Big Sur soothes, softens, surprises

January 23, 2013
Big Sur isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Are you surprised?
It’s in the middle of nowhere, around miles of winding curves.
There’s a sheer drop off to the west. 
It can be scary to drive, if you’re not used to it.

 It takes a long time to get there…45 minutes just from Carmel.
Sometimes, mudslides cut it off from the rest of the world.
Or wildfires.
It can be primitive.

 But it’s MY cup of tea, and has been since I first saw
 its jaw-dropping beauty
 in 1985. 
across from the River Inn
The sky oh-so-blue on an unseasonably warm January day. 
I mean, LOOK at that blue.

from patio at Nepenthe
And yet, the view changes every minute, 
with sun, clouds, sky and sea always shifting.

on patio at Big Sur Bakery
And then, its little luxurious pleasures.
Coffee artisans at the Big Sur Bakery make one hell of a coffee, 
each with its own design in the foam..

 Have you ever seen a chai tea latte with a flower drawn in honey? Me neither. 
Now, we’ve both seen one. It was delicious.
Icy cold, rushing Big Sur River soothes the soul. Listen below, it’s almost like being there:


 A bit further south, a sentry:

The iconic phoenix stands guard over the famous restaurant, Nepenthe. 
It’s a place I’ve gone to laugh, cry, love, regenerate, celebrate, write 
and I even made a decision to divorce someone there. 
It was the site of a first date, was once a frequent girls’ lunch spot, 
a place to show-off to visitors and it had its own role in 
the Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton movie, The Sandpiper.  
Nepenthe is, without a doubt, the single most significant place to my life.

 A painting captures the colorful essence of the dining patio just next to the fire pit.

Fountains in the lush garden send ripples of peace out to the world around them
A beautiful place to rest for a moment.

Stop and listen:

Big Sur never fails to surprise. I was there the other day after a long cold spell. 
It was 70 degrees, but we spied this in the corner near the river:

We moved in for a closer look:

Snow. First time I’ve seen snow at Big Sur.

My Big Sur. 
And, it turns out, snowy.

5 comments on “Big Sur soothes, softens, surprises
  1. Robin says:

    Wow! Just gorgeous, but the last time I was on the Pacific Coast Highway, I promised G-d if I survived, I’d think twice about going back. So beautiful, but scary! Love your video clips and the refreshing sounds of bubbling water. Very Nice, Fondly, Robin

  2. Ellen Dolgen says:

    Beautiful photos of a beautiful place :>)

  3. I’ve never been to Big Sur. That said, your photos make me want to visit. Howe beautiful. And I love the painting of the patio too; just my speed.
    I’m visiting Carmel CA in September so I think I’ll try to get to Big Sur.
    Thank you!

  4. I feel exactly like Robin, we went DOWN pacific coast highway, so the Outside. I really really thought I would die (and I was 21). Not sure this old heart could handle it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In 1985, I assisted CalTrans at a check point on SR-1 to make sure only residents had access due to raging wild fires. Why didn’t you stop and say hello?

    That stretch south of Carmel is wonderful on a motorcycle. Remember Then Came Bronson?

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