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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 …

In Appreciation of Oscar Niemeyer

When I heard yesterday that the architect Oscar Niemeyer  had died at the age of 104 and I couldn't  help thinking of our modernist pilgrimage to Brasilia, the city he planned from scratch. We've visited lots of places but there's something about Brasilia that stays with you. The playful lines, the vision, the hope, the sense that you're caught in time.

The interior of the cathedral was captivating as you can see below.
Working till the end (even composing samba according to Terri Gross this afternoon) Niemeyer was profiled in the New York Times in 2005, a piece I'm looking forward to rereading . While Brasilia is extraordinary to visit (with one gorgeous building after another) the city is a strange place to navigate, particularly as we tried to do on foot and it was notoriously critiqued for its urban planning failures.
However, despite the critics Niemeyer aesthetic was both extraordinary and distinctive and in appreciation of his genius here are some more photos of Brasilia.

Blind justice outside a court building.
An exterior view of the cathedral.