A Weekend Away

Hello there!

I am terribly sorry for the lack of posting that’s been going on. Being a fourth year journalism major, puts a major crimp in my free time.

For the past few months Matt and I have been trying to take a few days off and visit his mom and step-dad at their new house up in the mountains of Northern California. They moved to a house that sits on 46 acres in a town called Stonyford – population 250. It’s the gosh darn country out there, and we have been itching to try a hand at it. This last weekend we got our chance. It was especially great since this weekend was Easter, because my spring break never falls around Easter, I’ve never gotten to fly home to spend it with my family, so getting to spend it with Matt’s was beyond appreciated.

Our transportation situation is an interesting one, Stonyford is 3 hours away (without traffic) which means its really like 4 1/2 hours away, and neither of us have a car. So his momma, Cherice, had to drive down to get us, only to turn around for another long drive. God bless that woman.

We left Friday afternoon after Matt got out of class and we had to stop at a few stores before heading up to the mountains, so we didn’t get there until after dark. We walked into a house with a fire blazing in the black iron fireplace in the middle of the room, welcome to the country!

We got a tour of the house and then of the barn. Matt found one of his mom’s hunting hats and it was over from there. He fell in love and insisted on posing in front of 2 elk that his mom and step-dad have hunted and are storing in the barn for now.

He was born to be a hunter, no?

We went to bed shortly thereafter (2am), cause we were pooped and wanted to be up early on Saturday. We got to stay in the loft of the barn that is in the process of being converted into a little apartment, so sweet and cozy.

Saturday morning, we were woken up to repeated knocking on the door…only every time we looked, nobody was there! We were like “what the heck?! whose playing a joke on us?!” Turns out, it was a woodpecker, oh the country life!

We got up around 8am, well, I played a little joke on Matt and told him it was 11am cause he was moanin’ and groanin’ about how tired he was.

I know, I know, I’m such a trickster.

When we stepped outside the loft our breath was taken away. It was dark when we arrived last night, so we got our first look at the sweeping views in the early morning sunshine.

After gasping at the views, the trees, and the sheer vastness of the countryside we headed to the main house for a big country breakfast; bacon, eggs, bagels, and coffee. Lots of coffee.

His folks are in the process of renovating the main house as well, so please excuse the painters tape and patched holes!

The barn!

The main house!

After breakfast Cherice and I whipped up some Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Brownies for the Hillbilly Olympics we would be attending in the afternoon – more on that later.

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What A Food Blogger Does on Her Day Off

As I many of you know, I am still in college, I work part-time, I’m on my school’s magazine, I am part of the organization, ShareFood, and I run this blog.

Doesn’t really leave much time for a crackin’ social life.

But I manage. Just barely.

I really do try to make the most of my free time, ESPECIALLY if its nice outside.

What do I do?

Well, my favorite thing as of late is walking 3 blocks down from my house into the San Francisco Botanical Garden to hike, picnic, or just plain hang out.

Yea, I live 3 blocks away from all this gorgeousness.

There are about a million trails like this all throughout the garden for people to explore. I swear, I’ve never taken the same path twice.

This past year, Matt bought me this amazing picnic basket that came stocked with dishware, glasses, and cutlery, so we often pack it full of goodies to enjoy on our blanket (normally we sit on the grass, but it had rained the night before, so the grass was pretty damp and muddy)

Homemade garlic hummus with a sweet potato crisp anyone?

After we eat, we like feeding the squirrels brazen enough to scoot up to our blanket. Matt likes taking pictures of me taking pictures of squirrels

Matt also likes taking pictures of me just plain feeding squirrels

Look at this little man! How the heck could you not love him?! I was not zooming on my camera by the way, this is how close he was.

I too like taking pictures of my cutie boy feeding the squirrel cutie boy. This little man seriously couldn’t get enough of our fruit, he just kept coming back for more. It was great, he would even come if I call him. It was so sad feeding him our last strawberry, cause then he scampered off, leaving only the stem and leaves behind.

THIS IS REAL?!?!?! I love nature.

Geese do the weirdest things when they clean themselves, don’t you think?

The garden has a bunch of ponds and streams everywhere with tons of benches, so sometimes its nice to just sit and watch the birds flock about.

Again, I didn’t even have to zoom for this shot.

I love the Botanical Garden – its phenomenally gorgeous, its free, its close to me, and we know where the back gate is so we can sneak in and out whenever we please.

What do you like to do on your days off?

My First Days of Spring Break

Hello world!

I’m sorry its been a few days since my last post, I’m on my spring break right now and Matt doesn’t have school on Tuesdays so we headed out to his hometown to visit his dad for a few days.

Before we headed out, we made a quick breakfast of Goji Berry cereal with some sliced up Fuji apple, it was tasty!

Usually when we go over to Matt’s dad’s we cook, to show our appreciation for letting us stay and cause we like to. But tonight, his poppa had a real nice Croc Pot stew goin’ – and we weren’t gonna mess with dat!

It was a fairly simple stew: beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions in a nice broth. Matt’s dad wasn’t happy with the consistency of the broth, he said it was too thin, so I taught him how to make a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken it. It was much better. Nice and hearty, which is exactly what you need on a chilly night.

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Sometimes it’s nice feeling like the kid and having a parent cook for ya!

Afterward, we indulged in some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

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It was supposed to rain in the morning, so we were a little apprehensive about what to do before we had to go back to the city. But when we woke up, it was gorgeous out! Hallelujah!
We grabbed a sammie from Matt’s favorite delicatessen for lunch.

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I keep it classic with a turkey and cheddar on sourdough with the works, but light mayo. The deli is one of those mom and pop places where the owners know their customers by name and have the art of sandwich making down pat.

After letting our food settle for a little, Matt and I headed out to go on a hike through some trails behind a monastery. This place is gorgeous, secluded in the woods, the air is fresh and the trees are huge.

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On our way back up the trail we came across this statue of the Virgin Mary. Yes, I know we were at a monastery, but it was still such a surprise.

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As I was walking away from the statue, I noticed these wild mushrooms. They were just so pretty and untouched and something you hardly see in the city.

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Even though we only went back to Matt’s hometown, relaxing and just hanging out was the perfect way to kick off my spring break.

What do you like to do on your days off?