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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

WPA Murals at the Beach Chalet San Francisco

One of the great things about walking on Ocean Beach in San Francisco is that you can drop by the wonderful WPA murals by Lucien Labaudt on the ground floor of the Beach Chalet. We were here last weekend and its a place I love to visit.

There's an explanation of the murals here... linking the images with  American ideals that hard work should be rewarded and that better times were to come. Unlike other socially critical images from this period, these murals represent an idealized San Francisco filled with happy citizens. The frescoes are very detailed with scenes of both work and leisure. They have a wonderfully lush sensibility and seem somewhat fantastical. I love that every time I see them I notice something new.

In addition to the frescoes there  is a lovely mosaic in the stairwell, including this lovely image pointing the way to the public facilities. Who says things can't be functional and beautiful!

Below is a picture of the Beach Chalet from the ocean, as you can see it lies at the very end of Golden Gate Park and looks out at the ocean. The upstairs restaurant has a view over the beach and though the food is fine but we prefer the atmosphere downstairs where you can sit outside facing the park. It's fun to stop for a drink or something quick to eat but it's the situation and the murals that will bring you back.