So we still havn't had any luck with a venue that feels right for us. We checked out the Historic Sand Rock Farm in Aptos and while their wine cave was very cool and the house itself felt very homey, their fields (which we had high hopes for) were more like glorified parking lots covered with wood chips.
We did check out the Big Sur River Inn and were impressed by the restaurant and decks that we would use for the reception. The ceremony site was also nice but not quite what we are looking for. However, since it was a really neat place, we're going to keep it in mind. One thing that was neat was that the Inn itself has only 20 rooms, but right next door and within walking distance is the Big Sur Campground and Cabins, so that would give our guests more lodging options.
Right now we're trading e-mails with Mayacamas Ranch to see if we could have the kind of wedding we want there. Their ceremony site has the kind of expansive view that we are really hoping for.
I also just rediscovered VRBO today, which stands for Vacation Rental By Owner. I read about another wedding where someone found their venue on there so I started looking around for large estates or homes with a lot of property around them and found a bunch of things from down south in Carmel Highlands up to Napa and Sonoma. I'll be checking through those more thouroughly tonight to see if we have any potential sites to call!
Also...keep tabs on the updates in the coming weeks and months because I heard a rumor that may be adding some additional non wedding related updates to the blog! :-)