Got to the Post Ranch Inn just before 2 p.m. We parked in a lot next to Mercedes, and Porsches and Lexi. I didn't feel so out of place when I saw the Volvo, though. The restaurant at the PRI looks over the water and has floor to ceiling glass walls all the way around.
We had a cute little curved booth where we could see the ocean, if it hadn't been so foggy. But, by the time our lunch arrived, the fog had mostly lifted, and we could see the amazing expanse of blue ocean. One of the other guests happened to walk past us, and point out a whale breaching. I missed that one, but I did see it blow a couple of times. Tod actually said "Thar she blows!" I think there might even have been two or three out there, but we couldn't be sure because they weren't coming up at the same time.
After lunch we headed across the road to the Ventana Inn. We parked in the lower parking lot, but before we were even out of the car a guy in a golf cart drove up behind us and asked if we were checking in. When we said yes, he offered to load our bags into the car and give us a ride up to Reception. Which was nice, because though it wasn't far, it was up a steep hill all the way.
When we got there, the Concierge offered us a glass of wine, and then informed us that we'd been upgraded from the regular room that we'd booked to The Sur House, a private house with its own patio and hot tub. It also has a fireplace, a kitchen, a loft bedroom, and (Tod was very impressed by this, since NFL season starts this weekend) a big-screen tv. We didn't ask why we'd been upgraded, just assuming that they'd overbooked or something.
I'd planned on taking a nap when we got to our room, but I was too excited to settle down. We explored the house and unpacked, and then went to the General Store down the highway to get some supplies for a light dinner, since we'd had such a huge lunch.
When we got back, we had a little nap, and then put on the huge. fluffy robes they supplied, and watched football, read, lounged about and had dinner. Then we spent a little time in the spa, which relaxed me so much I went to bed at 9:30. Apparently my 1.5 hour nap in the afternoon wasn't enough rest.
Sunday morning, they delivered breakfast to us, since apparently it was too far for us to go to the main building. Just a continental breakfast -- croissants, muffins, fruit, cereal and juice, but it was very elegant. Then, exhausted from my efforts (I cleaned up the breakfast dishes and started the dishwasher), I went back to bed for another nap.
Woke up in time to watch a little football and read some of the newspaper before our lunch reservation at the Big Sur Bakery, just up the road from the Inn, where they serve huge 9-grain pancakes cooked over the wood-fire grill, and fruit salad with an organic honey sauce. After lunch, we wandered over to the craft market next door, which had a little plant store, a tree-house where some people were ensconced, and the hippie type of store where they sell imported tunics and bracelets from India, and incense and massage oils. They had a CD that was recorded by the "Midwives' Choir" at the Esalen Institute. Tod jokingly said to the salesclerk that he wasn't aware that there was a midwives' choir, to which she seriously replied, "yes, we have a choir and we recorded the CD to raise money for....." Properly chastened, we purchased the t-shirt we'd picked out forDaughter, and left.
After we got back to the cottage, I set myself up on the patio with a book and a cup of tea. Tod settled in front of the football game and Mother Jones magazine, and John Dean's latest book, both of which he's been working on for some time. I know he finished the magazine, but I think he got as much of his book read as I did mine. He may have been distracted by football, but I was distracted by the view: the trees and flowers, and the hummingbird buzzing around them.
When I realized that my tea had gotten cold and I hadn't even drank half of it, I gave up and went inside.
We decided to go for a walk and explore a bit. We heacded down towards the main building, a narrow, winding, wooded road. We stopped as we heard a rustling in the trees, which turned out to be three deer who were feeding.
We watched them for over 5 minutes before they moved out of sight, and then we wandered off the road onto a walking trail, which went down to a little footbridge over a brook, and then up to another footbridge. We followed the trail for a while until it got too steep (and too muddy -- I was wearing sandals!) for me. Went back to the house to relax a bit before dinner, which we had already booked at Cielo, the Inn's restaurant.
We'd had lunch at Cielo when we were in Big Sur last year. It was a bright sunny afternoon, and we ate out on the patio, where we could see down 1500 feet to the ocean. A blue jay came and grabbed a french fry off Tod's plate when the waiter was bringing out the tray, and we thought it was hilarious, but the waiter was horrified and took the food right back into the kitchen. It was that visit that made us want to come back and stay at the Inn.
The dinner was absolutely wonderfull We both ordered the prix fixe menu, which included an asparagus appetizer, a filet mignon main course, and a Valrhona chocolate cake for dessert. We finished up with a tasting flight of 3 Inniskillin ice wines: the oak-aged Vidal, the Riesling and the Cabernet Franc. They all had the same nose -- at least to untrained sniffer-- but they tasted very different.
After dinner, we headed back to "our" house, and tried to prepare ourselves mentally for heading back to reality the next day.