Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Roadside vegetable stand, Bolinas

Monday, June 22, 2009

Marin County Coast

Pelican Inn, Muir Beach, Marin County

Marin County Headlands

Is there a more glorious sight than the Golden Gate Bridge as seen from Marin County headlands, looking down on the towers and the City of San Francisco beyond.
The Marin Headlands are just off the 101 on the far side of theGolden Gate and stretch into the unspoiled territory we see all around us. This national park is a priceless treasure whose views have inspired a thousand hearts......some of them left.....high on a hill....and calling...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Original Ocean Lodges, Post Ranch Inn

The Ocean lodges at Post Ranch Inn capture the character and beauty of the Post Ranch Inn concept, incredible lodging in a completely integrated natural environment.

Here we see the grass roofed units that were the hallmark of this amazing property.  Looking down from the top of the first unit we feel as if we are sitting in the prairie grass looking across the ridgetop at how luxury and natural beauty can be a transcendent experience.  Thank you Post Ranch Inn for an exceptional two days of sheer delirious joy and serenity.

14th Wedding Anniversary Dinner at Sierra Mar, Post Ranch Inn

The Devil Dog celebrated his 14th wedding anniversary with his lovely wife Alison at the always spectacular Sierra Mar. This exceptional restaurant is the centerpiece of the Post Ranch Inn property, a masterpiece of design and function by architect Mickey Muennig.

With sweeping panoramic views of the property and the ocean, Sierra Mar offers a prix fixe dinner of four courses that is as innovative as it is amazing. A selection of ahi and kampachi tartares is complemented by a fantastic curry mussel soup, and a trio of guinea hen preparations is as sumptuous as it is delicious. The wine list is simply something to die for. We have a Stony Hill '91 chardonnay that was a beautiful amber color with incredible Burgundian complexity, and follow it up with a Rochioli Riverblock single vineyard 2002 chardonnay.

The evening swims by in decadent splendor. The Devil Dog and his lovely bride retire to their cliffside paradise in the Pacific Suite and continue the celebration....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sunset at Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

The sunset our first night was brilliant, like an orange fireball in the sky descending in streaming colors into a fog bank on the horizon. The Devil Dog never tires of a beautiful sunset, and has rarely seen a more beautiful sight than the sun descending into the ocean at Big Sur.

The Pacific Suite Post Ranch Inn

The Devil Dog has stayed in the finest hotels of the world and has never experienced anything like the Pacific Suite here at Post Ranch inn. The superlatives of location, view, calm, beauty and the stunning emotional impact of the overall experience are without peer. Here then is the Pacific Suite. We are on the lower level in this two unit building, and while the balcony of the upper unit is sweet, the Devil Dog particularly enjoys being able to walkout of my expansive sliding glass doors onto my amazing patio and walk right up to the edge of the cliff.
Here my lovely wife Alison sits on the patio in the reflected glory of this magical place. I have been at the Post Ranch Inn several times, and it has always been superlative, but they have taken themselves to new heights with these additional suites.  For if a man can stand on the edge of the precipice, as seen below, and stare into the wonder and the glory of the Big Sur coastland, then surely he has found a place that captures all the joy that life has to give.

View from our room Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur

Our room, the new Pacific Suite, sits on a ridge on the opposite end of Sierra Mar restaurant, and has absolutely without question the most sweeping views on the property.
Its not enough that the view is so spectacular but that it is right outside my door, I can walk to the edge of the patioo and stare down into the abyss. We are literally on the cliffs edge, and the view of Point Sur is a spectacle even more ludicrously delightful to enjoy than it looks in these pictures.  Then we look down, as seen below, and stare into the abyss at the splendor of the ocean sprading out before us in unparraled glory.

View of the Mountains from Post Ranch Inn

The Post Ranch Inn may sit on an incredible ridgeline overlooking the Pacific Ocean, 1200 feet below, but it also faces an incredible mountain range with equally impressive views.
Big Sur is a stunning wilderness area, with natural beauty unlike anywhere I have ever seen. The Post Ranch has been an integral part of the community and a 5 star world class resort since the day it opened. But nothing prepares you for the simply astonishing views once you are actually there, and nothing can replace the feeling one gets when you walk the grounds.  

Post Ranch Inn

We have arrived at the legendary Post Ranch Inn, a retreat of unimaginable beauty perched on the ridgetop of the most beautiful part of Big Sur, looking down over Point Sur and the Pacific Ocean some 1200 feet below.  Originally designed by architect and Big Sur native Mickey Muennig, Post Ranch Inn has recently undergone a selective expansion, with 10 more units built on a ridge on the other side of the acclaimed restaurant Sierra Mar.  We are staying in one of those units, the magnificent Pacific Suite, a cliffside wonderland perched on the edge of the sky.  Those are three of the new units seen on the ridgetop above, as always at Post Ranch, blended into the natural environment to appear unobtrusive amongst the spectacular scenary.

But oh what views. The Devil Dog has been many fine places, but NEVER EVER has had as beautiful a room with as glorious a view as this.  Here is the lovely Alison Reynolds on the back porch of our room, surrounded by wildflowers, as the golden sun begins its descent.

Tonight we will have dinner at Sierra Mar, one of the great fine dining experiences you will ever have. Here is the restaurant as seen from the front entrance.  We will explore Post Ranch in all its glory over the next two days. Indulge...and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sunset in San Simeon

And so day one of our California coastal chatauqua comes to a close as the sun goes down over Moonstone Beach.  The sky is a brilliant red and the glow flys off the ocean surface.
The Devil Dog never tires of the beauty of the central coast. Cambria, San Simeon, and of course, nearby Hearst Castle are simply beautiful, like an eternal oasis of calm and stunning scenery.

Robins Restaurant

Robins Restaurant in Cambria is an absolute gem, an eclectic restaurant with fabulous food, a beautiful location and consistently excellent choices of exceptional healthy ingrediants put together with style and panache. Situated in a converted house, as seen in the interior shot above, Robins also has a busy spacious open air patio (with an awning covering for inclement weather).  
The Devil Dog and his lovely wife have eaten here multiple times over the years, and never tire of their imaginative and delicious offerings.  Mussels and clams in a garlic lemongrass broth is simply amazing.  Lamb curry is sensational.  Goat cheese raviolis with kalamata olives is beautifully done.  Dishes with influences from India to Thailand are a delightful hallmark of their menu choices.
Alison and I are celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary and her birthday during this week. We can NEVER come to Cambria and NOT go to Robin's. It simply isn't done.

Cambria Headlands

On our way to dinner we drove thru the pines of Cambria and came upon this beautiful park in the headlands on a bluff overlooking the ocean.  The Devil Dog loves the central coast. Its unspoiled beauty and amazing air are a tonic for the senses, and a joy to behold. In the picture below internationally acclaimed photographer Alison Reynolds ( and the love of the Devil Dogs life) takes a picture with the wildflowers behind her.