What a wonderful lazy week it was with having a Thanksgiving Break for the whole week. No school from Wednesday and hanging with the family and seeing Big Hero 6 – Amazing!!! Preparing for our Thanksgiving crab feast with a vegetarian main of Shepherds pie and desserts that included Cranberry Tart, Vegan Pumpkin Pie and Quince and Pear Crumble. We had a wonderful day with friends who came over from Oakland and we hung out and ate and relaxed and took the kiddos to the park to play after all the food we ate.
Cranberries waiting for their pastry bottom with some lemon zest
After the day was over we had to get ready for our weekend away to Bothe Napa State Park to stay in a yurt! Yes I was so excited to stay in a yurt again and I knew it was not going to be like the Mt Shasta fancy yurt experience which was 3 times the size of the yurt at Napa. On Thanksgiving Day my friends told us that it was going to rain on the weekend!! Oh that was not going to stop our weekend away… What fun to camp in a yurt in the rain in California, a very novel idea indeed!!
Bunny sculpture in a winery
On our way to the state park we had some time to check out the mill and find out how flour is made. The Bale Grist Mill from 1846 still makes all types of flour and sells it for $5 a bag – my husband the bread baker was very excited! We took the tour of the mill and it was fascinating to see all the processes of the mill and chat to the docent who is a baker too. He had the tastiest cream puffs to sample left over from his Thanksgiving Feast.
The Mill powered by a 36 foot water wheel
A stone that makes the stone ground flour
Vintage Flour Sifters
Scored some Whole Wheat Bread Flour ready for an artisan loaf of bread
Milling today – How lucky were we!!
Check in was at 2pm so we headed on over to the yurt and it was nice and dry. As it is winter the light is limited so we were getting the fire started early and starting to cook dinner. Lucky for us as soon as we had heated up our Thanksgiving leftovers and were eating it started raining so dessert was in the yurt – which prompted a song by the kiddos… dessert in the yurt, dessert in the yurt!!
Cranberry tart travelled in a lunchbox in the cooler
The yurt had a a queen size bed and 2 camp cots for the kiddos inside so we bought our sleeping bags, pillows and blankets to keep extra warm. It was very cold in the yurt but as there were 4 of us when the door was closed it warmed up fairly quickly. We made it for dessert and as it was raining there was no hanging out with the campfire so we opted to go to bed super early – as early as 8pm!! Sleeping listening to the rain on the yurt was so relaxing until it got super heavy and then blobs of water from the trees above woke us up from our slumber.
The yurt in the morning
The yurt freshly rained on!
We headed over to Calistoga the next day for brunch and to escape the rain. We enjoyed the farmers market and had a lovely brunch at Cafe Sarafonia I ordered the Spinach and Portobello Benedict and it was just the right size and oh so tasty with avocado. We really enjoyed Calistoga and next time we go for a mud bath or a spa! When we wandered around and went to the Sharpsteen museum for some California history, they have a diorama of the town which is meticulously crafted and well worth a visit. After the museum visit we came out and the sun was shining and our window for hiking was upon us!
A break under the old oak trees
Climbing a manzanita tree
An enchanted moss covered forest
Beautiful Manzanita shows its colour in the rain
A fun guy on a tree
A world of fairies and tiny mushrooms
The camp hosts dream Airstream!
Oh and in between eating and camping I started making this wonderful hat out of my favorite yarn Malabrigo worsted. This pattern is Anjas Newsboy Hat and is meant to have a brim, unfortunately I ran out of yarn. Still it is a warm hat to wear as it covers your ears and this is a teeny bit loose but the yarn was challenged while it was being knitted in the rain and by the campfire. Still it is a super easy pattern to follow and cannot wait to make another one soon – this time with a brim!