Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Big Sur River Inn

The captivating fire place at the entrance of the Big Sur River Inn.

The place we call home away from home, is the Big Sur River Inn, that dates back to 1888. This quaint and tranquil place on highway 1 has always welcomed us when we wanted to relax by the river. The property originated when Jay Pheneger acquired a 160-acre parcel from the federal government and gave his name to the creek that bounds the River Inn on the south. 

A few of the suites that face the river.
Here's the view from our suite.
Time to relax!

Barbara and Michael Pfeiffer, who had already homesteaded and were farming near Pfeiffer Beach, purchased the Pheneger property. In 1926 John - Michael and Barbara's son - took over the land on which The Big Sur River Inn now stands and his daughter, Ellen Brown started the River Inn in 1934 - on the east side of the road.

Ready for dinner.

Dinner was too good for my own good.

Back to our suite to hear the river from just outside our door.

Esther replaced her mother as Big Sur Postmaster (Esther was careful to point out the title is not Postmistress... but Postmaster) and the Post Office was moved to the River Inn, situated where the HeartBeat Gift Gallery is today.  After some extensive remodeling and before he reopened for business, Hans did a traffic survey by standing at the Highway for one whole day to count cars. "Seven went by," he reported, "and every one stopped for gas." So he knew that the enterprise would be a success. With lots of help, Hans built the General Store and lodging units ten through fifteen. He rebuilt the dining room and "fixed it up fancy." Esther reminds us that there was a stream running right through the middle of the dining room with a little bridge crossing over it.  People admired the "indoor bridge" and stopped by again and again to see it.

Back for breakfast before we head to Carmel and then to Pfeiffer Beach.
Before we hit the road we go for a walk around the river.

The property is beautifully landscaped.
The purple sand at Pfeiffer Beach is just one of the many natural wonders in and around the Big Sur area.

The Pfeiffers and the Ewoldsens started a tradition at the Big Sur River Inn of fine food, excellent service and warm hospitality.  In 1988, a small group of family and close friends formed a partnership to carry on that tradition.
Back from Carmel we made another stop for lunch at the property restaurant.

Some wine to start off our 20th year wedding anniversary.

Enjoying the moment.

Some ice-cream for the kids and some gas for the car is the perfect mix to end the perfect vacation.

But to our family The Big Sur River Inn is a place we love to reflect and relax before moving on to our next chapter in our lives. 

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