5.24.2021

Sequoia National Park. Three Rivers. California. 5.7.2021-5.9.2021.

Sequoia National Park came onto my radar recently due to their spring blooms. I realized I have not been there since likely elementary school for a field trip, so I texted my friend. She, too, have not been there in quite a wile herself. Sequoia National Park is not as crowded as Yosemite, although near that way. Therefore my friend and I decided we needed a long weekend in the woods together. Naturally, I found the most charming house available to us that weekend inside the park. We invited another friend and made a girl's weekend out of it. Since all 3 of us were vaccinated, we were able to carpool together without wearing masks and stay in a house together and be near each other and goof off all weekend. It turned out to be the most "normal" thing we have all done since March 2020. Hilariously, while all 3 of us thought we had gone there in our adolescent years, only 1 of us has actually been to Sequoia.

The house is a charming cabin with plenty of indoor and outdoor space. There are 2 bedrooms and a loft with 3 beds and 3 bathrooms, one with a tub. There is a porch that wraps around for your morning breakfast enjoyment in addition to night time star gazing (my personal favorite). The kitchen was well stocked with everything you would need to cook and bake in addition to spices. Food options were very limited and you are best off bringing your own groceries. But always a good idea to support local businesses in addition and we picked up more produce and condiments along the drive to the cabin.














































































































You can get a drink at one of the restaurants with a river view. 1 of the 3 rivers here. Or you can bring your own beverage and have a picnic at one of the many great outdoor possibilities. 



Sequoia National Park is up to 1400 feet in elevation. We went on a nice drive all the way up to 7000 feet. Along the way we saw so many blooms and my favorite was the dogwood forest along the way. Oh the fashion shoots I envisioned in that... We went to meet General Sherman, the largest tree in the world and hiked around there.





When we drove back down to our cabin in the evening we stopped over to enjoy this gorgeous gradient sunset. 



Be sure to explore the charming stores and cafes and other offerings in Three Rivers en route or for fun. We stopped by Three Rivers Village Antiques and there were some great finds. I bought myself a set of antique blush glasses with gold engravings. There were also some great home goods stores next to it where I got some more bath salts.





En route I saw an investment opportunity, so on the way home we stopped by to check it out. You can Venmo me and I also take BTC.



Along the way home we stopped by more antique stores.



Some of you may know that I have an unhealthy obsession with llamas. It started with Monty Python. I have not met a llama until Larry the llama. I was very excited. Him not so much. Le sigh.



Therefore, for solace I hid in a treehouse.

3.09.2021

Point Reyes. California. 3.4.2021-3.7.2021.

We are very lucky in California in that we have many options for local travel. I love going to Point Reyes because it has minimal reception, which is such a luxury nowadays and amazing nature. I am rarely on a schedule when I unplug in nature and I just drive around and stop and take pictures randomly and hike. 

Obligatory Cypress Tree Tunnel.





Hiking around Point Reyes.





Everything was in bloom!



There were lots of wildlife roaming free. I even saw elephant seals up close. They were massive at 3000-4000 pounds and made very funny noises!









When in Point Reyes Station be sure to grab pastries from Bovine Bakery. Also, pop into Monk Estate to see if anything is to your liking. Hilariously, Lazuli and I have a mutual friend in Claire Ptak!





Around the corner is also Captain Okō for more retail therapy.



Olema House. Point Reyes. California. 3.4.2021-3.7.2021.

I had booked myself the Drake Suite at Olema House for the week of Christmas last year. Sadly, due to the surging COVID cases, I decided to do the responsible thing and postpone my travels. This was the soonest I was able to make a run for it. It was perfect timing as I had just delivered a big commercial, so this mental break was much needed.

There is little reception this part of Marin County and no TV in the rooms. Which was exactly what I needed. I brought a few books and finished 2. The only thing missing was a tub. But I sat outside on the swing by the brook and enjoyed the sunsets and nature.

Olema House
10021 Coastal Highway 1
Olema, CA 94950
415.663.9000











Crown and Crumpet Cafe. Ross. California. 3.4.2021.

This would be my second time leaving my tiny apartment since beginning of 3.2020. I decided I desperately needed a break away and booked myself a stay in Olema. I was supposed to spend the entire week of Christmas here last winter, but decided to postpone it to be responsible during peak COVID season.

En route to Olema, I had lunch, a high tea, with a friend at Crown and Crumpet in Ross, as they have outdoor seating. I would also recommend checking out their cakes. Many were having their chicken pot pie, which I was also eyeing. Next time, it will be the pot pie!

Crown & Crumpet Cafe
22 Ross Common
Ross, CA 94957
415.771.4252













10.21.2020

SingleTread Farms. Kistler Vineyards. Forestville. California. 10.18.2020.

This meal was supposed to be for my birthday on 3.21.2020 before I left for Japan. Then the world went mad with a virus then the Northern California fires came, so it was postponed twice. My friend and I decided to go for the outdoor dining experience at Kistler Vineyards when that was an option. While I was disappointed that I did not get to experience SingleThread in its own space, I was so happy to have had this incredible experience when I needed it most.

SingleThread Farms

131 North Street

Healdsburg, CA 95448

707.723.4646

I walked by SingleThread in Healdsburg Friday evening on my stroll around town. You can still book a room in their inn and they are also doing rooftop drinks.





















I can only describe this meal as exquisite California kaiseki. Its ethos echoes that of the traditional Japanese kaiseki from Kyoto, where you use the most seasonal ingredients for each course and plate it accordingly with the serveware to match. The amuse-bouche was a very great indication of the meal to come and even for this extreme cynic I was actually impressed, a rarity. We opted for the wagyu addition and one of us got the wine pairing, since the other 2 had to drive back home after this 4.5 hour meal. If you are looking for an exceptional fine dining experience, then I would highly recommend it. Especially since they are extending this outdoor dining experience at Kistler until end of November. It's actually worked out better as dining at night in Sonoma County means you can see the stars. Since we went during a tiny crescent moon, the stars and planets were glowing brighter than usual. The price is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it was worth every penny. So perhaps you can make a weekend out of it like I did too. Perhaps even spend the night so you are able to have more wine. I look forward to my return in another season!

EARLY AUTUMN IN SONOMA

WILD KAGOSHIMA KANPACHI

Farm tomatoes, Cucumber, and Pickled Wasabi

BLACK COD IBUSHI-GIN

Matsutake, Purple barley Crepes, and Shio Koji Vinaigrette

FARM BABY GEM

Cured Wild Salmon, Smoked Roe, and Chive Bavarois

SUMMER SQUASH

Spot Prawn, Squash Blossom, and Prawn Head Broth

DUCLAIR DUCK

Calimyrna Fig, Turnip, and Kanpyo *with Wagyu addition

SONOMA GRAINS

Wagyu Shortrib, Pickled Ramps, Maitake, and Beef Consommé

TRENTON ROADHOUSE CHARDONNAY

Mushroom and Oak

ALBION STRAWBERRY

White Chocolate, Sake Kasu, and Shiso

WAGASHI

Melipona Honey "Yakgwa"

Japanese Cheesecake with Umeboshi

Suiteki with Apricot

Miso Custard with Spiced Nashi