An RV in the Redwoods

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After a couple of weeks of preparing for a couple of exams and finally completing them, it was time for a bit of rest and relaxation. Timing was perfect as California State Parks Foundation invited us (as Legacy donors) to a morning with the elephant seals on Saturday, so we booked an RV in the redwoods with Air BnB in Bonny Doon which was 30 minutes away from Ano Nuevo State Park where we went on our elephant seal tour.

We managed to find some delicious pie fro Pie Ranch – a place I have wanted to check out for ages and whose philosophy towards food is totally aligned with mine. And of course we had to buy some pie – we scored the lemon and the honey oat which were both super tasty with a cup of tea. We enjoyed the time in the RV catching up on knitting, reading, playing Nintendo, listening to audio books and generally relaxing under the redwoods.

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Saturday morning we had our early morning hike to Ano Nuevo State Park to check out the elephant seals. We had a funny and knowledgeable docent Ben who gave us the full history and life cycle of elephant seals and how their numbers went from near extinction to what they are now close to 2,000 seals just on this stretch of this State Park!

I had my 28-105mm lens to capture these guys – we got so close to them, and I managed to get some incredible shots. Of course, a telephoto would have been the best as I had lens envy every time I saw one sitting atop a tripod. But still, our docent said we did not really need it, as there were so many and they were so close to people. I was so happy to get some beautiful shots of these vulnerable creatures. There are many ways they are vulnerable ad they risk getting eaten by white sharks on their migratory route, the males have to prove their dominance amongst the harem of lady seals, the females develop a baby every year by mating with many males, the weaners are left on the beach to practice swimming and then they too will migrate miles and miles through treacherous shark infested waters to eat deep-sea fish and squid and hopefully come back to the same beach, the saddest seals are the ¬†non-dominant males; they will just starve themselves to a certain point on the beach until they feel it’s time to go and eat and then come back for another mating season – the life of an elephant seal, who knew…

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On top of all the fun of seeing the elephant seals and the area being a wildlife refuge we saw so many birds and among them the great pelicans in their flying formation. The views over the dunes and around the sand were just breathtaking, and we were very lucky to score some sunshine on our walk with the seals.

California State Parks Foundation had set up a luncheon for us back at the barn, and we had the option of going back via the beautiful beach but to stay back 25 feet away from the elephant seals. We found one, and he looked like a rock on the beach. The beach was just so beautiful with its many rock collections and colours. The bonus was getting back to the barn was crossing New Years Creek without getting wet feet! Even though the water did not look very deep – you had to navigate your way around without getting too wet which added to the excitement.

We finished our hike just after lunch, so we had a whole afternoon to chill out, so we wandered over to Pescadero Marsh to see if we could find any birds. The kids were a bit excited and scared them off, so we decided it was a good place just to chill out on the grass and watch the clouds in the sunny afternoon sky.

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The evening after our trip out to Ano Nuevo and Pescadero ended with some rain, so we relaxed in the RV enjoying the sounds of the rain through the redwoods and on the roof. Such a perfect family getaway amongst nature.

A piece a Week – A Pattern Remix

Sidetracked is what happened to me last week – in a mass of projects I saw this beautiful fabric in my project pile and thought what can I make with this? Then a flash of inspiration came – why not combine your favourite top and skirt combination and see what happens? So I used the skirt of a favorite dress pattern of mine. For the top was a fabric a good friend in Portland gave me last time I visited. I really wanted to focus on the super cute birds in the print and used the Geometric Top pattern from the Burda Sewing Vintage Modern book – I pretty much wear the black version of this top every week to ceramics class and it can be layered with long sleeves and with its interesting cut it sits quite low and does not creep up when I am working on the wheel. This dress makes me so happy as yellow is my favorite color. Currently I am planning my wardrobe for when we leave the country to visit Australia in 4 weeks and it will be winter ūüė¶ at least yellow is a happy colour!
Vintage chick fabric
The front of the dress has pockets – which I love
A V at the back of the top with a yellow fabric I found in my stash 

This was going to be a Mothers Day dress but the day was far from what it is today, which is lovely and sunny! Yesterday by the beach in Pescadero the sun was hidden by cloud most of the day so I made this top in a wool to be worn as a layer. I like the way it turned out and it is a lot of fun with a short skirt and tights Рan easy layering piece for a Sunday at the beach in California. 

The geometric top in wool suiting
We had organized to meet our friends from Oakland in Pescadero for Mothers Day for lunch at Pescadero Country Store and after a feast we walked down to see the goats at Harley Farms. There were so many baby goats, way too much cuteness. After our 1 mile cruising walk we decided to go and hang out at the beach for a bit before heading home. Lucky for us we were there in time to see a family of whales swimming by in the shallows. We could see their little fins popping up out of the water and the air from their breathing holes Рsweet! While we were at Pescadero there was a parade down the street celebrating the Portuguese community check out the mini horse taking these folks for a ride! 
Dudes strike a pose Рloving your mini horse! 
We wandered up to Harley Farms to check out the goats as a tradition of ours for the many years we have been visiting Pescadero Рno trip is complete without a visit to the goats! And we were in luck with seeing lots of baby goats and a trip up above the store to the hayloft where sat a huge table and chairs. 

Just like being in Alice in Wonderland 

As it was nice overcast weather we made our trip to the beach for a final farewell to Pescadero.

The pair of us on a rock – very rare photo op!

Missy finds clay and makes a cat

The cat closeup

Adding a bit of detail to the head

A bee in a poppy – one of my favorite photo captures

This guy found a whale bone Рnot really it is a stick! 

Camping Close Encounters

For a treat with our neighbours we all decided to go for a camping adventure together to Memorial Park in Loma Mar just near our favourite town of Pescadero. I have to say it was a successful trip for this time of year the mornings and evenings were quite chilly and during the day it was just lovely under the redwoods and by the creek. Here are some of my best pics of the weekend that was generally focussed on relaxing with some wine and eating.

I made some portobello mushrooms with camembert, goat cheese, tomato, guacamole & zucchini which were some parcels of an amazing combination of flavours. With the portobello I added a marinated tofu and grilled eggplant with tzatzaki made by my neighbour – I was quite full after that and then we topped it all off with campfire cones¬†by the fire with some pinot noir. I would have to say it was a successful trip camping together as we work so well as a camping team – it was just like staying overnight at our local park ūüėČ

Our dinner spread 
A vegetarian’s campfire dinner
Kiddos playing with the marshmallows
Sunlight through the redwoods

Camping over the summer…. continued

It has been a long time between posts as the summer holidays came to an end. The last month and a half of the holidays I had hardly a day on my own to sit down and write… I am now back somewhat on track with the kiddos back at school and working on goodies for a trunk show happening in a couple of weeks and the FabMo Textile Art Boutique which will be happening at Menlo Park. I wanted to add some of my last couple of adventures to the Summer Camp trip piccies – the last 3 trips were Limekiln State Park at Big Sur, Butano State Park in Pescadero and¬†Henry Cowell State Park near Santa Cruz. All beautiful in their own way!
100 ft Limekiln Falls at Limekiln State Park, Big Sur 
One of the amazing sunsets a walk from our campground at Limekiln SP
Another sunset completely accessible from our campground – it was so good to go to the beach after dinner
Banana slugs were a plenty on our redwood hike at Butano State Park Рwe enjoyed their campfire programs with our wonderful nature interpreter, Rosanna Рcheck out their site here they have some very cool activities and hikes for the kiddos and of course the parents! Our campsite was secluded and away from the crowds and we loved the campfires every evening under the redwoods with a cup of vino. 
One of the many Banana Slugs on our hike at Butano State Park
Our last summer camp trip we went to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park near Santa Cruz this was a couple of nights under the redwoods. These guys had some seriously entertaining camp fire programs including a trivia night and sing a long. We enjoyed a lovely long hike from our campground to the Redwood Grove by the creek seeing Thomas the train and horses along the way. This is a camping area super close to the Bay Area and you have to get in early to get a site РI booked the site in January! 
Manzanita tree branch peeling 
Leaves of three let them be – poison oak looking autumnal
Holly trying out our new campfire dessert the campfire cone, I found the recipe here  this looks good too
This tree is known as The Giant at the Henry Cowell Redwood Grove by the Visitor Center

Dinner at our last camp trip

Hobo dinners on the fire

We ¬†had our last camp trip recently to Memorial Park in Pescadero – what a super weekend it was for Cool Camping (my fellow campers will get that one!). Oh we were inspired by this book for our next camp journey – you know just throw more stuff in the car even if it’s a yurt ūüôā Anyway back to our trip – it was very gorgeous under the redwoods and we enjoyed our time hanging out drinking wine and beer by the cosy fire. Our dinner that evening was a hobo dinner – roasted veges in foil with a marinated tofu steak (for the vegetarians) and the boys had locally made sausages. And our dinner was topped off with hot smores. Oh now to wait until next summer…