Where the San Lucia mountains rise up out of the Pacific Ocean, the Pacific Coast Highway winds its way north through forest and along jagged rocks to San Francisco.
Needing to get away from the hustle in LA for a bit, I spent Christmas among the redwoods, at Glen Oaks, a cluster of cabins, far from cell reception and decent internet. Progress as an actor is difficult to definitively measure, and I had had a difficult time adjusting to life without a nine-to-five schedule after finishing full-time theater school, six months ago. I had taken stock of my achievements and life lessons for the year, and solidified my goals for the new year. Determined to keep up the momentum, I was more mentally than physically exhausted, and a roadtrip up the coast to San Francisco, stopping off in the wilderness seemed the perfect way to do it.
We got in to Big Sur early evening, having taken a few stops on the coast along the way. Each cabin had a personal fire pit outside complete with a Smores Kit you could purchase for $9. I was so ahead of them with the marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate, but infinitely grateful for the very thoughtful skewers. I had been wondering what the chances were that I would find a convenience store in the middle of nowhere with skewers. Though from what I’ve seen of the American entrepreneurial brilliance, quite high. After a hunt for matches which were eventually found inside the fire pit, under the lid, we headed to dinner at the Roadhouse, the hotel restaurant.
At check-in, the receptionist had mentioned a “well-lit” path which led directly from the cabins to the restaurant. I quickly realised that the path was neither direct nor well-lit, and compounded with my irrational fear of giant tarantulas and venomous snakes (shut up, I’m Australian, they’re all deadly to me!) we ended up meandering up the side of the equally dark highway, trying not to get run over. It was pretty much dejavu, as this seems to happen to me on the regular – the year before decided to walk to Arrowtown from a nearby hotel near Queenstown. Then it got dark, and the rest of the story involved running for miles in the dark to the light of an iPhone.
Food at the Roadhouse was fantastic. Both the duck confit appetizer and the seafood stew did not disappoint. Having lived in New York, I had been disappointed by a lot of the restaurants I had tried in LA. The variety and ease of both ordering in and eating out just couldn’t compare to the big apple, so I’ll admit I had low expectations for food in Big Sur, and they exceeded my expectations greatly.
There is nothing like Jenga, S’mores and a glass of rosé after a long day of driving. The view of the redwoods was gorgeous, and I loved their tactical deprivation of technology, and forced socialisation in the form of Scrabble and Jenga. It was actually amazing not having to communicate with people for a couple of days in a year. Though, not gonna lie, making restaurant reservations and navigating there without a phone GPS can become more of a challenge.
Went to try the breakfast menu at the Roadhouse – was not feeling greatly adventurous the first morning. Grabbed a bagel sandwich with sausage, eggs and cheese. They also had Dutch babies which are also known as German pancakes. There is also a great place for lunch called Sierra Mar, at Post Ranch Inn, with floor-to-ceiling ocean views and beautifully plated, unconventional fusion food that we were not able to go to, as they are always booked out at least two weeks in advance.
It felt really good to get back to nature and the time at Big Sur was my absolute favorite part of the trip. I only wish I had stayed longer. ❤
Glen Oaks, Big Sur
Big Sur Roadhouse