Days like today make it very hard to sit inside a windowless office. I let my mind drift to days past when tropical breezes ruffled my hair, exotic birds sang their song and this was the view from my window.
One of my favorite magazines, Saveur. This month's issue has "Classic Roman Food". After finishing the feature, I wanted to go back to Rome,now!
A Traveler's Library is a great blog for both the traveler and reader. It was here that I discovered Donna Leon's book, "The Girl of His Dreams", set in Venice. I know this is supposed to be about Rome but it's still Italy.
I can't believe that it's been a month since my little mini vacation to the Monterey Peninsula. In a previous post, I spoke of having lunch at Ventana but I didn't mention our stop at the Mission Ranch. The weather was glorious down and back to Big Sur. As we were returning to Pacific Grove, along came the fog. Fog is the norm on the Peninsula. In fact, the summer months produce the most fog. Maybe that's why I like the tropics/Hawaii, too much fog as a young child!
This is the view from the entrance to the patio of the Mission Ranch.
Mission Ranch Pasture
Travel Note: In the background is the California State Park, Point Lobos . If you are ever in the area, this park is a wonderful place to hike. Parking is limited so arrive early.
The Mission Ranch is another place that resonates with me as well as my family. My mother remembers as a little girl traveling by bus to the Mission Ranch with her parents, to have dinner. This would be the late 40's. In the early '80's, she became the Manager of the restaurant.
I also waited tables on Sunday Brunch during her time as well (thoughts of wearing long skirts, carrying large trays and walking up and down stairs, not good).This was way before Clint Eastwood bought the place. My step-sister, had her wedding reception here in the "Barn".
There is live music every evening at the piano bar. A fun place to see the locals and tourists rub elbows even singing and dancing. One the best people watching venue. If the piano bar is too rowdy for you and the sun is still up, sit outside and enjoy the view. Sorry for the poor picture of the bar, the copper was wrecking havoc with my flash.
When I was younger, the crowd was a bit too old for me, so this wasn't one of my regular hangouts. My haunt was Jack London's in Carmel proper, which is now gone. But the Mission Ranch is still here, thank you Mr. Eastwood.
The Mission Ranch also has hotel accommodations and tennis courts but the surrounding area is what makes this place so special.
Maybe it's the open spaces of the pastures or the live stock or the Monterey Cypresses that surround the property or the view of the Pacific Ocean. Whatever it is, it feels very different than downtown Carmel. You actually feel like you are on the rural edge.
Being tucked behind the Carmel Mission and on the edge of a residential area, the Mission Ranch can be hard to find. Basically find the Mission, turn on the side street (Lausen Drive), follow until you run into the driveway of the property. If you see the tennis courts on your left, you are there.
If you find yourself on the Monterey Peninsula or Carmel area, I recommend you to stop and take in a little history. You might even be lucky and have clear skies!
Anyway this little day trip to Big Sur ended up being a trip down memory lane.
As my mother said many years ago, "Deborah, you were born with the case of the goes. You want to go here and there." Today is no different. Outside my door,it is raining non-stop and the temperature is 48 degrees. When I see a picture as above, I can't help thinking of fresh seafood, warm Mediterranean breezes and sandal clad feet. So if I can't pack my bags for another adventure; I will read and daydream. Enjoy.
In earlier posts I have spoken of embracing the season in which we are experiencing. Not to complain or ask for the next season to come quickly but to truly be in the moment of this season. I have shared with your my love of winter citrus and winter squash. I am still embracing Winter but it's confusing when you see these wonderful, happy looking flowers.
Do daffodils make you smile? I took these pictures two weeks ago. When I drive by these clumps of yellow and white happiness, it's hard not to smile.
Technically we have a week and half of winter left.The past two days winter has unleashed another snow storm and hard frosts at us.
Yes, it's winter and I still stick to my guns about embracing the season, but the daffodils seem to be the harbinger ofSpring. Oh by the way, I'm smiling as I write this post!
Do you know that there are only 59 days left of the Cuties season? That's right, the winter season is winding down.
I love Cuties because how easy they are to peel, the sweetness and the small size. Very cute! These little guys are one of my "seasonal" loves.
Seasonal has become a buzz word thanks to great restaurateurs and chefs (i.e Alice Water etc) , Whole foods and the Slow food Movement. But I remember growing up in central California and only having seasonal produce. We didn't have have Cherries or Strawberries in December. No, sir. Thanks (maybe) to better/faster transportation; the face of the produce section of our markets has changed. I won't buy produce that isn't in season, here where I live.
Today I can't wait for the cherries to come into season or tasting the first peach of summer. For me these seasonal flavors are part of living in the moment and embracing the season.
So for now, I am embracing what's left of winter and my little cuties.