Are you a shopper?
Yeah, I love to shop. The Phoenix bookshop - I call it the bookshop, but it's actually just a shop - has a lot of the books and poetry by writers who lived in Big Sur. It's a great shop for jewelry and oils, and every once in a while they feature some really eclectic, special jewelry designers.

The Phoenix also has the best cookies on the planet. I think they're called Selma's Cookies. They're chocolate chip, and they're award-winning. And after we first partook, we wound up ordering a bunch online and then had a freezer full of them. They're the greatest chocolate-chip cookies ever. So they sell those at the Phoenix Shop, and that's just underneath the restaurant Nepenthe. And Nepenthe is amazing. I love their Ambrosia Burger. It has a really great sauce that they make.

What are you listening to when you're cruising around from Monterey to Carmel to Big Sur?
I listen to a band called Magnet. They're from Norway. Great driving music. I always make mix CDs and do mixes on my iPod, so it'll be everything from Joni Mitchell to Magnet.

Where do you stop for a snack while you're on the road?
The Big Sur River Inn General Store. They make really great burritos. Ryan and I, when we stock up for the hotel room, always grab a burrito from there. It's quite close to Post Ranch. They also have amazing chocolate muffins.

Any final thoughts on the area?
There's really no time of the year that I would recommend that people not go to the Monterey Bay area. In the winter, it's just more about sweaters and hot drinks and keeping warm, and then in the summer, it's kind of a jubilant summer experience. There's no time of year that would be a bad time to go.