Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Sunday at the Airport

Okay so after a lovely weekend, it's time to head home.   My flight leaves out of Monterey at 1:55 so I head off to the airport around 11:30am.   It's a very small airport and I'm through security in less than 10 minutes.  I have plenty of time to grab a bite to eat before they start boarding.   I grab a quick sandwich and read my book, while I wait for the plane to arrive and boarding to begin.   I'm not surprised to discover a few folks from the weekend are on my same flight.   Suddenly we look up and to see our flight has been delayed.   It is now not due to take off until 3:20.   About 30 minutes later, the departure time changes again, now it's 4:25, then suddenly it's 4:45.   We are all wishing now that we had driven.  We could be home earlier had we driven than we will be at this rate.    At about 3pm, just as we are settling in for the long day we are spending at the airport, they suddenly change the time again.  It’s now a 5:20 departure, no wait, make that 5:30! 
There’s nothing like spending the day in the Monterey Airport, with its 6 gates!  Woo hoo!

A Weekend of Surprises, Indulgences and even a Shooting Star.

Oh and an earthquake too!

A weekend in Big Sur turns out to be one fun filled adventure after another.   More food than any one person should ever hope to enjoy, lots of fun-filled decadent adventures and the opportunity to meet some amazing new people.   Away from the bright lights of Los Angeles, we got to see the most amazing star filled sky.   Stars really do twinkle.  There’s something magical about sitting in a hammock and staring up at the stars.  The Traveling Hillbilly was actually lucky enough to see not one, but two shooting stars! 
Just as we are about to doze off on our last night in paradise, the room begins to shake, and shake and shake.  We are all too familiar with this and instantly know we are experiencing an earthquake.   It goes on for quite a bit but luckily no one was hurt.   It turns out to be about a 5.3 and was centered nearby.  We finally doze off, knowing we have an early morning and a long trip home tomorrow.

All in all it was a great weekend and one I’ll remember for quite some time.

Sunset in Big Sur

A nature hike, cooking with Top Chef or photo session with Nigel Barker?

These are the decisions the Traveling Hillbilly must make for how to spend a Saturday.   How does one choose when those are the options?   But do I really need to choose?  It won’t make for a nice relaxing day in Big Sur, but it could be one fun filled day that creates a lot of great memories.   And it does.   We start the morning off with a nice guided hike through the area and get back just in time to take a cooking class with one of the former contestants from Top Chef.   Unfortunately the lesson involved mainly seafood dishes, not exactly the Traveling Hillbilly’s favorite food type.  
My cerviche, looks good but yuck!

The real Chef!
Then it’s off to a photo session with the renowned photographer, Nigel Barker.   Of course, there is wine and champagne involved and lots of great people around.  It turns out to be quite fun, much more so than I anticipated and we all have a great time.
My friend Meija during her photo sessions with Nigel Barker!
 Now it’s time for dinner!   Time to eat again?   Surprisingly I’m actually feeling a little hungry.

Hungry Anyone?

After a couple of days in Big Sur, I don’t think I could possibly eat anymore.   We have treated ourselves to three full meals a day, including dessert at lunch and dinner!  I don’t remember the last time, I’ve indulged like this.  The meals are fabulous, the desserts quite decadent and the wine and champagne, well they aren’t so bad either.   After a day of non-stop eating, we come back to the room only to discover yet more treats;   dark chocolate on the pillow, milk and cookies before bed, or how about some fruit and a nice Port?  All in all it’s been a very fun, food filled weekend and I still have another day and half to go.   I couldn’t possibly eat another bite.  Or could I?

The Traveling Hillbilly Does Big Sur…”Clothing Optional”

I’m heading off for a long weekend in Big Sur.   I’ll be staying at the lovely Ventana Inn & Spa, which is known as one of the “luxury” hotels in the area.    After some crazy busy times at work, I am looking forward to a few relaxing, kick back days.  
I arrive at the resort and check in to my room.   As I usually do upon arriving in a new place, I check out the hotel “book” to get some of the basic info, i.e. where the fitness room is located, the cost for internet access .   I am somewhat surprised to discover that there are some areas in the hotel, designated as “clothing optional.”   I know Big Sur is kind of known as a “hippy” area, but I was not expecting this at the Ventana Inn.   I had to admit though I was intrigued and my first thought was this could turn out to be a more interesting weekend than I anticipated.
I grab my book, go out onto the balcony of the room and jump into the hammock to read.   Let the relaxing get away begin!

Spotted a deer on my way to dinner