Big Sur: a Big Deal

Trip Start Jun 13, 2010
Trip End Jun 30, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's cold on the coast, and foggy as all get out! I thought it was raining this a.m. when we got up, but it was just this fog hanging in the air.  There’s one way to defeat this fog:  cook that double-smoked bacon.  SO GOOD.  We had to take photos of the process…

After the most beautiful double-smoked bacon and avocado sandwich in the world, we got back into the Tangerine and headed for (more of) the coast.  We booked it to Monterey Bay, where we found a Visitor Center, free internet, and Mom’s stocking stuffer for this Christmas.  (Turns out it will be a fun day in that particular department!)

We also caught up with folks back home – found out via Facebook that our part of Ontario has been hit with BOTH an earthquake AND a tornado in the last day and a half.  Thanks Jennelle and Kristy for reassuring us that our home is still standing.  Wow.  Seems like our friends have been lucky too.  J

The Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey Bay is worth a stop… seal watching, people watching, chowder trying.  Seriously, if you’re hard up for a meal, then go ahead and wander up and down the Wharf and they will offer you enough samples to fill you up!  (We’d had our falafel wraps, so we were doing well). 

The seals were overwhelming, even amongst themselves.  Poor baby seals had to crowd surf over the others on the beach to move to anywhere.  Strange, indeed.  After opting out of paying to see seals we’d just viewed for free, we decided not to tour for whales, as they are out of season, and when we had enough of the very touristy shops, we thought we might hunt for another kind of deal.

We went to the American Tin Cannery outlet shops.  There weren’t many, but it turns out both Chris and I are into Van Heusen (?) style.  It was "50% plus then 10% plus 15% off “ day. I am pretty good at math, but I had to consult the boards for this one.  So… Chris bought a very cool button down and a light Tshirt. I got a pair of jeans, as this is the first time I’ve seen “curvy fit" and I knew I was in, no matter what.  They were $13. I also bought a fun IZOD Tshirt (that is a hot brand, for those of you out of the loop like me.).  Then, and this is the best part, I went into the Bass shoe warehouse.  These shoes are pricey. I have trouble buying sandals.  A pair that were $80 and fit perfectly, were $14.  Wow.

So, we thought we must have used up all our shopping luck at this point.  Truth is, I’ve been dragging Chris to various shops for the PERFECT stocking stuffer for Georgie and Jaclyn, only available in the States.  So – not kidding – we also find this at the outlets.  Brace yourselves, girls.  This is going to be incredible.

We stopped at a Safeway, picking up some amazing steak to go with our other things leftover from the Farmer’s Market.  Mmm… tonight we’re having campfire-roasted Monterey-spiced New York striploin with potatoes, Vidalia onions, and mushrooms.  We just finished the appetizer: elephant garlic with asiago cheese-encrusted bread. 

So… on the way up from the Watsonville to here… we started to head out to Pebble Beach, opting NOT to spend the $10 toll for the honour of seeing the golf course.  After a detour through Carmel (very ponsy?) we headed up the coast to the Big Sur area.  You must do this if you are here.  If you do nothing else, drive from Carmel to Big Sur.  It is glorious and picturesque, and absolutely stunning.  We will include a picture as proof, as I can’t put it into words.

Collectively, we’ve seen coasts:  New Zealand, Scotland, Newfoundland, British Columbia, and others.  However, we’ve not seen this.  How can it look so much like an amalgamation of all of these?  How can it capture that feeling of being on the edge of this PARTICULAR experience, without calling into question the others?  It seems like one of the greatest places on earth, especially for the time you’re passing through.  This is California – not the “Daisy Dukes, bikinis on top” of the INCREDIBLY popular Katy Perry song right now.  She’s missing the point.  California girls might be busy wearing things, doing things… but California, the “golden coast” she sings about, is right here waiting for you to just drive through it.

Now, we’re sitting at the Big Sur campground.  We’ve reserved the best campsite in the place - #109.  It’s at the head of the river.  The campfire is lit, the food is cooking (roasted elephant garlic with asiago bread for an appetizer, steak, mushrooms, potatoes, and onions for the main) and we are enjoying ourselves immensely.  I cannot believe it’s been just a week and a half since we left home. I am relaxed.  Life is perfect in many ways, and it’s back in perspective.  I love Orillia, but it’s easy to think sometimes that that is the centre of the universe, not just the centre of my current universe.  The world is big.  I am free.  The river is flowing.  Change is not only inevitable, but perhaps desirable. 

It sounds strange, and I know (for a lot of you) this is going to sound ridiculously poetic.  But I’ve been through many places in the last ten days that say one thing collectively:  the VERY solid world changes in relation to powerful forces that, at the time of their occurrence, likely seemed either inevitably slow-moving or immensely powerful and shocking.  Regardless, the world and its people adapt.  We survive. 

At the risk of sounding cliché, I, too, will (not only) survive. 
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Levonne on

Your time at Big Sur Campground sounds fabulous. My husband and I will be campground hosting there before too long and will get to spend months in that location. If you have a minute, drop by my blogs: Levonne's Pretty Pics and A Camp Host Housewife's Meanderings

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