January 7

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mapping A Journey Of Love…

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“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” Don Williams, Jr.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mapping A Journey Of Love... Big Sur
Weekly Writing Challenge: Mapping A Journey Of Love… Big Sur

A little over a year ago, I had shared a post ( Reflections: Memories Of Big Sur…) on a memorable road trip I took to Big Sur, California with my then husband to be. What made that a particularly poignant memory was the fact that it was part of a surprise marriage proposal, and my first time in California. We flew in from New York, spent time with old friends in San Francisco and Oakland, and then headed out for our destination points.  Aside from our long and languid drive up the Big Sur coastline, we stopped and spent time by the ocean, at a wonderful restaurant – Nepenthe, and a few nights at The Esalen Institute. For this challenge, I mapped out the area we covered specific to our Big Sur trip, and excluded the fact that our journey, our road-trip, began in San Francisco… But I suspect you might have imagined that; we all must begin somewhere.

“The map is not the territory.” Alfred Korzybski

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mapping A Journey Of Love... Esalen
Weekly Writing Challenge: Mapping A Journey Of Love… Esalen
Weekly Writing Challenge: Mapping A Journey Of Love... Nepenthe
Weekly Writing Challenge: Mapping A Journey Of Love… Nepenthe

As we prepared for our trip, we asked friends for ideas and they suggested 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. The beauty of the ocean from our high point was quite striking and it made it difficult to focus on the meal we had. I know we had seafood, salad, and probably dessert, but my heart was drawn to the ocean and that mesmerizing slice of the coastline.  We spent a few nights 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 yet simple. The food was bountiful; 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. It was a fantastic experience…  The ocean views were amazing from our outdoor dip in the hot tub. I could feel the breeze from the ocean and the occasional spray of cool ocean water; quite surreal.   More below. ;-)

“Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be…Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before.” Erich Fromm

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mapping A Journey Of Love... Carmel River
Weekly Writing Challenge: Mapping A Journey Of Love… Carmel River
Weekly Writing Challenge: Mapping A Journey Of Love... San Carpo region
Weekly Writing Challenge: Mapping A Journey Of Love… San Carpo region

main map

Carmel River , Carmel Valley, CA

C – Esalen Institute
55000 State Highway 1
Big Sur, California 93920
(831) 667-3000
California 1, Big Sur, California 93920

B – Nepenthe
48510 California 1
Big Sur, CA 93920
(831) 667-2345

San Carpoforo Creek, CA

We wrapped up our trip by circling back the way we came… The proposal came and everything seemed perfect in the world… Memories. Have an inspired week!
How do you gather memories of trips? Do you revisit them for rejuvenation or celebration? Do share! Thank you. 🙂

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Writing Challenge: Map It Out: For this week’s challenge, incorporate our Google Maps embed feature by plotting out some of the favorite places that you’ve been, or the places you want to go. Need some more ideas?

Positive Motivation Tip: Gather your memories and map them lovingly in your heart’s cave…

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Big SurBig Sur2,  via Wikipedia or Esalen by DougEllis via Flickr

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


big sur, communication, DPchallenge, Google maps, Happiness, inspiration, life, meditation, Musings, postaday, reflections, travel

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  • Wonderful Eliz … I wish I’ve met the love and being able to map it… I love to hear the way you describe your proposal 😉 – Thanks for telling and sharing

    • TY Mariane! The marriage didn’t quite make it but the memories did… Life is full of twists and turns and we do the best we can with what we have. 😉

  • I must eat at Nepenthe sometime. I’ve seen it from the exterior many times. Big Sur is where our family meets for family reunions, and we were fairly regular with those trips until the big fire a couple of years ago. I’ve been eager to visit again, so you’ve given me some inspiration to plan another trip. I’ve always been curious about Esalen, too. What a wonderful memory you’ve shared. Thank you!!

    • TY Debra! They are precious memories and I cherish all of it. Even though life puts barriers in our path, it is still important to keep good memories close at hand… They help brighten our days. I believe that anyway. 😉

    • TY for your kind words… I generally don’t share this much about my personal life but it would have made no sense to show the maps without some details. 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing such a personal memory. I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for 17 years. We never had a honeymoon. As poor students right out of the university we immediately got jobs in NYC, and have until recently worked tirelessly on our academic tenure (Jim) and museum positions (me). We do often reminisce about our past struggles and laugh…our journey of love 🙂

    • This is so beautiful what you shared… and you know what? We didn’t have a honeymoon either. The proposal was followed by a wedding then the twins came and the rest is… 😆 TY!

  • I love romantic stories! That part of California is so amazing Reading your story brought back a few romantic memories for me – Thanks.

  • What a beutiful trip…with such an awesome ending…
    The hot tub experience was fantastic it seems…
    but the proposal had to be the best! …how special… I too…did not have a honeymoon… My Bobby left for Viet Nam 30 days after we were married…but, since we have had many wonderful times…will be 44 on February 1…

  • Eliz, we are connected somehow. I love Big Sur and Esalen is on my bucket list. When I got married, my wife had to start her job quickly. We did not have time to go on a honeymoon trip, so we jumped in the car and headed down to Big Sur. Your trip reminded me of this drive with my new wife. It also reminds me to get back there as soon as possible. Thanks for planting the Esalen seed for my next anniversary. Ssshhhh. Don’t tell my wife. 🙂

    • Great! I think you’d enjoy it even more this time around… I have only good things to say about my experience and it wasn’t extravagant either… Go for it 🙂 TY!

  • Wow! I love road trips, and this one is extra special. That restaurant looks really romantic, and the views of the Pacific Coast never disappoint!

  • You write with heart and soul. Every time I read your posts, I visualize your travel routs, your loves of heart and your powerful desire to live life beautifully.

  • That was such a romantic day.. I can imagine the feeling you had that you couldn’t almost eat your sumptuous meal because of the beauty you are witnessing in the ocean. Great post.

  • Such a romantic and relaxing feeling you’ve had there. Thanks for sharing ypur experience.. Nice blog.. 😘

  • Wow, this is such a beautiful personal story..I am so inspire of doing more road trip together with my husband and spending more time together..

  • This place is so beautiful. I really wanted to place a visit someday. Thank you for this guide. You get me so excited to come in the place. It was awesome and stunning picture!

  • I really like this beautiful story of yours. I really like the restaurant, river and other places which you visited. I am looking forward for more such travel stories

  • Awesome place! I would definitely place a visit someday. And thanks for your map guide it’s amazing and detailed. Thank you!

  • I LOVE that you added the maps into the post … so helpful and I really enjoy how you set up this post. Thanks for sharing!

  • If I can just take this challenge! Ooooh, so many things to consider.

  • It sounds like you had a wonderful trip! And I love the reasons behind going 🙂

  • I loved the trip you planned I am also planning a long dream trip ..Hope it will realize one day *-*

  • I love that section of CA, it is so gorgeous and a drive like no other. Sounds like a fun adventure!

  • That looks like it was a great trip. I usually end my trip with a postcard to remind of where I’ve been

  • The trip down to Big Sur is always amazing. Just reminds me I need to take a trip back there soon. Maybe take my daughter along with me. Sounds like you had an amazing time.

  • This trip sounded real dreamy. Great memory for you and I love the big vegetarian organic feast you had!

  • Sounds like a lovely trip you had. I’d like to try this someday. Pretty inspirational.

  • That is quite the romantic story and thanks for sharing such wonderful memory with us. Sounds like a great place to visit someday.

  • True. Some of the happiest memories (or worst memories for that matter) come from the travelling part than the actual place of visit.

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