Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Yesterday was "girls day out" where I joined a couple of friends for lunch and a movie in Monterey. We went to see "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," and it was even more charming than the first one ("The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel").  If you haven't seen these movies, I recommend them! The first one is on pay-per-view on TV, the second one is in the theaters.

Here is the trailor:

I love movies that not only provide good laughs throughout, but also provide substance and words to more serious thoughts circuluating in my subconscious mind. Here are some of the quotes from these movies that stuck in my heart:

Evelyn: The only real failure is the failure to try. And the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment. As we always must. We came here, and we tried. All of us, in our different ways. Can we be blamed for feeling we're too old to change? Too scared of disappointment to start it all again? We get up every morning, we do our best. Nothing else matters.

Evelyn: But it's also true that the person who risks nothing, does nothing; has nothing. All we know about the future is that it will be different. But, perhaps what we fear is that it will be the same. So, we must celebrate the changes. Because, as someone once said "Everything will be all right in the end. And if it's not all right, then trust me, it's not yet the end."

Evelyn: [about their new environment] Initially you're overwhelmed. But gradually you realize it's like a wave. Resist, and you'll be knocked over. Dive into it, and you'll swim out the other side.

Sonny: Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end. 

EvelynHow many new lives can we have? As many as we like!

Enjoy your weekend! Enjoy your life!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Beautiful Big Sur

Last weekend Ash and Lys came home to celebrate Lys's birthday, so we headed down to Big Sur!  Spectacular vistas, gorgeous weather, and yummy food awaited us.

Serenaded by the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Coldplay, we drove through Carmel and the Pacific came into view.  Soon we were passing Point Sur with it's turn-of-the-century lighthouse. For an interesting read about it, click here!

Our first stop in Big Sur was the Big Sur Bakery for pancakes and eggs.
Care to have a seat?
After being properly fortified, we drove down to the Henry Miller Memorial Library -- a bookstore, really -- set in redwoods.
We were greeted by these funky sculptures. Not in the picture was the ping-pong table where anyone is invited to play and the guy doing yoga on the front porch (we wanted to respect his privacy).
 The interior of the library was equally unique. Books hanging from the ceiling...
 and a sort of room divider...
... made of money -- all foreign currency.
From there we drove down the coast another 7-8 miles into Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park for a little hike. The billowy clouds against the mountains and deep blue sky were gorgeous!
Pelton is a family name so I was especially curious about the Pelton Wheel!
Our goal was a short hike to see McWay Waterfall. We started down a path which led us to a tunnel.

On the other side of the tunnel, the ocean came back into view!
 There's nothing like a walk on the edge of the world! 
This was our trail, skirting the cliffs over the Pacific.
 Nestled in the hills along the path were morning glories...
 ...and other friends!

  McWay Falls were skinney (can you see it?) but the view was magnificent!
Staying there forever, breathing in the peace of Big Sur, was very tempting, but soon it was time to turn the car around and head back on the long and winding road home. We decided we were feeling hungry again, so stopped at the famous Ventana Inn.
 The weather was so nice, we opted to eat outside, with this as our view from our table...
 We were under a huge table umbrella and soon heard large raindrops falling. It became quite cool, but we were finished eating and by the time we got back to the car, the sun was shining again.

The Bixby Bridge welcomed us back to the Carmel Highlands area and soon we were home, warm memories dancing in our heads.
This is a trip I highly recommend to anyone visiting the Monterey area!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The House on the Pebble Beach Knoll

Several years ago when I lived in Pebble Beach, my daily walks led me to this small cove. You've heard me talk about it in past posts. I called it "my beach" because it's where I went to reflect on life and death and everything in between. Overlooking the cove is a house on a small knoll. It stands alone and brave, quite close to the water,  and I always wondered about that house. Did someone still live there? Did they have ever water lapping at their back door in a bad storm? What was the history of that house on the sea?

Yesterday I was invited to a private lunch in Pebble Beach. My friend had told me the place can be hard to find so we met at one of the entrance gates to Pebble Beach and I followed her through winding roads to 17 Mile Drive. I was so excited when we drove past "my beach," but imagine my surprise when her car turned into the driveway for the house on the knoll! That is where our luncheon would be held. After all these years, the mystery was finally solved. It was raining when we arrived, and we hurried down the path to the front door, shook out our umbrellas, and stepped inside. The house had been turned into a private meeting place. No one currently lives there. Eventually I made my way to the back picture windows and snapped these pictures...
 The cove ("my beach") itself...
We enjoyed a delicious lunch of chicken, risotto, fresh vegetables, and martini glasses filled with chocolate mousse topped with raspberries and blueberries. Then we listened to an inspiring speaker. He is a prominent physician in the area and started out talking about the heart, but soon became philosophical and talked about how we can have fixed mindsets or growth mindsets. Fixed mindsets are held by those who say, "That's just the way I am," and think they can't or won't change.Growth mindsets are held by those who make mistakes but learn from them, who are willing to try new things, who say, "I can do this," when confronted with a challenge. He told the story about the British Tour de France team who, instead of saying "we're doing the best we can," tweaked everything they were doing just 1% more and went on to win the race. You can read more about that here. I hope I'm one of the people who are willing to learn things through my whole life!

By the time we all parted ways, the rain clouds had moved on and the sun was out. We walked past this fascinating sideways tree. The wind may blow, but the tree adapted.
 Even a little caterpillar came out to enjoy the sun.
Adjacent Pacific Grove is known as the Butterfly Town and I imagine this caterpillar will soon become a beautiful butterfly and join with others to add color and joy to the monarch habitat sanctuary. Enjoy reading about this special butterfly habitat and monarch migration here.