Thursday, March 24, 2011

Romanic Valentines Getaway (for 5)

I know, super duper late on the Valentines adventure post but here it goes...

So this year it just happened to work out that Matt could take the Friday before Valentines off and out of the blue he called to see if I wanted to drive up the coast to see the Redwoods.  I of course said yes, so he found some cheap hotels to stay in and we headed out Friday afternoon.  We took lots of stops along the way (after all Orson and the dogs came along for our romantic weekend getaway), ate at my favorite place in Nappa, saw the sunset on the beach and just enjoyed the drive out.  The first night we stayed in Fort Bragg, ate amazing seafood (I actually ate seafood all weekend long :) and surprisingly, enjoyed a goods night sleep 

 The sunset was fact the weather was amazing every day we were out, which made for great beach sunsets every night :)

We woke up the next morning to head up to Redwood National Forest.  The first beach we passed was so beautiful, we just had to stop.  Orson was scared right at first but then he realized that it was just an awesomely big puddle and jumped right in!  Matt had to be with him constantly and Chaquita tried to stay with him too but she kept getting swept away by the waves.

We veered off the main highway in order to take the Avenue of the Giants.  It was stunning.

 Orson was very tired at this point and decided that playing with his quesadilla was more fun then eating it...

Then we finally made it to the Redwoods.  We knew we really wanted to see Fern Canyon but there were some pretty large obstacles in the way, namely creeks!  We decided to just go for it and we sure were glad we did.

Of course just before we pulled into the parking lot, Orson finally fell asleep...oh well, we had come to far to not wake him up and go for it!

So we packed him on my back and hiked on in.  He did great until he realized he had his tennis shoes on and not his boots (still wet from the ocean jumping), thus making stream hopping not in his future.  Oh boy did he through a fit about that!

 Fit time!

It was such an amazing place, I loved it.

We also got up close and personal with a herd of elk

Orson's face when he saw the elk

Stopped at the beach to let the dogs and Orson run around

 And then got even closer to a couple of male elk hanging out on the side of the road!

 We finished the day out by driving up to an overlook, spotting some more elk and enjoying the views

 Oh, and one more sunset :)

The next day we met up with a couple of my AmeriCorps friends and went for a little hike with their dog.  It was so much fun to see them and catch up and the crab omelet I had for breakfast was awesome too!

 Last stop on the way home was for Dutch Brothers Hot Chocolate.  Orson had his very was love at first sip!

 For actual Valentines Day, we stayed at home and enjoyed homemade gluten free heart shaped ravioli, and I got some lovely flowers from my guys.

Heart Shaped Gluten Free Pasta Recipe

Pasta recipe from Annalise G. Roberts' Gluten Free Baking Classics (one of my go to books) cut into heart shapes and filled with a dolop of  1/2 Cream Cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan Ramona cheese, 1 tbs green onion, 1/2 cup spinach and 1tbs basil all mixed together.  I found putting a little water on the edges of the pasta when I put the top on the raviolis helped hold them together.  Then wrap them in a linen towel and put them to the side.  For the sauce I started by caramelizing some onions and browning Italian sausage, I then added in halved grape tomatoes, a handful of fresh basil, and some farmers market broccoli.  When the sauce was all together I put the raviolis into a pot of boiling and salted water and cooked them until they floated to the top.  Served it all up with some wine and a little more cheese and sat down to enjoy with my family. 

1 comment:

Emily said...

Great photos from the Redwoods - looks like you had a fun time!