Di Yin and I went down once again to Carmel on January 3, 2009. We stopped by Dakao in San Jose to pick up banh mi sandwiches for later, then by Cafe Brasil in Santa Cruz for brunch. Of the dishes we tried, the best dish served in this colorful, lively, quirkily-decorated Brazilian eatery was an acai berry smoothie topped with bananas, strawberries, and granola.

Once in Carmel, we walked through the town, window-shopping, for a while before I settled on the beach to read. I only lasted there for two hours before I decided it was too cold--50s--and I wanted to move my limbs and walk around again. We settled in a cafe and, later, the library. At dusk we walked around the town enjoying the holiday lights and decoration, drove along the beach as night fell, and then headed home. On the way back, we stopped at a Hong Kong-style restaurant in Sunnyvale.

Di Yin's pictures are online, starting from this one in the album. When you hit the picture of red bean soup, that's the end of the pictures from this trip.