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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 …

National Theatre London

We are crazy about theatre and I love the National. 

What's not to love? It's affordable, wide ranging, innovative and varied, their program has something for everyone. I even love Denis Lasdun's modernist building which so many others love to hate. Yes, you can line up for day tickets but why not buy some of the fifteen pound Travelux tickets in advance, or the online Friday rush tickets. They even have availability for sold out shows on the cheapie Friday rush. This season the showstopper was a fantastic production of Man and Superman with Ralph Feinnes. Often Shaw is ponderous and a little draggy but this production was the best I've seen sharp, witty and engrossing.  It was a wonderful ensemble production and Feinnes was fabulous as the conflicted Jack Tanner. Even the rather lengthy third act which is often cut, was performed well and helped the whole thing to hang together.
So, If you go to London and tend towards the West End, why not give the National a shot next time, after all these are the people who brought you lots of award winners including War Horse, The History Boys, One Man and Two Guvnors, The Madness of King George and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime.
Tip: If you have an American Express card you qualify to buy tickets a little earlier than the general public, though after members of the theatre. There are some seats reserved for Amex customers too. And as part of their sponsorship deal they also offer free Behind the Scenes tours to Amex cardholders. We loved the backstage tour and were amazed to see the size of the building. As the play works in repertory, they have space for several complete sets behind each stage, it's an amazing place and quite different in scale from any other stage I've seen. Highly recommended for interested theatre goers.