Nepenthe is a medicine for sorrow, literally, an anti-depressant.  Homer mentions it in the Odyssey when Helen of Troy is given a magical potion called Nepenthe by the Egyptian queen, with this prescription, “It quells all sorrows with forgetfulness”.  Nepenthe is also a restaurant in Big Sur, California in the heart of the central coast.  The restaurant has been around since the sixties.  Chris and my folks went there for lunch on Saturday and sent these pictures. 

The property was once owned by Orson Wells and Rita Hayward.  They bought it on a whim while they were in Big Sur on their honeymoon.  Wells was researching his magnum opus, Citizen Kane at the time.  The real life subject of this movie, William Randolph Hearst lived just down the road in his castle at San Simeon.  Big Sur was probably as close as Wells dared to approach the powerful Hearst; Citizen Kane was none too flattering of Hearst.  “Rosebud”

We launched relatively early on Monday morning, ten o’clock.  We cruised through the Park, retraced our route up the Hill, site of Sunday’s bike races, passed by Francis Park again, site of Saturday’s bike races and stopped off at the Chippewa Ted Drewes.  We only had mini-concretes, which later became a problem.  Anne had this year’s new pomegranate flavor and I of course had my usual chocolate chip flavor.  Anne met a young couple from Montreal that was on vacation.  They were tracing the route of Old Route 66.  They wanted to go to the transportation museum, because a portion of the Coral Courts Motel had been moved to there.  Part of their adventure westward is staying in the old Route 66 era motels.  In its later years the Coral Courts became a bit, let us say notorious.  The most distinguishing feature of the Coral Courts was that each room had its own, fully enclosed, attached garage.  This feature became invaluable to lovers in illicit relationships.  Except for the moments that it took to rent the room and park the car, no prying eyes would know who was there.

At this point in our ride we decided to head to Benton Park, the site of Monday’s bike races.  This is the first time for this venue.  We watched a couple of races and then stayed for the kids races.  Watching the kid’s race was a hoot!  They staggered the kids by age group, starting with the big wheel crowd closest to the finish line.  Each age category would race and then be cleared off the road before the subsequent and older category could begin.  It was fun to see a ten year progression in just about ten minutes.  On our way back home we stopped at Saint Nicholas, the Greek Orthodox Church and site of the best Greek Festival in town.  I loaded up the messenger’s bag with gyros and we headed home.  We got 30 miles.  Monday was a nice day in a great weekend.

As we were outbound through the Park, Anne spied this kite flying over Art Hill.  She pointed it out and suggested that I zoom in on it.  I responded that it we really wanted to get a good shot we should climb Art Hill.  Well she was fired up, so we climbed up Art Hill and I got the shot that made the preceding movie.  Traffic caused Anne to lead us up Government Hill next.  This Saturday we begin the big ride, the 2010 MS-150.  Wish us luck or better yet, donate.

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