Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Get Ready for this Year's Carmel Bach Festival's Cottages, Gardens & Cantatas Tour!

The Carmel Bach Festival will be holding its  "2016 Cottages, Gardens & Cantanta" home tour, on Saturday April 30, 2016 starting at 10:00 am.  These events are always pretty special, offering an opportunity to stroll through some beautiful historic homes where you can enjoy some great architecture, great art and of course, great music. This year looks to be even better.  As we wait for the big day we here at Adventures of a Home Town Tourist thought you might like to see our write up from last year's great event. It will give you a taste of what you can expect from this year's event.  Please enjoy.

Carmel Bach Festival Cottages, Gardens &

 Cantatas - Part 1 - May 2, 2015

Dene Denny and Hazel Watrous, musical producers and owners of the Dene-Watrous Gallery, believed that Carmel-by-the-Sea should be the epicenter of world-class music, art and cultural expression.  In 1935 they set out to make their dream a reality by founding the Carmel Bach Festival

The festival began as a four-day concert series at the Sunset School Auditorium and the Carmel Mission.  This year, in its 78th Season, the Carmel Bach Festival will feature 38 concerts, 154 musicians and 34 free events!

On May 2nd the Carmel Bach Festival, following in the creative footsteps of their founders Denny and Watrous, held their second Cottages, Gardens and Cantatas, featuring five homes and gardens in Carmel-by-the-Sea and the Carmel Point area. Each home, venue, entertained us with live music! The first stop, The Hess Home.

The Hess Home 
NE Corner Torres and 11th 

A graduate of West Point in 1907, Col. Watson became a skilled pilot.  He led the first flight over the Sierra Nevada and instituted the aerial patrols of the National Forests during World War I.
After retiring in 1922, Col. Watson came to Carmel with his wife, Eleanor "Nell" Ewing, and their children and took up residence in the home on Torres and 11th.  In 1927 the family moved to Twenty-nine Palms and another military family occupied the house.
In 1948 the property was sold to Countess Claude deKinnoull.  The Countess was born Enid Hamilton-Fellows, only child of Ernest Gaddesden Fellows and Margaret Hamilton Wills a wealthy British family.  Margaret's father was Sir Frederick Wills, one of the founders of The Imperial Group, one of the world's largest tobacco companies.   
Enid Hamilton-Fellows acquired her title Countess when she married George Hay the 14th Earl of Kinnoull (Scotland) in 1923.  The marriage lasted only four years and she never remarried.  

While she was studying art in Spain, the Countess became a supporter of General Francisco Franco.  She traveled with General Franco, filming his press reports, as he led the Nationalists to victory over the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War in 1939.

During World War II the Countess worked with the British and French secret service to expose Communist agents.  When Germany invaded France, she used her relationship with Franco, now the leader of Spain, to attain passage to the United States in 1940.  

The Hess family purchased the property in 1994 and have continued to restore the house and gardens.  Keeping with the interesting backgrounds of the owners of this house, Ken Hess created Family Tree Makerwhich is now part of ancestry.com.    

Our tour begins just outside the gate.  

Inside the gate the garden is in full bloom.

It is difficult to capture the grandeur, 

style, and beauty of this home with one picture. 

The courtyard features a tranquil fountain,

conversational sitting area 

and warm fireplace.

Every garden pot contains a whimsical feature. 

Fourteen year old Max Afifi played the Hess family
 grand piano for our enjoyment.  

The dining table base is made out of 

the wishing well formerly located in the front garden. 

Spectacular gardens feature hybrid tea roses surrounding a small version of the fountain from the Carmel Mission courtyard,

a stately Norfolk Island Pine,

the "Tilted Column" sculpture by Albert Paley,  

other sculptures,

a serene pond with fountain,

The next house on the tour, Carrickmacross, is five blocks south on Lincoln Avenue.

2 SW of 13th on Lincoln 

Carrickmacross cottage sits behind a hedge of perfectly manicured ivy arches. The name Carrickmacross (Irish: Carraig Mhachaire Rois, meaning "rock of the wooded plain") was the village in County Monaghan, Ireland where the current owners father was raised. 

A rabbit mural painted by local artist Cary Crockett
 is above the fireplace mantle.  

The Wurlitzer baby grand piano has been in the family for generations.  It was purchased from a convent in Southern California.  During the Bach House Tour, Cailyn Schmidt played Italian composer Giuseppe Scarlatti's Sonata E Major K380.

Next Up: Carmel Bach Festival Cottages, Gardens & Cantatas Part 2
The following video shows highlights of the 2nd Annual Bach Festival House Tour. 

___ Pictures
Dene Denny and Hazel Watrous - Photo courtesy of the Harrison Library Local History Room.
Aerial photograph courtesy of homeowners of The Hess House.
Photo from 1985 for the entrance to The Hess property - Courtesy of the homeowners of The Hess House.
Photo of the wishing well in the front garden - Courtesy of the homeowners of The Hess House.
All the rest of the photos by L. A. Momboisse.

Dene Denny and Hazel Watrous - Photo courtesy of the Harrison Library Local History Room.
Aerial photograph courtesy of homeowners of The Hess House.
Photo from 1985 for the entrance to The Hess property - Courtesy of the homeowners of The Hess House.
Photo of the wishing well in the front garden - Courtesy of the homeowners of The Hess House.
All the rest of the photos by L. A. Momboisse.

This impressive estate on 1 1/2 acres sits just outside the 11th Street entrance to Mission Trails Park. The stucco, Spanish Eclectic style, house was built 1925 for Col. Henry L. Watson.

The Countess was drawn to the artist community of Carmel and made it her final home.  She lived in the Spanish style home at Torres and 11th from 1948 until her death in 1985. During her time in Carmel she served on the board of the Monterey County SPCA, was an active member of the Carmel Art Association, and fought against the commercialization of Carmel at Council meetings.  

and a "tree of life" mosaic believed to have been made by the Countess herself. The mosaic was originally over the fireplace in the living room but was moved to just outside the back gate.

The patio stonework, done by Martin Guetierrez, extends the entertainment area seamlessly from indoor to out.
To view a map of the homes featured in this blog, please visit this link.  

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Carmel's 20th Annual Breakfast with the Bunny

Carmel Host Lions Club, which has been serving Carmel since 1942, opened Easter weekend with their 20th Annual Breakfast with The Bunny in Devendorf Park this morning. 

Volunteers cooked up the voluminous amount of pancakes necessary to feed all of the hungry visitors. 



Bunny was on hand to greet the guests which included Mayor Jason Burnett, Councilman Steve Dallas, Councilwoman Carrie Theis, and current candidate for City Council Bobby Richards.  



Bunnyland was a plethora of activities: face-painting, sack racing, hopper balls, and of course the very popular bunny petting put on by Animal Friends Rescue Project. 

Raffle tickets were flying off the table as everyone wanted a change to win one of the Easter baskets filled with goodies.  And for one lucky person, they would leave today with a brand new shinny bicycle from Target.  

Thanks to all of the volunteers and sponsors, Little Swiss Cafe, Carmel Bakery, Lugano Swiss Bistro, Carmel High School, Carmel Print & Copy, City of Carmel, and Carmel Pine Cone. Everyone had a wonderful time celebrating our beautiful Spring weather.
Photography by L.A. Momboisse and R.M. Momboisse unless listed below:
Photo of Carmel Host Lions volunteers courtesy of Carmel Host Lions Club

Fairy Tale Houses of Carmel-by-the-Sea (2016)

One Hour Walking Tour From The Tour Bus Stop
Historical Hill District featuring Homes of Hugh Comstock

Welcome to Carmel-by-the-Sea! Tour buses roll down Ocean Avenue and park at the corner of Junipero and Ocean, behind the Carmel Plaza.  

Tour bus drivers give their fare one hour (sometimes less) to tour town on their own.  I have put together a few ideas featuring different interests. This one architecture and the Fairy Tale Houses of the Comstock Historical Hill District.

If coffee or snack are necessary prerequisites for a walk, take a left at the corner of Junipero and Ocean. 

Look for the sculpture,

the alley between Bottega Veneta and Kate Spade

leads to the inner quadrangle of the second level.  To the left is an ATM machine.  At the opposite end of the plaza next to Anthropologie is the elevator to all levels.  

Take the stairs to the first level of the Plaza

 to  Carmel Coffee and Cocoa Bar
lower level Carmel Plaza

 on the corner to the right as you exit the stairs.    

Here you will find a wide selection of specialty 
coffees and teas, along with pastries,
 salads and sandwiches.
You will not go hungry
or thirsty in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

To reach the Comstock Historical Hill District, cross Ocean Avenue at Junipero and stroll (no dawdling, we have a time limit) through Devendorf Park. You will know that you are in the right place when you see the NO DOG signs.  One of the few places in Carmel where doggies are not allowed.  

The land for Devendorf Park was given to the city of Carmel by the Father of Carmel-by-the-Sea, James Franklin  Devendorf

 It was Mr. Devendorf along with developer Frank Powers who founded the town at the turn of the 20th century.  Besides the bust of Devendorf look for the wooden statue of  Saint Junipero Serra 

and the Veterans Memorials for
 World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.  

When you exit the park by the statue of Blessed Junipero Serra you will face Vesuvio one of our secret places  (shh...don't tell anyone) -

where most drinks and bar food are half off
for Happy Hour Friday and Saturday from 4 to 6PM.

But I digress, you have no time for that in one hour (unless your bus arrived at 4pm on a Friday or Saturday).  Not likely, so on with the tour. Before we go any further, does anyone in your party have to use the restroom? If so now is the perfect time.  You will find a public restroom (made possible by former Mayor Clint Eastwood) at the SW Corner of Junipero and 6th.   

Cross  Junipero and 6th to
Brunos Market and Deli, 

a perfect place to get a sandwich, made to order.  Or if you are in need of any toiletries or over the counter medication they have a good variety. 

In need of stamps for your postcards,
 you will find that at
Surf n Sand next door. 

Do not be tempted by Bruno's parking lot barbecue.  But do say hi to the cook when you walk by.  You will find him over the barbecue everyday, rain or shine until around 11 am.

Now we are off to visit the Comstock Fairy Tale Houses. Turn left at Torres and climb the hill to Hansel and Gretel. Hansel, the original Doll House was built in 1924 by Hugh Comstock for his wife Mayotta's Otsy-Totsy dolls.

 These are the views you will see from Torres Street
 Hansel above, Gretel below.

On the northeast corner of 6th and Torres is Hugh W. Comstock Residence, formerly known as "Obers," the residence that Hugh Comstock built for himself and his wife Mayotta in 1925.

Next door on the northwest corner of 6th and Santa Fe is The Studio, built by Comstock in 1927 originally as his office. 

Turn left at Santa Fe.  The fourth house from the corner on the west side of the street is  Our House

Mr. Comstock built this for his client, Elizabeth Armstrong in 1928.  This house is a bit difficult to see from Santa Fe, but you will know you have the correct house when you spot the narrow arched three-light casement window with a wood shutter of the same shape with heart shape cut out. 

Continue up to the end of the block to find A Storybook Cottage. The original 384 square foot cottage was built in 1926 by Mr. Comstock's father-in-law, Thomas M. Browne.  

Turn around and walk back to 6th Avenue and turn left up the hill.  The next five cottages were built by Hugh Comstock for his client real estate developer, W. O. Swain. 

The first cottage is  Honeymoon, reminiscent of a small Anne Hathaway Cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon. 

Next door on the southwest corner of 6th and Santa Rita is Birthday House, here Mr. Comstock used the New England "saltbox style" when designing this cottage for Mr. Swain.  Below is the elevation seen from 6th. 

Turn right at the corner of 6th and Santa Rita to see this elevation of Birthday House. 

Next door heading in the direction of Ocean Avenue is  Fables.  Mr. Swain asked that this cottage be built in a French country farmhouse style with a polygonal hipped roof.  Sure, Mr. Comstock said and produced this masterpiece. 

Next door find  Doll's House, also built for Mr. Swain. 

Turn right at Ocean and hug the "sidewalk," the first house you will pass is  Ocean House, an English Cotswold style, and the smallest of the cottages built for Mr. Swain.  

Continue down Ocean, cross Santa Fe to the northeast corner of Ocean and Torres.  This is the last of the eleven homes built by Comstock in this district,  The Woods,  built for Mary Young Hunter in 1927.  

From here you should be able to see your bus waiting for you two blocks away at the Carmel Plaza. At least I hope they are still waiting.  Continue down Ocean to Devendorf Park and cross over to Carmel Plaza. If someone in your party needs to use the restroom before getting back on the bus, there is a public restroom on the third level of Carmel Plaza, just to the left when you exit the elevator. 

Thank you for visiting! Happy Adventures.

For an interactive map and guided walking tour covering this and many of our other  tours please be sure to download the GPSmyCity App from the iTunes store.  The  App covers an extensive library of articles and walking tours from over 470 cities worldwide, and now features articles from  Adventures of a Home Town Tourist covering Carmel and Monterey (with more cities on the way).  Click the City Walks logo below to get your free App today.

*The App is free, though a small fee will apply to activate some enhanced features.
L.A. Momboisse www.carmelbytheseaca.blogspot.com