardens and vineyard here were stunning and we sat at a large picnic table on the patio overlooking the orchard. This is a great place to do any gift-giving or to simply sit and relax outdoors for a while. 

lunch ideas in napa valley
lunch in napa valley
where to eat in napa valley
napa valley outfits
napa outfit wine tasting

After lunch, we returned to Silverado Resort to freshen up before drinks at the Mansion Bar. They have the perfect patio that overlooks the golf course. We ended up heading back to our room afterward for another charcuterie plate and chatted into the evening before another late dinner back at The Grill. The resort is so serene and really conducive to meandering from here to there, with easy little indoor/outdoor settings everywhere. You can even enjoy some bocce ball or cornhole. 

The Birthday

With Sunday being my actual birthday, I knew I wanted to wake up refreshed and ready to enjoy a relaxing day. Silverado Resort has a plethora of pools to choose from, which we took advantage of. I think having multiple resort pools created a more peaceful experience, as it wasn't overcrowded on a 90-degree weekend. Whether you take advantage of their cabana or not, there was plenty of room to have your own little private space.

silverado resort pool
white summer bikini
white summer bikini
white bikini and denim shorts

After the pool, I headed to my facial at The Spa. In my opinion, a little self-pampering can go a long way and is a must for any special event or occasion like your birthday. Their spa was the most peaceful setting and they offer plenty of space to relax, whether you book a skin service, massage or spa package. Stop by to enjoy their steam room, garden setting or private pool. Their Signature Facial was both relaxing and rejuvenating and my esthetician was personable, knowledgeable and professional. She took all my notes into account and gave me personal recommendations after the treatment.

silverado resort spa napa

While I was enjoying my facial, my boyfriend enjoyed their driving range, which he said was very affordable and I was told the green at Silverado is "like ice." Needless to say, we both finished off the weekend with something we loved that left us feeling renewed and refreshed. 

napa weekend getaway ideas

Whether you're headed to Wine Country for a birthday weekend, anniversary, girls trip or any getaway, I highly recommend a stay at Silverado Resort and letting Visit Napa Valley help plan your stay, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy yourself.

As always, thank you for reading and don't hesitate to reach out with any questions. 

Tyler

The outfits:

Vici Striped Dress

White Free People Dress

Revolve One Shoulder Top

Ella Moss Bikini

Madewell Lace-Up Sandals

Levi's Shorts

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This post is in collaboration with Silverado Resort and Visit Napa Valley. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.