Category / Travel


Big Sur

I love returning to the Monterey Bay. This is where I exhale…where my heart and soul are in perfect rhythm. Growing up in Carmel in the mid 70’s-80’s I lived there at a time when it was filled with artists, hippies, dropouts and was sprinkled with a few people with affluence. Now the climate has shifted so much it is barely recognizable. The influx of money from Texas and Silicon Valley has indeed changed the physical appearance of this once quaint area with new construction and chain retailers.  But the core will never change.  When I return I do not see the new I simply feel the old. The simple.

My mom first took my brothers and I to Big Sur in 1976 when we were transplanted from snooty Conneticut to the wild west. I feel so deeply in love with this rugged coast line. With the canopy of trees that opened to a few tie dyed, rather dingy buildings. The scrappy and overly hairy men and women seemed free of all detachment and everyday stresses. I suppose this is what I have been searching for the past 40 years.  I find myself drawn back to Big Sur many many times each year to refuel and reconnect with that little 12 year old open hearted girl.

Much has changed but one that has not is Nepenthe. I have been eating there for almost 40 years and the Ambrosia burger never ever disappoints. If I close my eyes taking that first bite (which I do!) I am transported back in time.  The french fries are to die for but I always get the three bean salad. If they have Holly’s Banana Cream Pie get it without hesitation! Game changer!

My other childhood favorite is The Big Sur River Inn.  They have made some changes which I don’t love but I still must go every time. I’m not fond of the new entry or the closing of the gift shop. But Noelle’s Salmon Salad with Grilled Salmon is insanely fresh and tasty.  The once craved Fried Artichoke hearts are off the menu but the fries are good. Summer is too busy for me. But if you get there early enough to score a chair and sit in the river with a cocktail nothing will beat it.  I’m a winter gal so I love going in the off season (if there really is one) bundled up and watch the weather from inside. They have rooms to stay in as well thought I have not stayed in them.

Glen Oaks is my favorite romantic getaway. For years this was a small roadside motel. Over the past few years they have revamped the entire space. They have a lodge located off the highway but the cabins are so special. Tucked away in the trees some on the river across the street from the lodge In the morning they offer the most delicious fresh made donuts.  My only issue is that they book up so fast it is near impossible to get a cabin.  Their restaurant Big Sur Roadhouse Restaurant is great for wine and appetizers. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner.



There is a place I go to in my dreams. A magical place by the sea. There is a gentle breeze on my face and crispness in the air so I need a beanie. The seagrass is tall and vast and wonders over the sand dunes. My spirit in flight in this place. It resonates with the young innocent, sense of wonder, wide-eyed girl who still lives inside of me. Perhaps this is a made up place.. a combination of many places.

I was 18 years old I first travelled from my home in Northern California to Marin County. It was in 1984. I spent a long weekend in the hills of Mill Valley. Up a windy road lined with a mix of beat up VW’s and new white BMW college graduation gifts I entered an older hour. Three stories of creaking wood and overgrown trees almost engulfing the entryway. It was on this weekend that I was first introduced to the fairy filled area of Stinson Beach and Muir Beach.


This weekend has always remained in slow motion for me. Even though I don’t remember any of the names of the people I was with or any specific details. Something in this area ignited my little girl inside. She couldn’t drink the energy and essence fast enough. Several winters ago I was fortunate enough to rent a

home in the sand on Stinson Beach. Oh how my little girl giggled and twirled freely again. The dream was a reality on this beach. The sounds, the smell the floating feeling was now a reality. We drove up the road to Bolinas. A tiny village really. With a real biker dude kind of bar, small market, one or two little stores, funky health food store and on the way out of town this little produce stand. I felt like I was living in a movie. There was no one selling the gorgeous bounty

of fruit, vegetables, flowers and even fresh eggs. There was simply a scale and a notebook. An honor system for payment. I had to pinch myself. Was this for real? Innocent little girl was beside herself with joy. I spent last summer there in the same house for another week. Daily trips to Point Reyes Station to get my supplies of fresh bread, meat and vegetables. Every night a new surprise. In this entry you will find inspiring recipes and my suggestions for the area