Off to the meeting, but ended the day with a glorious drive up the Great Beach road and dinner at the Cliff House, a San Francisco icon that has provided elegant meals and amazing ocean views since 1863. We enjoyed a dinner of fresh halibut, San Fran sourdough bread, and an incredible sunset watching the condors and Californian pelicans whizzing by over the ocean.
After my last meeting, we headed out to Big Sur, with a late lunch stop in Santa Cruz, an eclectic beach town. We stopped at The Picnic Basket, a small beachside diner dedicated to simple, delicious food and treats, seasoned with lots of love. Local farmers, foragers, and artisans, including the famous Penny Ice Creamery, are the cornerstone of the seasonal menu. Sitting outside watching the college students, families and couples wander Beach Drive and the boardwalk provided for a delightful afternoon. Nearby is the Natural Bridges State Park that features a natural bridge across a section of the beach. It is also well known as a hotspot to see monarch butterfly migrations.
Continuing on Hwy 1 to Big Sur Lodge, a little rustic, but in a Redwood Forest and the Big Sur River, clear river water runs through it. On our first morning, we enjoyed coffee at our cottage porch feeding the stellar blue jays and then off for our Valley View hike. Within our first 200 yards, we were greeted by a doe, who just munched away as we walked passed.