Tuesday, November 10, 2009

adventures in marriage

Looking for a place to celebrate our four year wedding anniversary, that would also fit into a three day weekend, we decided on the Central Coast town of Moss Landing. Our get~a~way to this tiny place (population 300) located on the shores of Monterey Bay seemed perfect. We found a lovely Bed & Breakfast located right at the mouth of Elkhorn Slough
the largest salt marsh in California aside from San Francisco. Almost right from our B & B we could go for a paddle, take a hike, walk to dinner, even go antiquing. And, as a bonus, we'd take the route through Big Sur on the way up.

Packing our enthusiasm and kayaks we headed north...

Big Sur, California

There is no place like Big Sur.
It's magical, mystical, meditative, magnificent.

Here is the mouth of the Big Sur River at
Andrew Molera State Park.
It's a short hike from the highway to the shore,
about one mile.
Walking along the river, we saw deer.

We're here! at the Captain's Inn. We can hear sea lions barking out on the water and the fog horn blowing. I can tell this salty air is going to give me an appetite.

My husband, sweetie, ordered the
Romance package as a surprise.
These roses were among the treats waiting for us in our room!

Dinner was fantastic, prepared with local and organic foods. This restaurant doubled as an art gallery.
We could dine and admire the colorful paintings.
We sat under a portrait of Frida.

Next morning we are up and out with the tide to paddle the Elkhorn Slough.The only things up with us were the otters, sea lions, seals, many birds and...

Pelicans! lot's of them. Good morning guys! they hardly gave us a glance, we watched them preen for awhile (holding my breath, because good grief they smell!)

And then we got busy paddling. The slough goes about six miles inland, where it finally comes to an end. We wanted to see it. All six miles of it. Which would be twelve miles round trip. We agreed that I'd go as far as I could and then Chuck would tow me if I needed it. Which I was pretty sure I would. It's a long way to paddle even when your in shape!

After a few hours of blissful nature watching and kayaking, we hugged our boats together and floated along while eating our brownbag breakfast, compliments of the Inn. Seals popped up their heads, as curious of us as we were of them. They have such soulful eyes. You wonder what their thinking.

We made it! we're at the end of Elkhorn Slough. We found another put in place, you can launch your kayak from either end it seems. We also found these all white pelicans! they were very shy and wanted nothing to do with our bright blue and yellow boats. I got photos with my film camera, but these will have to do for now. They are really lovely.

And then, not more than ten minutes into the return, the wind picked up, I felt fatigue setting in, not to mention a nice blister on my thumb from the paddle. Chuck looked at me, smiled and winked, your getting towed honey.
I wasn't going to be stubborn like I normally am.

Here is what it looks like with the tow line attached.
We made it back in half the time, since we didn't stop for quite as many photos. And I helped. A little.

Back in the harbor we passed this huge group of Harbor Seals, it was hard to get a good photo because every time I put down my paddle, the current would pull me towards them. These guys are in normal resting behaviour, but if they feel threatened they could stampede and you don't want to be near that in a little kayak. So, the camera had to get put away. Bye guys!

Back to dry land to eat and explore the town a bit...

It feels so good to walk after six hours in a boat...

The temperatures were perfect, for a romantic get~a~way...

Even the sunset made it's contribution to this weekend

On our last night we went to this fabulous fish restaurant, walking through the harbor at night was especially lovely, all the lights twinkling on the water. We clinked our iced tea glasses (still no champagne for me, yet...) and ate delicious lobster and halibut. And to die for chocolate cake. Ummm.

Going home now, back through magical Big Sur,
we've one more stop to make...


A favorite place, this famous restaurant

Perched on the majestic cliffs of California's Big Sur

mosaic by Kaffe Fassett

"Nepenthe has become a cultural icon synonymous with Big Sur and the free-living bohemian lifestyle"

And really tempting food

If you'd like to read more about Nepenthe, this beautiful storybook with recipes is available at all good book sellers, or you might just want to go to the Phoenix Gift Shop to get your own copy.
Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and Big Sur
Romney Steele

More magic, California's Giant Redwoods

One last stop before home, we saw more of the white pelicans here at Morrow Bay, on our way up the coast. Chuck's out there getting photos of them, while I wait i'm thinking what I liked best about our romance weekend. He always wants to know. Was it the hikes or the dinners?
the paddling or the roses? the pelicans?

It's always the same for me. I'll tell him I liked best that
I got to go. It's always a privilege. And even better,
that it was with him.

I also like sharing here too.
I hope you've enjoyed.



  1. Your love, and your celebration, made me smile.Wonderful photos...minus the pelican smell, too :-)

  2. Big Sur...Monterey...Redwoods...
    These are all magical words for me. I was sitting in your pocket again, Lori, and let you and Chuck do the paddling. It was so much fun, enjoying the trip. There is a famous German Children`s book about the three friends Petzi, Pelle and Pingo (bear boy, pelican and penguin). Whenever they need something, a spoon for medicine or tweezers or a hankie, they just let Pelle open his beak and there it is! So I had always wanted to meet a pelican in person! Lucky you!

  3. And I feel priviledged to share it with you!
    A wonderful post Lori.
    So glad you had a great anniversary break.
    And of course I can smile sweetly cause I've driven that coast road too!

  4. This is such a gorgeous post with such beautiful pictures! I love Big Sur and Monterey - that entire area is so lovely, especially around this time of year!

    And the love you two have for each other! (::sigh::) It just confirms that romance is the one of the most important parts of a relationship - the surprises, the get-a-ways, the time we take to just be with each other and play and enjoy the person we fell in love with.

    Beautiful, Lori!!

  5. Hi Lori ann

    what a lovely way to celebrate your love and togetherness, a perfect combination of activities...you have a very special man there- one who will tow you when you are tired...

    Happy days

  6. YES! Lovely celebration, a la Lori and Chuck. Thanks for giving us a peak, including the kayak tow.

    p.s. you two look so sweet. Happy Fourth!

  7. Dear Lori,

    You bring such light to what you write and your photographs enhance everything. I have been away for a short while but want to check in on you and let you know that you along with Renee and Laurel are not forgotten while I am off net at this time. I will try and read more very soon and send you that certain something. Peace, love and kisses.

  8. Lori I absolutely enjoyed. This is lovely. I think California is gorgeous.

    But you Lori, you are so pretty. Beautiful but pretty too.

    Love you dear friend.

    Renee xoxo

  9. Oh, wow! what lovely scenery and atmosphere at Big Sur.I will have to go there when i come over!!I am glad you had a lovely weekend together, It is a beautiful thing to see you both so happy in each other's company.

    Lots of love from Natsy.xx♥

  10. Hi Lori

    I wrote the book "My Nepenthe" and just wanted to thank you for sharing it with your readers, and also for choosing Nepenthe as one of your stops along the way home. Nepenthe is full of love and and I can see that you both share in that yourselves. Happy Anniversary.

    Be well, Romney

  11. sigh....

    oh lori, where to start?

    the leaf.
    your smile.
    the love.

    like angela, i've come along in your pocket also. the view is unbelievable. you are a totally wonderful photographer. those shots from the kyak made me feel like i was in it with you.

    i am so happy that you and chuck love one another so much. it brings me great joy to witness. what a celebration, lori.

    every time you take a little trip i am going to be in your pocket or on your shoulder, whispering thank you and maybe sometimes causing a little mischief! i hope you won't mind.

    love to you, my dear friend,

  12. These photos are great and what a wonderful weekend you all had. That part of the country really is beautiful.

  13. Wow! How beautiful! What a wonderful time with your love and I sense such joy in your pictures and words. Thank you for sharing this. I am thankful that you got this time away. Lori

  14. Thank you Teri! it is my pleasure, yes, be glad there is no smellacomputer!
    Geli, I knew you were there because you were in my thoughts. I know how much you'd love this. Good memories. I'm going to look for that book, it sounds completely delightful!
    I hope this brought back brilliant memories Mandy, i'm so glad you enjoyed!
    Thanks Phoenix,
    such a sweet comment, i want to hug you. I have a gift bag from the Phoenix shop (Nepenthe) i'm looking at right now, email me your addy and i'll send it to you. If you like.
    how very true, he is indeed. Thank you for coming along.
    Thank you Rosaria, what a lovely compliment!
    Dear Clarity,
    no worries ☺ I hope all is well and you are happy? and not working too hard? take good care and know that i'll always be here. Not going anywhere. peace,love and kisses to you too sweetie.
    Dear Renee,
    thank you for your generous words. I think when love shows on faces it is the best look. Does that make sense?
    when you drive up the coast I'll be driving right behind you! following you and Mark and the doodles. Wouldn't we have a time?!
    I wrote to you at your website, I hope you get it. I'll be at Chaucers in Santa Barbara in December. For your book signing. Then i can tell you how much I LOVE this book. And maybe you can sign it again, even though I already bought a signed copy at the Phoenix on Sunday.
    Thank you so much for the comment.(quite excited here).
    kj dear,
    the mischief would suit us fine. i omitted a bit of our own. fun times.
    thank you for such a lovely comment.

  15. Thanks Des,
    I think it's one of the most beautiful parts in the world. From what i've seen so far. Thank you for enjoying!
    thank you so much,how very sweet of you. It is nice to share, I'm glad you came along ☺

  16. Aaaaaah Lori! I felt like I was having a long weekend away reading this - thank you x

    hope you're getting better quickly now. Celebration without bubbles is tough!!


  17. What a way to celebrate your Anniversary, awesome♥ A magical post. I loved the photo's, the words you wrote and the warm feeling I was left with after reading about such a perfect weekend. I too have driven along that Coast road♥ Happy 4th♥♥♥♥ Linda xoxo

  18. Wow, I loved Nepenthe, and the tree fountain thing :) gorgeous pics as usual, Lori...and lovely post... you're a gorgeous couple, inside and out :))

  19. Ah Janet, I know! we have a bottle waiting, it'll be soon I'm sure. I'm so glad you enjoyed. You'd love the birding at Elkhorn Slough. I thought of you.
    Thanks Linda!
    you've been on the Highway 1? I hope you had a wonderful experiance. Thanks so much for the great comment and the happy wishes ☺
    ♥ Braja,
    thanks dear. I wonder have you been to Big Sur? I have a feeling you'd feel at home there.

  20. Happy Anniversary!

    We drove up the coast from San Diego to SF one summer for a wedding...it a cute tiny convertible. It was an amazing drive I'll never forget, thank youf the refresher, it gave me chills, and I can still remember the sun on my face.

  21. Thank you for sharing your romantic getaway. Your beautiful pictures made me feel that I'm there too. The food at Nepenthe makes me drool.

  22. oh my word - two beautiful people in a beautiful beautiful place! you really make me hanker for some north american travel. xx

  23. your celebration looks awesome Lori

  24. aw shucks..soooo beautiful...all of it...makes me want to come and visit california...looks cold though?? love always and CONGRATS eh? our wedding anniversary today...18 whole years... xx j

  25. looks like a FABULOUS trip! wow! sounds like one i would enjoy (apart from all the paddling).

  26. Wow Diana, in a convertible? that is the iconic hwy 1 image, i'm glad it brought back beautiful memories for you!
    thank you! you can order the book and have the recipes, it's really worth the price. It's a gorgeous book.
    you would love it. If you continue north you'll be to S.F. and then Stinson Beach, its all gorgeous.This strech of coastline is one of the most beautiful in the world. I only shared a speck of photos here. It doesn't show it. Thanks for the kind words.
    Thanks Sammi, it was, this is one of my favourite places in the world.
    Happy 18th to you and Craig! Awesome! This would be a big switch from where your used to. Did i mention you can rent horses and ride on the beach?? It was only cold in the early morning, this day, right after this pic off came the coats and hats. It can get a lot colder and a lot warmer though.
    Honey! I am so excited! 3 more days!! are you handling all the guests (family or otherwise?) Breathe, and take things slow. And enjoy the two of you! oh, the paddling was really fun, you don't have to go that far. You'd love it.

  27. Hello there! Home again from a nine day trip and so happy to catch up with my favorite writers. Your celebration of love and commitment was such a joy to read.

    I spent a long weekend (years ago) at Esalen and fell in love with Big Sur.

  28. What a lovely celebration, Lori! I´m so happy for you two and thank you for the beautiful photos! I hope you enjoyed every little moment .
    Wishing you lots of happiness, always!


  29. Couples who have trouble staying in love need only follow the loving example set by you and Chuck. Keeping the flame of romance alive and burning, takes a special commitment to each other. Time together is a time to grow. I love your response to Chuck's query about what your favourite part of the trip was. Just having the opportunity to be able to do what you did was blessing enough. The romantic setting was a gift from God. I am happy that you were able to continue building memories with each other. You are blessed.

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  31. I can't imagine a nicer celebration. Great job on the photo tour and letting us enjoy you holiday s well.

  32. What a wonderful trip you had to celebrate your love! What a nice man you have pulling you through the waters (and whatever might be in the way too)!
    I love all your photos and am really somewhat jealous of the temperatures you must have had.
    We haven't seen much sun lately and your pictures are really a treat!

    xxx from Sweden

  33. Oh what a wonderful way to celebrate your fourth anniversary, Lori! I love the pictures, the story, all of it totally wonderful. And here's wishing you many, many more very happy years together! xxx

  34. Thank you so much Helen. I've not been to Esalen, but driven by it many times. Someday I'd like to go there too.
    Thank you Mina for the sweet wishes, you'll be seeing it all for yourself soon, heh?
    You are too kind Bogey. I thank you. And remember what we all said.
    Thank you DNA Cinema!
    Thank you Lorac,
    I'm really glad you enjoyed, especially since you come from such a beautiful place.
    Hi Michi, thank you. You won't believe it, but I was hoping for cooler weather. But the temps were perfect on the paddle. I hope you see the sun soon!
    Hi Nicky!
    I've been so busy, back to work, little trips and all, I'll write you soon!

  35. So glorious and wonderful. Thank you for the photos...really, the kayak trip up the slough was gorgeous. I could feel that sunshine on my skin. Lovely.

  36. Gosh, I've been so busy, I haven't visited you in a while. Loved this post, haven't been there in over a decade. Big Sur and Nepenthe are awesome, thanks for the memories. Definitely a romantic spot on earth.

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xoxo lori