Sunday, June 19, 2016

Big Sur: California

big sur. 
where do i even begin? this trip has been a long one in the making. we originally hoped to go in 2015, 
but that didn't happen, so early this year, we finally got it together and made it happen.
i've been wanting to go ever since i saw pictures, but my biggest draw was where we'd stay—deetjen's big sur inn
something about it was so serene and mystical. all i imagined doing was, well, nothing.
and let me tell you, that's exactly what we did. little to nothing. 

we flew into san jose, rented a car, and started the drive down hwy 1. the drive was part of the whole experience 
and i regret that the pictures barley do the scenery justice. 

below is capitola, our first stop. labeled the "the happiest little seaside town." with a title like that,
how could you not be intrigued to go?
i could not believe how much succulents there were. here i am buying a teeny tiny succulent at home depot for $5 
and they're just growing wild all over the place here! not fair. 
that's me [above] taking a picture [of below]
 "the little yaris that could"
on 17-mile drive in pebble beach, we stopped to see a few of the key sights, including the lone cypress.
and so, we begin the drive into big sur. 
come on people, look at that view! 
living in florida for 4+ years, you truly forget that there are higher elevation points than the nearest bridge. 
below is a shot of bixby bridge—it is the tallest single-span concrete bridge in the world.
ugh, this view!
deetjen's big sur inn. 
we stayed in the 13th Room (checked in on friday the 13th–lol)
the place has little to no words. built in the 1930's, most of what you will see is original. the place felt like we 
stepped into a completely different world—like walking through the wardrobe of c.s. lewis' chronicles of narnia. 
it felt like camping in a cabin, but our sheets were linen. while the bathroom barely fit two people, the soap 
looked like it was made for pharaohs. while the floors creaked, and the gaps on the walls let you see outside, 
the comfort and coziness of the place was no match. 
you see, very hard to explain.
for dinner that night, we ate at the inn's restaurant. 
again, looks like your grandma's house, yet i was looking for those michelin stars somewhere on the walls. 
mornings were breathtaking. 
the new-to-me-feeling of the crisp morning air felt so refreshing. while my nose turned red at the tip
(i'm from florida here!) my lungs felt rejuvenated and full of a new kind of air. fresh. new. renewed. ahh. 
coffee did not disappoint and we were told by the waitress the night before of a "bench" just behind the 
property, and if you find it you'll get a nice view of the coastline. 
so with coffees in hand, we searched. 
first time seeing the cypress trees was a bit hard to take in. they were massive.
walking (eh, hiking) to the top was a bit more exercise than anticipated. 
we got wifi at the top, a gorgeous view of the coastline, and the husband would not leave 
because he kept seeing whales. 
breakfast at deetjen's was equally satisfying and finger lickin' good. 
our first adventure was to julia pfieffer burns state park to see mcway falls and hike the ewolden trial. 
below, you see mcway falls—an 80-foot waterfall that falls directly into the ocean.
the color of the water, was just so. a crystal turquoise blue. 

and then the ewoldsen trail hike. this hike included lush redwood groves, crystal-clear streams, a few challenging 
climbs here-and-there (in my non-experienced opinion), and some spectacular ocean and mountain views. 
see what i mean...the views!
ok, maybe no one will find this amazing, but i did. 
in the shade these clovers were full out open and sturdy and bright. in the sunlight (below), they had their 
leaves down like a half-folded umbrella. i was so amazed. i kept pointing them out to the husband, who got 
tired after five sessions as i am sure our fellow hikers did too. but come on, our creation is so amazing!
after the hike, we popped in for appetizers and drinks at nepenthe—and to admire the view. 
the husband waiting for me to get naturally i ran out and took a picture.
 we went back to nepenthe with friends for dinner. 
the sunset, the view, the food...delicious. time spent with old friends, even more memorable
(but i do not have a picture of them...i know, i know...)
some dinner samplings.
next morning, we took a break from hiking (yeah, after one day!).
we ventured out to carmel-by-the-sea, because we missed it on the way into big sur due to time. 
we heard about the thermal cycle spa, refuge, that we just had to try. 
but first we stopped at big sur bakery. i read a lot about it online, and kinda had the idea of it being overrated
and hyped up, but that is furthest from the truth. as much as i cannot explain the beauty of the pacific coastline,
that is how much i am at a loss for words about the bakery items in the place. so, i will not even try. but, i
will tell you, i still have dreams about it and can slightly still taste the buttery dough of the
[several] strudels we had.
after the spa. 
i'll let you read all about it here, since i went into great detail on my instagram post.
again, please take note of these succulents just growing like weeds.
cute town of carmel-by-the-sea. 
it was a bit cold and windy that day, but we strolled, and soaked it in. 
we had dinner at a.w.shucks

driving back to big sur that evening.
earlier in the day, we wanted to pop in and see the sun portal [or called keyhole rock] at pfieffer beach. 
well, turns out it's not just a 'pop-in' type of place during the day. it was a full out car line, over 2-miles 
long and the parking was full! instead, we decided to stop by there later in the evening on the way back to the inn.
this place has purple sand! okay, it's not purple-purple, but the tint is purple, and that is cool enough for me. 
it was extremely windy [notice by babushka scarf] and cold. 
also, i learned [after the fact] that during the months of december and january, the sun will set right in the 
middle of the opening of the rock. in may, the sun set all the way to the far right (and it was cloudy!). go figure. 
but still, a gorgeous sight to see. 
evenings. my favorite.
morning walk to "the bench" and wifi.
after the "bench" hike, after breakfast, after big sur bakery [yet again] we took a short hike at pfieffer big sur
state park, and hiked the pfieffer falls and the valley view trails.
after the hike, we stopped at henry miller memorial library. we also found a book of inn's in the area,
 found deetjen's and the picture in the book was our 13th room—how cool!
that night i discovered the journals. oh my! why didn't i find them sooner?! this is a collection of journals, 
particular to the 13th room, and it has entries of all the guests that stayed before. about a dozen completely 
jam-packed, filled up pages. i was glued. stories about life, experiences, trails, joy, sadness. some wrote in 
beautiful script writing, others' was hard to read. some wrote in poems. some wrote one sentence. 
others spilled their heart. i took a couple shots of my favorites, but feel they are too personal and too precious 
to share for all the world to see. you'll have a book a room at deetjen's to read them.
the journals to the left are all the old ones. the one to the right is the current one. i also left some thoughts, 
hopes, and feelings in there. 
last dinner at deetjen's.
and then, between 1-3 a.m. we went to esalen for their mineral baths. 
no words [as usual]. 
[*pictures of esalen are not mine, since we were not allowed to use our phone and it was in the
 middle of the night.]
the morning we left, the fog was thick. it created the most majestic, mysterious, and surreal 
feeling. it was fitting. just as it felt like we stepped into another world when we arrived—once we left the fog, 
it felt that we stepped out of it as well.
until next time big sur.
of course we planned our drive back to the airport around big sur bakery's opening time!


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