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The lone cypress on 17-Mile Drive

In our last post, we were just entering 17-mile Drive from Carmel’s San Antonio Avenue in California.  From there, we headed straight for the spectacularly situated Pebble Beach Golf Course.  Anyone on the 17-mile Drive may visit the course’s clubhouse (The Lodge), its restaurants, shops and view the first and 18th holes without a tee time. Mr. Boomerlifetoday bought some very nice mementos and gifts from one of the shops – nice!

From Pebble Beach, we continued on the drive through exclusive neighbourhoods of fabulous homes set in miles of stunning forest and coastal landscapes.  We were fortunate to have a clear day without fog, which is often a problem if you visit in the summer months. There were countless wildlife and nature photo ops along the way, including the “restless sea” and the lone cypress (above), symbol of Pebble Beach Golf Course. The only highlights of the drive we missed were the harbour seals because their area was barricaded for pupping season.

Exiting the drive, our journey southward to Big Sur and beyond was as rugged and beautiful as I had imagined. I was surprised at its similarity to New Zealand’s South Island west coast highway. We evaded fog all along the way, but not a dramatic rainstorm, which closed in as we approached Nepenthe, Big Sur’s dining “room with a view”. Unfortunately, the outdoor terrace was closed for dining due to the weather, but the view from it remained unscathed.   After some soggy photos, we drove on, stopping for a roadside picnic when the weather improved.  Luckily, our chosen spot also served up California condors and what we think was a pod of dolphins!

We would not recommend following our example and attempting this drive in one day because there was no time to stop for key sites such as the Hearst Castle.  However, we were delighted when we reached our final destination, the Bacara Resort and Spa. Fashioned on a Spanish Andaluthian village, the Bacara is 5-star luxury.  After nesting, we poured two glasses of wine, strolled the grounds of the resort and found a bench overlooking the Pacific to watch the sunset. Idyllic! Afterwards, we had a wonderful late night dinner at the resort’s Bistro restaurant. Highly recommended!

The next morning, we skipped breakfast and opted instead for time at the pool and spa pool.  Mr. Boomerlifetoday had a 2:00 pm tee time at the neighbouring Sandpiper Golf Club, so we had a leisurely morning then drove into Goleta for delicious fresh berry pie at Simply Pies (a local foodie destination).  Our afternoon of golf was a soggy one, but nothing could dampen the beauty of its Pacific coast location.  Our day ended in central Santa Barbara at the Chesire Cat Bed and Breakfast. Sublime!

Join us for our next post, star-spotting in Malibu and weaving our way into LA along the Santa Monica Freeway.

Until next time,

Your Boomer Life Partners

Disclosure: Products, services and accommodation mentioned in this Boomer Life Today blog post were not paid for or solicited by companies in New Zealand or abroad.