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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 …

Locks of Love on the Bridges of Paris

I can't be a romantic when my first thought on seeing the "locks of love" on Paris bridges is that the lock industry must have something to do with this phenomenon! Perhaps it started here, I don't know, but this trend has spread far beyond Paris. Am I cynical to see the industry rubbing its hands in glee? Like the phenomena of the London Eye, each city now needs its own giant ferris wheel and people need a place to demonstrate their affection, albeit in the same way, apparently there are now love locks on the Great Wall! However, I'm not sure I'll be joining the throngs as I don't fancy the metaphor of being locked in to love, or the idea that every tourist who gets the urge should clutter the beautiful bridges of Paris.
The pedestrian Pont des Art at the Louvre and Pont de l'Archeveche behind Notre Dame are festooned with engraved locks (for the organized lovers above) or more commonly locks  inscribed with what has often  proved not to be a permanent marker. Unfortunately when they start appearing on the historic ironwork of other bridges  they just look like bad graffitti.