Snow in Marin

We have been living in Marin for 8 years, and today was the first time we had a little snow. I just had to get out and decided to drive to Pierce Point Ranch to show the place to my mom, who is visiting.

Driving through Lucas Valley, we see snow on the top of the hills there. What a weird sight for this area, what is the world coming to?

Next stop - the Point Reyes shipwreck. I have many images of this shipwreck, but never surrounded by this much water

On the way out to Pierce Point Ranch, we stop because there is a huge flock of Tule Elks beside the road. The tule elk is one of two subspecies of elk native to California. Tule elk once inhabited the grasslands of the Point Reyes peninsula and the Olema Valley, as well as other grasslands within Marin County. 

Our final destination was Pierce Point Ranch, a place I have visited many times now. But today I learned that Danish, Italien and Eastern European immigrants had worked here. I love how you always learn new things every day.

Getaway to Mendocino

With its dramatic ocean-bluff setting overlooking a steel-blue sea, this coastal hamlet is an obvious magnet for artists, romantics, and lovers of anything wild and untamed. Mendocino is a coastal community in northern California. It's known for the cliffside trails and beaches of Mendocino Headlands State Park.

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This tucked-away village wasn’t always so charmingly peaceful: during the height of the logging boom in the mid- to late-1800s, Mendocino bustled with people and commerce, a thriving port filled with lively hotels and saloons. Now, luxurious B&Bs welcome you to curl up by the fire; restaurants serve just-caught seafood and local organic wines, and galleries beckon with artwork and quality handcrafts.

We had one night stay at a renovated water tower, which was very authentic and cute. Mendocino is well know for it’s water towers, which is still in use and provide the village with water.

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Included was a breakfast basket, which arrived at our doorstep 8:30. We brought it with us to the beach and enjoyed a delicious breakfast overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean.

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Bowling Ball Beach

On the way back to Mill Valley, we stopped at Bowling Ball Beach which is a part of Schooner Gulch State Beach. It looks as though the beach has been scattered with oversized bowling balls. Almost perfectly spherical, stones like these have caused wild speculation, with answers from aliens to dinosaurs.

Best observed at low tide, the so-called bowling balls are actually a geological phenomena known as “concretion”, sedimentary rock formed by a natural process wherein mineral cements bind grains of sand or stone into larger formations. These boulders are the result of millions of years of concretion and erosion, exposing the hard spheres as the mudstone of the cliffs receded around them.

Carmel by-the-sea

Carmel-by-the-Sea, often simply called Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California. Situated on the Monterey Peninsula, about 120 miles (190 km) south of San Francisco, Carmel is known for its natural scenery and rich artistic history. Early City Councils were dominated by artists, and the city has had several mayors who were poets or actors, including Herbert Heron, founder of the Forest Theater, bohemian writer and actor Perry Newberry, and actor-director Clint Eastwood.

We are very fortunate to have friends with a house in this beautiful place. We headed down from Mill Valley early Saturday morning, so we could enjoy as much of the day as possible outdoors.

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The weather was sunny and warm and we took their ocean kayak down to the nearby private beach. We had this gem all to ourself, we explored the little cove, played with the hollow, long, tubelike kelp.

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Everyone need to get clean after our trip to the beach, some more than others. We ended a perfect day, with a perfect sunset over the Pacific ocean, in the company of good friends, and stunning sunset videos on social media for the younger generation.

A Taste Of Napa

This Saturday I had the opportunity to go to Napa for a small private event. We met at Oxbow Market in downtown Napa. Oxbow District of Napa has become the local gathering place for great food and wine in downtown Napa and throughout the Napa Valley. The goal is to create an atmosphere within the Oxbow Public Market to improve the local food culture through education, community outreach and support of local businesses and farms.

 

Gemstone Vineyard

From Oxbow, we drove to our first destination Gemstone Vineyard. The vineyard farm 20 micro-blocks within their 16-acre estate to optimize the uniqueness of their diverse soils and numerous clonal selections. When Thomas Rivers Brown joined Gemstone in 2007, he immediately understood that the estate could support three stylistically distinct expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon.

While sitting outside under the trees, having a very delicious lunch, we were fortunate to taste wines they only had very few left of. And I understand why. To be honest, I'm not a wine person, I don't know much about wine, I'm the kind of person you would not pick to choose the wine. Okay, now you know - but I could tell that these wines are not something you get every day. 

 

Sinegal Estate Winery

Sinegal Estate Winery is one of the oldest vineyards in Napa. It is historically know as The Inglewood Estate, with 30-acres with perfect soil, subtle microclimates and varied terrain.

The first vines was planted back in 1881, by Alton Williams, and 4 years later they harvested for the first time. 130 years later, Sinegal Estate will release its first wine. The Estate has a diverse selection of varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Masque, and Semilion.

The Estate is magnificent. It’s modern with a classic, warm European style. Everything is clean, from the design of the tasting room, the labels on the bottles, to the barrels. For me, and my self-diagnosed OCD, a true pleasure to the eye.

Beth welcomed us and showed us everything. How they sort the grapes, where the store the wine and for how long. The French oak barrels, and made sure we tasted a good selection of their wines. Sinegal produces 3000 cases a year. They mainly sell through their membership club, to a few restaurants, so not easy to get a hold of their wines. Again these wines were something more than every day wine.

Steep Ravine Cabins

If you follow along on my blog, you have noticed that this is not the first post from Steep Ravine Cabins. I believe it's the 3rd. We love going here for many reasons. It's only 40 minutes drive from our house, you are transported back in time because of the very simple living, you are close to nature, and close as a family. All of these things are important to our family, but my guess is, it's true for every family.

Steep Ravine Cabins and Campground is so private and relaxing. There is not a bad location or spot, the views from all the sites are overwhelmingly beautiful. I love the windy drive down (or walk) to get down to the campground. This is one of my most favorite places to camp and while a bit more challenging to book, considering a weeknight stay is totally worth it!