A couple of weeks ago, I went down Hwy 1 to the New Camoldoli Hermitage with my mama and her lady friends. We packed a picnic and drove the hour+ to the Hermitage, a Benedictine hermitage in the Santa Lucia Mountains, just a bit south of Big Sur. We had planned on going to watch a mass and then have a picnic overlooking the Pacific Ocean. On the way down we talked about all sorts of things. A friend of my mom’s talked about how there was a purse she really wanted but that it was too expensive. Another woman expressed her frustration with a class she was taking. It was really nice, a change of pace to spend time with these ladies and really learn from them. It’s amazing how much you can learn by listening but it’s also astounding how much you can learn by having others listening to you and listening to yourself. I think that is rarely addressed in society. We are pushed to be good listeners. I agree, listening, when appropriate is a very important quality to have as a person. But being able to speak and express and listen to yourself and allow others to really hear what you are saying is also invaluable.
Nepenthe was mentioned, a restaurant with a killer view that neither my mom or I had ever been to. My mom gracefully leaned over to me and said that we should not have packed picnics and just had lunch at Nepenthe. Oh well, next time, I thought.
When we arrived at the hermitage, we stood quietly outside of the church and someone suggested we take our picnic home and eat at Nepenthe anyways. Oh! Daring!
We got to the hermitage and watched the mass. Silence was to be respected, it was quite a different experience. I made a very conscious effort to not speak. My mom’s friend leaned over to me and said “do you like my shoes?” She was wearing turquoise sandals that I had noticed before but not yet had the chance to compliment. A huge smile came across my face and I nodded. She forcefully squeezed her eyes and nodded her head forward “shoot, we’re supposed to be quiet, it’s so hard for me.” It was really surprising that it wasn’t me who couldn’t keep quiet.
After mass, we went to the bookstore and bought delicious fruitcake made by the monks. And I bought chocolate 🙂
We loaded up in the car and headed to Nepenthe. The drive along the coast is just beautiful as you can see in the photos below. We quickly found parking and a table and sat to enjoy lunch on the sunny terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I had a bloody Mary, which was very well made! Be sure to order it when you go, especially if it’s a hot day. The most popular dish is the Ambrosia Burger, but I had a turkey sandwich that had cranberry sauce in it, which was very good. The Beet Salad also looked very appetizing.
We sauntered down to the Phoenix gift shop and marveled at artisan jewelry, books about the Monterey Bay area, sampled lotions made locally and enjoyed the various art that was displayed. This gift shop is a great place to buy unique gifts from the area!
|view from the car going down Hwy 1|
|from the Hermitage, you can hardly see the ocean from the fog!|
|Lunch place 🙂|