We had a lovely time today. We left around 9:30 and stopped for breakfast at the Highlands Inn in Carmel (the pictures on their website are gorgeous). I had a ham and cheese panini and Ed had a scramble with three kinds of cheese.
Of course, I took some pictures. This is the view from the deck at Highlands Inn, of Yankee Point. The interesting thing is that Ed worked at the restaurant in the 1960's, and there met his dear friend Anthony Lo Schiavo, who was painting portraits in the lobby. Still our dear friend -- and he has a painting of the Carmel Mission in the Vatican!
We headed down the road and turned off at Paso Colorado to visit Bottcher's Gap, part of a national forest and waaay down a very narrow, 9-mile road. It's nice there, but today every midge and bee within a 10-mile radius decided to check it out. I painted a page in my watercolor journal, but it was so icky batting flies away all the time that we left sooner than we probably would have otherwise.
We stopped at Nepenthe in Big Sur, a restaurant that has been there since the 1930's and in my opinion is in one of the most beautiful places on this earth. It was jam-packed with cars and people, so Ed waited in the car while I ran into the Phoenix shop to get some fancy soap. I'm thinking that somewhere in Santa Cruz they must have nice soap :) but I only buy soap at Nepenthe and that always gives me an excuse to say, "Hey, we need to take a drive down to Big Sur." We need to.
After that, we stopped for a cocktail and snack at Ventana, another beautiful hotel with a gorgeous view. The picture above is a view of the hills from their deck.
I love the flowers at Big Sur -- every place has beautiful flowers. These are from my favorite photo op spot -- outside the River Inn. They have large plantings of flowers that seem to always be at the height of their glory. I loved the yellow flowers (coneflowers?) and the one below was just spectacular --
I don't know what this flower is (I'm sure someone will tell me), but it looked like the band around the center was gold -- it was sparkly and so beautiful in the sun.
Anyway, that was our lovely day, except for the two gigantic traffic jams on the way home. One had us stopped dead for 35-40 minutes by the Bixby Bridge, one of the iconic views of the area, so that wasn't too bad. Everyone was out of their cars and taking pictures.
I have a few more pictures of the flowers to process; I'll show them in the next couple of days. All in all, a very nice day (and I got four bars of smelly soap!).