Come to Your Senses + Slow Down

The uninhibited wildness and tranquility of Big Sur was showcased in the turquoise waters lapping up against dramatic cliffs.  At Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, plunging waterfalls cascaded onto undisturbed beaches and coves below. The faint, hoarse bark of elephant seals and occasional cry of a red-tailed hawk were the only sounds alerting me the present.

Henry Miller described Big Sur as “a region where extremes meet, where one is always conscious of weather, of space, of grandeur, and of eloquent silence.”

It is enchanting.

Although many people go to Big Sur to detach and remove themselves from the complexities of life, my inclination was keen awareness. Rather than slip away, I arrived.

The Westward sun was setting, and a much-anticipated meal at Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant awaited us. Nationally recognized for their rustic cuisine centered on the offerings of the season, I expected a large, bustling establishment.

My assumption was incorrect.

Instead, Big Sur Bakery was intimate and personal. You’d never know they were so widely esteemed by their unpretentious charm and hospitality.

Curly piles of lola rosa and mache lettuces were  the foundation of our first course: a salad infused with pistachios, peaches, feta, creamy garlic, and green beans. Pomegranate soda pop refreshed us between leisurely bites. This was slow food.

Big Sur Bakery is celebrated for their wood-fired pizzas. The butternut squash pizza with sage, prosciutto and brown butter took me forever to eat, because every mouthful led me to close my eyes and meditate on its goodness. Coincidentally, butternut squash, sage, and brown butter is also my favorite combination in ravioli.

Our meal left me feeling comforted and renewed. Funny how food (and good company) can do that.

When we strolled outside the sun had set. Both our meal and the expansive night sky reflected simple abundance.

We found rest.

Barbara Millar - August 3, 2010 - 2:45 pm

Lovely colors and beautiful photos — fun to experience your trip through them.

Kristin Ritzau - August 3, 2010 - 5:30 pm

“Rather than slip away, I arrived.” Just the most amazing line. Love it. I want to go there after reading this and seeing your once again ever lovely photos! Glad you were able to rest.

daniel + megan - August 4, 2010 - 10:13 pm

thanks kristin. cool, now I’ve been complimented on my writing by a published author! :D

daniel + megan - August 4, 2010 - 10:13 pm

thanks mom :)

Misty - May 18, 2011 - 5:40 pm

Ben & I were here just a few months ago, and maybe we decided to spend our honeymoon in big sur 1. for the big sur bakery and 2. for deetjen’s. If you didn’t get a chance to go there, you really should. It is wonderful. We spent two rainy days “arriving” at the bakery and on little walks around the little trails along the ocean – including near Julia Pfieffer. They let us sit and read and write for as long as we wanted. Your blog is really bringing me back and making me wish December were sooner!
I’m glad you were able to enjoy this special place. Did you go to the Henry Miller bookstore? Also Fantastic! :)

daniel - May 26, 2011 - 3:12 pm

Misty, GREAT idea for a Honeymoon location! It definitely suits you both. The waterfall and trails at Julia Pfieffer are pure magic. I’ve never heard of deetjen’s, but we’ll have to check it out. We passed by the Henry Miller bookstore, but I think it was closed at the time. It looked cool though. We’ll have to go there next time we make it through Big Sur. Now I’m craving hiking and delicious locally grown food! =)

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