I’m off to Mendocino for the weekend; and I can’t wait to get on the road. It may be a 3 hour drive but it’s through one of the most beautiful and least touristy wine regions in California…Anderson Valley.
I’ve already booked a dinner reservation at Albion River Inn and will surely stop by Café Beaujolais as usual. And Saturday afternoon I’ll be riding a horse along the beach via Ricochet Ranch. Woohoo for the weekend!
Today I’m celebrating all the love in my life: a family that loves and supports me, wonderful friends and of course, the love of my life….Orelia. I’m working from home with Orelia and this lovely bouquet of tulips keeping me company this morning. I can’t wait to head up to Point Reyes this afternoon for my Valentine’s date with a horse named Summer and one of the most gorgeous trail rides in the Bay Area.
Wishing everyone a day filled with love and joy.
My dad recently used this phrase to sum up how he felt about everything associated with a loved one who passed away many years ago. The words kept playing in my head. Walking Orelia to the park this morning, I was smiling from ear to ear at all the “lovely beyond the ordinary” things that caught my eye and ran through my mind.
- Man, Orelia is one beautiful individual. I just love the way she prances to the park every morning with her tail wagging as if to say “Bring it on, day. I’m ready for this!”
- It’s finally warming up in San Francisco. The skies are blue and the birds are chirping with joy that the temperatures are back to 60+ degrees. I’m pumped to spend more time outdoors this weekend.
- I can’t wait to head to Petaluma for another horseback riding lesson this afternoon. Giddy up!
- I’m excited to spend the weekend celebrating the birthday of a good friend. Birthday cake, anyone?!
- Life is indeed lovely beyond the ordinary these days.
Have a great weekend!
(Petaluma – lovely beyond the ordinary indeed)
(Love the colorful reins lined up at the barn in Petaluma)
(Orelia – the loveliest of all things in my book)
I started taking horseback riding lessons last year as a Christmas gift to myself. As a child, I dreamt of having a horse of my own. And having Orelia has definitely amplified my interest in and adoration of all animals.
I tried several stables around the Bay Area over the past year. Miwok Stables is great for trail rides with stunning views of the Marin Headlands, but I wasn’t really feeling the instructors and their style. At the time, I just wanted to enjoy a peaceful trail ride and soak up the beauty of my surroundings. I wasn’t interested in listening to my instructor blather on and on about how he used to work in the tech industry too. (Zzzzzzz. I’m sleeping and riding, sleeping and riding. My bad for not speaking up and asking him to cool the chatter.)
Redwood Ranch over in the Oakland Hills is a beautiful facility, but their rules and instructors were way too rigid for me. I spent the bulk of those lessons grooming the horse rather than learning how to ride the horse. And I really don’t need to be lectured when I accidently put the reigns back on the wrong storage hook.
It wasn’t until I discovered Suzie at Point Reyes Arabian Adventures that I found my horseback riding bliss. Suzie grew up in the English countryside and has one of the loveliest accents. By the time she was 12, her mom had over 35 horses. So she knows what she’s doing. And she’s incredibly down to earth and patient with novice riders like me.
There’s nothing more uplifting than going for a trail ride with her up in Pt. Reyes or taking a private lesson at her gorgeous barn in Petaluma. An afternoon spent riding followed by gnocchi in a creamy gorgonzola walnut sauce and a glass of white wine at Cucina Paradiso in historic downtown Petaluma puts me in a state of bliss that lasts for days. I’m counting the hours until I head back up there on Friday!