On Tuesday we headed back to California Highway 1 and this time drove 30 miles South from Monterey to Big Sur, the breath-taking mountainous stretch that runs for about 70 miles along the Central California coastline.
Our first destination was lunch at Nepenthe, a restaurant built on a cliff 800 feet above the Pacific Ocean,
We got a seat on the edge of the terrace with a wonderful view.
The service was slow and the menu was way pricey. My veggie sandwich cost $17.50,
Still, I guess Nepenthe’s credits outweigh its debits, and when we left the restaurant about an hour-and-a-half after we’d arrived there was a pretty sizable crowd waiting around the terrace to be seated.
As for the Nepenthe experience, I felt that it was fine to do once, but I have no need to ever go there again. If I’d had to wait a long time for a seat – especially if I’d ended up with a seat without a view – I wouldn’t have felt that the experience would have been worth the view, especially since there are such lovely views to be gleaned for free from other lovely spots along Big Sur.
However, the restaurant’s gift shop – which one need not patronize the restaurant to enter – was another story.
I loved the Nepenthe gift shop. It was full of the neatest, prettiest, stuff.
In fact it was at the Nepenthe gift shop that I discovered the bedspread environment of my dreams:
I figured I could zip over to Joann Fabrics and for a fraction of that price and buy the material to make reasonable facsimiles of the quilts, skirts, throws and pillows of my Nepenthe Dream Bed.
Eh, it’ll never happen, of course. But it was nice to dream for a few minutes.
After lunch we turned and headed back north up California 1,
...until we arrived at the entrance road (unmarked along the highway but which Tom had found marked on a map) to Pfeiffer Beach,
…at the end of which was a walking path,
But then, really, what do I know?
After Pfeiffer Beach we headed back to Monterey, stopping for dinner at a restaurant we found in Pacific Grove called Coco’s,
I ordered the open-faced sirloin smothered in mushrooms and onions with a side wedge of lettuce with bleu cheese dressing, all of which was delicious. The steak was especially good, not always the case with steak – of which there are dozens of ways to ruin it – but this piece was rare as can be and so tender, and the garlic bread atop which it sat was tasty and soft.
…and the hot, fresh bread was so good, soft on the inside, just a little crispy on the outside.
On our way out of the restaurant we chatted for a few minutes with the friendly manager who, we learned, not only enjoyed his job but was a fervent practicing environmentalist, conservationist, and low-consumptionist.
We’ve been gifted with such a beautiful, wonderful planet, it’s nice to know that there are some people out there who consciously care about it..
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