In just a few days I will be catching a plane to Mexico City and since summer is almost upon us, maybe some of you are about to travel too! Here are some snapshots of one of my favorite areas in the world, Carmel and of course, Big Sur! Earlier in the year we had a few weekend adventures southbound to honor both the loss of a beloved and dear longtime family friend and to celebrate the release of a poetry book by someone else I have known for many years.
As a child in the seventies, our mother would take us "down the coast" all of the time to visit my Great Aunt in Lucia and to "see the sights". River Inn and Nepenthe were among the usual stops en route to our destination after pit stops in Carmel, her dream place to live. Stories of her youth, tales of the notable artists and poets who spent time in the region, nature walks and journal writing would help us pass the time. Eventually, when I was 10, my Mom got her wish and we relocated there. It was a rocky life back then in Carmel, and often a struggle, but the 10 years I spent living along that comforting and familiar coast line, be it Carmel, Carmel Valley, New Monterey or Pacific Grove (I moved about 10 times in 10 years!) made a huge imprint on me and the area became my sanctuary. When things were difficult, I would get on my bike, ride to the beach and look to nature for solace. Being away from it for so many years sort of made me forget this feeling and fortunately, my life is not as difficult as it was back then. As we walked around my familiar stomping grounds, all of those memories and feelings came flooding back and brought me "home" again. This place, I thought at the time, is a part of me and will be forever.
The beauty of the Monterey Peninsula, Carmel and the Big Sure Coast has to be seen and experienced to truly get a sense of what a magical place it is. If you only have a weekend, it's definitely worth the trip.