One overcast morning nearly 10 years ago, we woke up in a motel in Cambria, not knowing we were about to have an experience that would change our lives. The weather was ominous. Torrential rains had sent rocks sliding down onto Highway 1, and the people we spoke with urged us to forego our plans to drive up the entire Big Sur Coast—which would have been the first for Sarah, who was raised in the Northeast, and only the second time for Rob, a native Californian. There was a good chance that a road closure would turn us back, but we headed up the coast anyway.
The road was empty of cars except for ours, and we began to wonder if this was a foolish thing to do—especially since vacation time is so precious!
All of a sudden, about an hour into our drive, the clouds parted and the stunning beauty of Big Sur opened up to us. It seemed like at every turn one of us was saying, “Wow!”
Somewhere around Palo Colorado, Sarah turned to Rob and said, “Could you imagine what it would be like to live here?” At that time, we never dreamed that the sights we were taking in would one day be just around the corner from our home.
Why do we love to travel? Perhaps it is that sense of beginner’s mind that you get when you are on the road, when you see things with fresh eyes and openness.
The theme of this issue, “Travel Local,” is intended to encourage something that we actually try to promote in each issue: seeking out local opportunities to be inspired and transported—especially when the experience involves food and drink.
For this issue, we define travel in the broadest sense. The cover story comes from a trip by one of our writers on the back roads of our region when she spoke to farmers about their hands. Other articles provide a chance to travel back in time to when Sicilian fishermen were settling in Monterey, bringing their European traditions and sensibilities with them, and to when Deetjen’s was serving its first guests in Big Sur. We share ways to visit or even stay overnight on some of our local farms, and insights into a local winemaker who is perhaps more famous in Japan than he is here— and to one of our area’s best kept travel secrets, the San Benito Wine Trail. And at the end of many stories you’ll see links to related guides on our website, www.ediblemontereybay.com.
We hope reading this issue will provide a jumping off point for many life-changing local adventures of your own.
Sarah Wood and Rob Fisher