That time I went glamping and stayed in a yurt...

Monday, July 20, 2015

    If you have read any of my other posts, you have probably figured out that I'm not exactly the camping type of person. My idea of "roughing it" is staying at the Hampton Inn, so when my husband told me that during part of our hybrid business trip/vacation I'd be staying in a round tent called a yurt, I was not exactly excited.

    My husband is an executive for an international company and one of their clients is located in Northern California. It is a small resort and cafe called Strawhouse Resorts and it is literally in the middle of nowhere.   We drove up on a highway from the San Francisco area and once we made a turn to the west, we were deep into the mountains on a two lane road, twisting and turning. Good thing I had the smarts to pop an anti-motion sickness pill or it would have gotten very ugly.   We drove and drove (actually it was only about 1.5 hours of mountain driving but I am dramatic at times). We finally pulled up to a riverfront paradise.

     Strawhouse is on the Trinity River in Big Flat California. The population of this town is 35 people, two of whom I now call friends. Their names are Julia and Don and they built and own this lovely little place.  They have an amazing coffee house and restaurant with organic and delicious food. Inside their cafe, they sell wonderful items from local artists. The outside deck of the cafe is alongside the stunning river where eagles fly by and hummingbirds come right up to your nose.  I tried to capture some of the magic by taking photos but they did not do it justice.  It was really one of the most beautiful places, I've ever seen.

The owners Don & Julia (aren't they cute?)
      They have some lovely little cabins that you can stay in but we got lucky enough to stay in the yurt.   It was much larger than I thought it would be. Other than the canvas walls,  it was not like a tent at all. It had wood floors,  the most comfortable bed , a full kitchen, air-conditioning and a gorgeous claw foot bathtub.  It was not "roughing it" at all.  It was fantastic.  

The yurt!!!!
500 count thread sheets is not roughing it, even for me!
      We spent two days without tv, wifi (except inside the cafe) and cell phone coverage.  This was the best business trip ever (no husband blabbing on the cell phone). This also meant that I only stalked checked the sleep away camp website once a day  for proof of life (a/k/a a photo of my youngest child who apparently is intentionally hiding from the camera person, his brother*

     Don and Julia were the warmest, sweetest people that I have ever met and if they had a cell phone tower, I might consider buying the lot next door just to be their neighbors.  If you find yourself in Northern California, you should really stop by this place either for a night or one of their famous wood oven pizzas.   It is well worth the trip.

*yes, you read that right.

The comfort zone...

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Public high schools in Florida have a fine arts credit requirement. When my son was finishing up his freshman year, he was not happy about having to take anything with the word "art" in it.  He begged to take something online so that he could take an extra science class.  Science was what his friends were into. He was so persistent that I actually went into speak to the Principal about allowing him to do this.  Despite that fact that this woman was in charge of 2100 young minds, she really thought about it, looked at his transcript and strongly suggested that he take his fine arts at school and not to take an extra science class. "It will be good for him" and she pretty much took about a huge rubber stamp and marked "Denied" on his request.

   At the time, I did not understand her refusal for more science. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) is being heavily pushed these days. It seems that every boy is rushing towards this type of major in college.  The thought is that STEM is where the jobs are going to be. Even kids who are not "science kids" like mine, were feeling the pressure to head into this direction.

   My son wearily reported for photography the first day of tenth grade.  During the year, he not only learned about the history of photography and studied the masters, he learned about cameras, taking photos and how to develop black and white film in the school's darkroom. Near the end of the year, he decided to take Advanced Placement (AP) Photography during 11th grade. 

   During his junior year ,while taking this college-level photography class, he started running around with his friends on urban photo safaris. They are starting a photography club at their school.  Some of his photos were chosen by his teacher to be shown at art shows around town and entered into contests. 

   In June, as he was heading off to his old summer camp to be a counselor, he asked if he could bring his camera and help the camp photographer out. The camp said to bring it and maybe he could help once in a while during the summer.

  He's been at camp for a little over two weeks and taking photos every day.  Hundreds of his photos have been posted on the camp's website so far. Right now he is a "war" correspondent  (Color War!)  

Color War Breaks out with Plane dropping Team Assignments!

   I guess getting out of one's comfort zone is usually a good thing. This is motivating me to get out of mine but I'm not sure what I'm up for this summer. Any suggestions? I'm thinking about learning about wine or paddle boarding. I'll probably go with the wine.

     Happy Summer!

My boys are teenagers and embarrassed by the mere existence of parents. They HATE when I blog about them but they are gone for the summer and are not supposed to be anywhere near the internet. They will be mad at me when they get back.

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