After a lovely al fresco breakfast in the Cypress Inn courtyard we headed south along HWY 1 to Big Sur – around every bend there were breathtakingly beautiful views, and a leisurely itinerary provided us ample opportunity to stop here and there along the way and take it all in.
Our friend Philip Bewley suggested we make a stop at the cliff-side bar and cafe, Nepenthe in Big Sur. A destination for poets, artists, and travelers alike, it has been in business for sixty years. Designed in collaboration with student of Frank Lloyd Wright, Rowan Maiden, the building seems to grow out of the hill side. It is still a family run affair and offers the most amazing views.
We stopped for lunch at the Post Ranch Inn – a truly gorgeous treat. It’s a perfect combination of stunning vistas and equally delicious food, and as it turned out, it was a nice bit of luxury before the next portion of our journey, The Hacienda.
The Hacienda, aka the Rancho Milpitas, was built for William Randolph Hearst. It was one of the many projects completed by architect, Julia Morgan. Once part of Hearst’s massive estate, the Hacienda, along with a huge parcel of land, ended up being sold to the government to settle a tax debt, and said property became Fort Liggett. The Hacienda was recently opened as a B & B of sorts, and I thought it might be a brilliant addition to our itinerary – a way to experience the Hearst/Morgan collaboration as we ventured south on our way to visit Hearst Castle.
Long story short, this was one of those times when listening to my intuition and conducting a bit more research would have had us making alternate plans….
It was an unexpectedly long and winding trek from HWY 1 – about one and a half hours inland to get to The Hacienda from Big Sur – and as mentioned, it is actually on a military base – there was absolutely nothing nearby. Once you’re there you are TRAPPED.
The structure of the Hacienda remains intact, but sadly it currently has a rather institutional feel to it – the staff was lovely and gave us a tour of every bit of the building, but the place is in dire need of some proper decoration and landscaping. To add to our disappointment, some of our fellow guests were rather unwelcoming troglodytes (are you starting to get the picture?) and the only dinner option was supplied by the army base’s bowling alley!
As you might imagine, McBee and I thought it best to pack up our Vuitton cases and get the hell out of there. As I’ve learned, it’s often a good idea to listen to my intuition.
Perhaps only the most die hard Julia Morgan fans would want to include this on their itinerary. I certainly would never suggest it to anyone. We did however find a portion of the Hacienda that evoked its former glory, and we took a few snaps then turned in our key.
I’m sporting a Ralph Lauren cream cotton cable knit sweater with a shawl collar, orange silk shantung pants, orange suede espadrilles and a linen serape stripe scarf, Michael Kors ivory cotton knit top, Gucci sunglasses, Rolex watch, KJP Croffice Sailing belt, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Lavender Palm.