Big Sur, Nepenthe & a birthday celebration

May 10, 2011
This photo by Cheri O’Neill

Those of you who know Big Sur know that this is the iconic phoenix sculpture that sits out front at my favorite place in the world, Nepenthe restaurant,
where I took my wonderful friend, Cheri,
for a belated birthday celebration. Nepenthe
sits on a cliff overlooking the Pacific, and
there’s no more fabulous place to lunch
on a gorgeous day. Which it was.

These stone benches are for waiting, something I’ve rarely had to do there. Which is a good thing, because even with the colorful pillows, stone is hard.
But the view is worth the wait, and so is the food.
The view overlooking the ocean. It’s hard to do it justice.
That round thing is actually a mosaic, and the colorful umbrellas provide shade
from the merciless summer sun. Even though the coast can be chilly,
the sun beats down hard on the hill in summer.
Since it was a birthday celebration,
we had to share a piece of cake.
Many jokes about whether we could eat it all.
The outcome.
Later, in the car, Cheri said, apropos of nothing,
“I can’t believe we left that bite of cake.”

Who is that piggy little bird helping himself
to pecan-encrusted goat cheese? For the best
view of him, double click his photos to enlarge.
I promise you’ll laugh.
The blue jays are very aggressively gluttonous at Nepenthe.
They know how good the chefs are.

No fear at all. In fact, he posed for us.
If only he knew that a beak full of
goat cheese is not his best look.
Yes, double-click to enlarge.

Thankfully, we did get to eat most of it.
This place makes me smile. It’s been the site of so
many wonderful times with friends and loved ones over three decades.
And I’ve even sat here with my laptop and written.
My soul is always at peace here.

More on Big Sur later this week.

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