We checked in, and after sitting on the beach for a while, and watching the sunset, we went to the wine tasting that they were having in the lobby. We definitely were the youngest people there. Also there were a nice couple from Massachusetts, a crazy drunk harmonica playing guy and his also drunk companion (quite talkative, if slurry), the employees of the bed and breakfast, and the winemaker. It became apparent that everyone in the bed and breakfast was going to dinner at really the only game in town, Hoppe’s Wine Bar. So that’s where we had dinner. After dinner, we wandered back to the room and watched the Huskies lose to Arizona before going to bed. Cayucos reminded both of us of Doc Martin–which is a British show about a Doctor in a small town. There’s was just something so sleepy about the whole place.
The next morning, we got an early start up to Big Sur. It was raining hard, and it was gray out. Of course, driving along the Pacific Coast, that made for some spectacular stormy pictures. The highlights of the drive were definitely the frisky elephant seals just short of San Simeon, and an absolutely enormous beach break somewhere around Pacific Valley. The waves there were huge, and they were breaking on the beach. Suicide for any surfer, but I’m sure the beach is surfable at times. We stopped at the Big Sur Bakery for brunch, one of Sarah’s favorite places in the whole entire world. We enjoyed a breakfast pizza and an omelette, and then continued on our way, knowing we would be back tomorrow.
We drove past our cabin on Highway 1 because we were too early to check in, and we wandered around Carmel for the afternoon. It was cold and wet, but you know, it’s Carmel so it’s fun to at least walk around. We checked into our little cabin in the woods and were pretty pleased with it. Off Highway 1, it’s off one of those unmarked roads and was surrounded by redwoods. Clearly, they had given a lot of thought to details. There were yoga mats, heated floors, a fire ready for lighting in the fire pit, tea, wine glasses, corkscrew, some games, wifi, and Dwell magazine.
We went out to Dinner at Deetjen’s, which is the original “hotel” in Big Sur. It’s a pretty funky place. Dinner was actually really good, but it was expensive. It was still raining hard after dinner, so Sarah and I just hung out in the cabin and listened to the rain on the rooftop. It’s almost a little unsettling to come to someplace that’s so secluded when you spend most of your time in the city. So of course, we had to watch something on Netflix. Haha.
The next morning, we drove up to have breakfast at the Big Sur Bakery–a scone for Sarah, a bran muffin for me, and a piece of potato fritatta to split–before we drove up to Andrew Molera State Park. My initial plan was that we would go on this 8 mile ridge hike, but we got a little side-tracked. The main attraction in Andrew Molera is the beach. It’s like a beach out of Lost. Seriously. It’s secluded because you have to hike a mile or so into the beach, and that weeds out a lot of people. Once you see the beach, it’s pretty nuts. Huge rocks, another huge beach break, tons of driftwood, and white sand. Spectacular. After wandering around for a while, and almost getting wet standing to close to the water, we started to hike up the bluff. The bluff hike wasn’t that interesting, so we turned around.
After hiking out, we went to Julia Pffeifer Burns State Park and looked at the famous Big Sur waterfall. Cool stuff. That didn’t last too long, so we went back to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (a different park), and went on a ranger recommended hike called the “Buzzard’s Roost.” You walk through the redwoods before it tops out on the west side of Highway 1 next to what must be an electrical sub-station. The hike was completely deserted. From the top, you can see the damage that the fires in 08 had on the east side of Highway 1. Highway 1 acted as a fire break. It’s very apparent where things burned.
After the long day, and nothing but trail mix and fruit, we were starving. We drove up to Pacific Grove to get dinner at Passionfish, which was great. (More details at http://www.vivalawino.com/2010/10/big-sur.html) On the way back, I stopped and got out of the car to look at the stars. Since there isn’t a whole lot of light on Highway 1, if there aren’t any cars, the stars are pretty spectacular. We came back to the cabin and lit a fire. I haven’t done that in a long time; the wood was wet and smoky. Sarah wanted to make S’mores, so we had stopped in Pacific Grove at Safeway and purchased supplies. We had a bottle of Champagne and hung out in the woods next to our smoky fire, which was fun. Then we went off to bed.
The next morning, we went to the Big Sur bakery again, before driving down to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park again and heading off into the redwoods. There is a lot of damage from the fires and the trail that we wanted to go on was closed. We still walked through the redwoods and dead-ended at a cool waterfall though. On the way back to LA, we stopped to watch the elephant seals again, and also saw the Hearst Castle heard of zebras on the side of the rode. We knew there were zebras, but still, it was a bit of a shock. We stopped and got lunch at a busy deli in San Luis Obispo which was populated mainly by college kids. It was good, in a college kind of way. Aside from some traffic, we made it back to LA in one piece. By the time we hit Sherman Oaks, I was already missing the tranquility of Big Sur.