Big Sur

Bixby Bridge

Dad, Chris, Anne and I drove down California Highway 1 to Big Sur. We were stopped along the way by roadwork, but fortunately the view was stunning as we waited for our turn through a stretch of one lane road. The Bixby Bridge is one of the most photographed bridges in the world due to its aesthetics, a combination of graceful design in a magnificent setting. It is a reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge. It was built in the 1930s and it is part of a series of similarly designed bridges, along this popular coastal route.

In the 1950s, after my parents bought their first home in Monterey, they had a concrete patio built. The man who did the work was one of the dozens of drivers who had hauled the concrete to build these bridges. He had told them that when there was too long of a construction traffic backup, then he would sometimes have to dump his load. Otherwise, his cement mixer would have seized up.

We got to Nepenthe before it opened and had to wait a little bit to be seated, but it was worth the wait, as always. They are currently celebrating their seventieth anniversary and Dad was able to impress our waitress with tales of dining there, only shortly after the family who started this restaurant had purchased the land from Orson Welles. He had bought the property as a wedding present for his new bride, Rita Hayward, but she took one look at the place and said no way. He went on to create Citizen Kane. The Hearst Castle is only sixty miles south of Big Sur. Hayward filed for divorce and Nepenthe was eventually founded. 

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