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Reflections: Memories Of Big Sur…

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Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” Kevin Arnold

Reflections: Memories Of Big Sur...

Reflections: Memories Of Big Sur...

Years ago, before I got married and raised a family, my husband to be took me on a memorable road trip to the magnificent Big Sur area in California. It is a 90 miles spectacular  coastline from the Carmel River south to the San Carpoforo Creek, in the Central Coast of California where the Santa Lucia Mountains meet the Pacific Ocean. The terrain is breathtaking and the winding highway 1 along the coastline would captivate and stun you. On our trip, my first to California, we made sure to drive the length of Big Sur, stopping at various spots to either enjoy the ocean, dipping our feet in the roiling water and walking the fairly rocky beach, or pausing to take pictures of the stunning views.  There is a certain pulsating strength you feel around Big Sur; the sheer size and wide open beauty is mesmerizing and, perhaps for some, overwhelming. For years, the area was a major attraction to writers and artists, including at one point, as per Wikipedia, Robinson Jeffers, Henry Miller, Richard Brautigan, Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac and a host of other creative types. It remains a popular tourist attraction to many.

“Memory: a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.” Pierce Harris

Reflections: Memories Of Big Sur... Nepenthe Restaurant...

Reflections: Memories Of Big Sur... Bixby Creek bridge

Before our trip, we had consulted with friends who suggested we enjoy a meal at the famous Nepenthe Restaurant; a former cabin lodge set high on a hill overlooking the Big Sur coastline and the Pacific ocean. I remember being quite struck by the beauty of the ocean from our high point that it was difficult to focus on the meal we had. I know it included seafood and salad, but my heart was drawn to the ocean and that slice of coastline calling my name. We stayed at the Esalen Institute which was known as the Big Sur Hot Springs for several months before it became the Esalen Institute. Our quarters were elegant but simple and the food was an organic, vegetarian feast. What I loved about our stay at Esalen was the chance to enjoy the hot spring tubs perched on the side of the mountain, overlooking the ocean below… The entire experience of being outdoors in a hot tub, feeling the breeze from the ocean and the occasional spray of ocean water was surreal.  The ocean views were also truly amazing while crossing Bixby Creek bridge.  More below. 😉

“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.” Andre Gide

Reflections: Memories Of Big Sur... Big Sur seasons...

As Aldous Huxley said, “Every man’s memory is his private literature.” My memory of Big Sur was triggered by a picture I saw online that reminded me that nature is not only magnificent but powerful too. To drive the span of the coastline is a riveting experience worth taking; the road zigs and zags, dips and turns while the ocean, a fairly treacherous drop down from the road above, beckons. I haven’t been back to travel the full span of the coastline in years and would love to visit it again. I would definitely include it on my list of best places to visit in nature. What about you? What are your thoughts? Where, in nature, have you visited that remains a fond memory? Where’s your best place to go enjoy nature? When did you last visit it? Do share! Thank you. 😉

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Plinky: What’s the best place to get outside and enjoy nature?

Positive Motivation Tip: Memories of good times in the past help us stay focused on being happy in the present…

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Big Sur, Big Sur Coastline, Bixby Creek Bridge, Big Sur seasons, via Wikipedia and/or via Flickr Nepenthe Restaurant via

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

43 Comments leave one →
  1. 01/02/2012 12:59 am

    Gorgeous place!

  2. 01/02/2012 1:00 am

    Memories are so important. Our blogs will serve as “memories” in years to come! our hopes and fears…laughter and tears…

  3. Leila permalink
    01/02/2012 2:56 am

    Love the photography. I am amazed by the beauty that surrounds us! Thanks for sharing your memories.

  4. 01/02/2012 3:31 am

    Wow what a lovely post! I have never been to Big Sur but your photos make me feel like I am right there!

  5. 01/02/2012 4:03 am

    Do you know that the North American continent has the biggest expanse of wilderness in the world? I live in a town but I grew up for part of my childhood in the countryside and my abiding memory is of rolling down hillsides with my sister and cousins. How I love the middle of nowhere. Thanks.

  6. 01/02/2012 4:09 am

    Amen! However, I don’t quite remember those beautiful Big Sur pictures, but that makes what I do remember all the better. Thanks.

  7. 01/02/2012 4:45 am

    Absolutely breathtaking!

  8. 01/02/2012 5:46 am

    Great post and photos. Having just been there several months ago, I can attest that the memory of Big Sur is always with you once you’ve been there.

  9. 01/02/2012 6:24 am

    Such wonderful memories! I just love reading your posts. So full of experiences, insights, and great pictures too! 🙂

  10. 01/02/2012 6:43 am

    ahhh Big Sur~ So pretty. Did you make it to the hike-in hot springs? 10 miles away…

  11. 01/02/2012 8:09 am

    We loved driving the coastal highway ~ Big Sur, Monterey, and Carmel by the Sea.

    Aah . . . that’s better!

  12. Bree permalink
    01/02/2012 8:33 am

    Big Sur is one of nature’s gifts to us. I read this and felt transported back there. It is magnificent!

  13. 01/02/2012 9:29 am

    Lovely posts, taking me back to a road trip my husband and I made up the California Coast to Eureka, where my son and daughter-in-law to be were studying at the College of the Redwoods. Wonderful memories. Thank you for re-evoking them.

  14. 01/02/2012 9:43 am

    One of my fondest memories is of driving up the Pacific Coast Hwy from LA to Monterey. We were actually heading to San Francisco but it was Oct. ’89 and the big earthquake hit as we were halfway there! Made for an interesting time to say the least. I do want to go back and take it all the way to SF.
    Beautiful photos as always Elizabeth!

  15. 01/02/2012 11:51 am

    Love the quote by Kevin Arnold, “Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.”
    Such gorgeous, mesmerizing photos! Very nice post Elizabeth!
    I’ve never been to the Big Sur area, but I want to go now. At least for a few hours, my thoughts of winter in the Midwest will be replaced by hopes of someday visiting Big Sur. Thank you

  16. 01/02/2012 12:56 pm

    Beautiful! I’ve been to the California coast many times, but not quite to Big Sur.

  17. 01/02/2012 1:19 pm

    If I ever get to cross the pond this is the route I’d like to drive and your words and photos have convinced me even more, really awesome thankyou!

  18. 01/02/2012 2:11 pm

    What a beautiful stretch of coastline; hope I might get to travel there one day. I wouldn’t mind trying out the hot spring tubs for that surreal experience you had.

  19. 01/02/2012 3:57 pm

    I have never been to Big Sur but it sure looks amazing from your photos.

  20. 01/02/2012 8:35 pm

    I love the road along Big Sur…such a beautiful area. And Nepenthe…special spot…Your photos are wonderful.

  21. 02/02/2012 1:31 am

    Beautiful place!

    I’d choose Anglesea or the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. I love green.

  22. 02/02/2012 7:52 am

    Thanks for sharing your travel memories.

  23. 02/02/2012 9:18 am

    The Bixby Creek Bridge and the quote about the child cherishing the pebble picked up on the beach are my favorite parts of this post. Your husband to be certainly knew how to court you, taking you to Big Sur country! Congratulations on all the beauty and the memories. Thanks for sharing.

  24. 02/02/2012 3:52 pm

    what a beautiful place, blessings ~

  25. 02/02/2012 7:11 pm

    Memories of good times in the past help us stay focused on being happy in the present…

    That’s so true! When I read the word “Memories”, the only thing that flashed across my mind was the memory of a friend that recently passed away. I know that there is nothing I can do about it but move on and pray for those left behind, for comfort and peace. =)

    And by the way, I agree with you. The ocean view is indeed amazing!

  26. 03/02/2012 2:43 pm

    Your blog is an inspiration to be a champion of our life’s goals. I feel privileged to honor you the King of Kings Bloggers Award. Congratulations

    • 03/02/2012 7:09 pm

      WoW! Thank you for your generous gift. I love the name of it. I will stop by your blog to thank you too! 🙂

  27. 04/02/2012 2:03 pm

    Magnificent scenery beautifully captured. Nepenthe – what a wonderful place to enjoy a meal. These dramatic natural landscapes are the best. Mountains, deserts, wild seas. Many year ago I camped out in the open in the Sinai desert – our guide called it ” the hotel of a million stars” and that night sky is something that is eternally etched in my memory.

  28. 06/02/2012 5:35 am

    Absolutely breathtaking, Elizabeth.
    Love drives like these. I still remember my drive years ago to Carmel. Drives like these are quite restorative.

  29. Masshole Mommy permalink
    21/05/2015 3:20 pm

    I have so many wonderful memories. I think about certain things all the time and they always cheer me up!

  30. Liz Mays permalink
    21/05/2015 3:31 pm

    It truly is beautiful out that way. It’s been almost two years since I was in that area, but it was breathtaking.

  31. The Trophy WifeStyle permalink
    21/05/2015 6:31 pm

    this was a great post! Needed to read something like this today! Whenever I’m having a bad day I always think of happy memories and they usually snap me out of that bad mood!

  32. Rebel Sweetheart permalink
    22/05/2015 2:17 am

    What a lovely place! My husband and I enjoy driving to places with gorgeous scenery. 🙂

  33. savingcmncents permalink
    22/05/2015 5:00 am

    I live on the opposite coast and have never really seen the Pacific ocean. Some day I would like to travel to the west coast and just soak in the majestic beauty of Big Sur!

  34. 22/05/2015 12:14 pm

    I haven’t been to California yet and would love too sometime. The photos are beautiful.

  35. Ourfamilyworld permalink
    22/05/2015 4:28 pm

    This place looks stunning. It is relaxing and inviting. I would love to visit one day

  36. Debbie Denny permalink
    22/05/2015 5:42 pm

    so breathtaking. I love the views.


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