Our Glamping Trip in Sonoma County

Airstream Glamping in the California Redwoods

Phil and I were excited to be able to do two things we’d been longing for our ten year anniversary— A week away from our kids, and a trip to California! I already shared the cute a-frame cabin we stayed at during the second leg of our trip, but check out our third stop in Sebastapol! How cool is this Airstream trailer?

Our Glamping Hub hosts, Ene and Scott, are artists who’ve carved out a spot in the redwood forests for inspiring studio spaces, family living, and for hosting travelers like us. We enjoyed making meals in the spacious kitchen of their guesthouse, while returning from vineyard visits to enjoy drinks by the Airstream.

Glamping in the California Redwoods

Airstream Glamping in the California Redwoods

Glamping in the California Redwoods

A highlight of my trip was to be able to steal away for large chunks of time to catch up on my reading. Ene had supplied the kitchen with plenty of coffee for guzzling, so I indulged myself by leisurely sipping cup after cup while cuddling with Phil on this cozy sofa— books in our hands and a generous view of the redwoods across from us.

Did I mention we made pancakes every morning for breakfast? We’re obviously not ones to deprive ourselves while on a vacation. We also shamelessly made frozen pizzas for dinner, which we enjoyed on the private patio just off the living room of the guest house.

Glamping in the California Redwoods

Glamping in the California Redwoods

Glamping in the California Redwoods

Glamping in the California Redwoods

Check out the tree swing in the meadow by the Airstream trailer! We’ve got to get one of those for our new house. Made me feel like a kid again. (I’m talking about the swing, but man, wouldn’t it be great to have such a gem of a trailer?)

Airstream Glamping in the California Redwoods

Airstream Glamping in the California Redwoods

Airstream Glamping in the California Redwoods

Airstream Glamping in the California Redwoods

Airstream Glamping in the California Redwoods

Airstream Glamping in the California Redwoods

I was in awe of the beautiful wood-clad ceilings throughout the guest house. Ene indulged me in talking about the renovations she and Scott had completed at the house, which had been a far cry from the peaceful home it is now. I can really appreciate a renovation done right, and love that the California mid-century character of the home is still in tact.

Glamping in the California Redwoods

One thing that shocked us about our visit was how much change we experienced just driving one hour across one end of Sonoma County to the other. We started on the Pacific coast in Bodega Bay (site of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds!), where we shivered against the cold breezes of the bay as we licked ice cream cones, as any good Ohioan would do.

Phil drove up the rocky coastline of Highway 1, listening to my reminders to keep his eyes on the windy road, as I soaked in the magnificent flower-speckled cliffs I had only seen in the movies, but had never seemed real to me until that moment. Driving eastward, we drove through charming California towns with no cell reception, and then into the rolling hills of Sonoma that resembled the Italian countryside (or at least what I imagine it is like). I observed that the cows in California do appear happier than the ones we have back at home. :)

Bodega Bay

Ene showed us the guestbook which included a treasure trove of vineyard recommendations from sommeliers who’ve shared wine-wisdom for the benefit of future guests, like Phil and myself. We don’t claim to be wine connoisseurs by any means, though I do like to think I know a quality glass of wine when I taste it! But for me, my experience in Sonoma County was as much about the sights as it was about the wine— if not moreso.

I had selected a vineyard in the heart of Sonoma, near the town center, specifically because of how beautiful the grounds looked in photos. Perhaps a vapid reason for selecting a vineyard to visit, but we were fortunately not disappointed by our visit to Scribe Winery! Phil said it was his favorite part of our trip, being in such a beautiful, relaxing space for an enjoyable wine tasting experience.

Scribe Winery

We’d love to get back to California one day soon, and plan to carve out more time for wine tasting and exploring the natural landscapes of the region. I was disappointed that our visit was a week too soon to rent canoes to take out on the Russian River during a weekday. But that just gives us something new to look forward to next time, eh?

Thank you for hosting us, Ene and Scott! Be sure to check out their rental listing at Glamping Hub. Phil and I really enjoyed our time we spent at their peaceful home in the redwoods.

Our Glamping Vacation in a California A-Frame Cabin

A-Frame cabin in the California redwoods

One young teacher + one freelance blogger = how many years without a kid-free vacation? Ten years! But boy, was it worth the wait. This week Phil and I celebrate ten years of marriage, move into a new home, and return from our dream vacation with Glamping Hub! Talk about a whirlwind week! And I’m so excited to share it all with you.

First let’s talk about this charming can’t-believe-it’s-real cabin we stayed at in Cazadero, California! After two days tromping around San Francisco on foot (no camera because I wanted to be in a vacation frame of mind, leaving behind any sense of blogging responsibilities), we drove up the Pacific coast, stopped in Bodega Bay (to complete my Alfred Hitchcock sight-seeing tour), and finally rested our weary bodies in this dreamy a-frame cabin by Austin Creek.

A-Frame cabin in the California redwoods

Glamping in California

Phil and I both love to read, though we don’t find too much time to lose ourselves in books when we’re in the midst of work and family life at home. We both enjoyed the peaceful sounds of nature in the redwoods, along with the trickling water of the creek, as we relaxed on Adirondack chairs with coffee and our books. If you were following along with my Instagram posts, you’ll have seen the two books I read during this trip, The Most Dangerous Place on Earth and The Nix. I enjoyed them both, but The Nix was superb!

A-Frame cabin in the California redwoods

A-Frame cabin in the California redwoods

Just existing for two days in this cool cabin was a real treat for me. It had everything we needed, so we cooked all of our food here and enjoyed selecting records that we listened to from the time we woke up until the time we went to bed. We stopped in Santa Cruz and picked up groceries at Trader Joe’s at the beginning of the trip, and I have to confess— we bought a box of pancake mix and bottle of maple syrup and used it all up before the week was out! Pancakes for breakfast each day? Now that’s how to vacation properly!

The property also has a vintage Airstream trailer to sleep extra guests, but since it was just the two of us, we spent our time in the main cabin.

Glamping in California

A-Frame cabin in the California redwoods

The record collection at the cabin was pretty varied, to my delight! I started out listening to The Ventures and the Beach Boys to get into the California mood, but by dinnertime we were ready for jazz and candlelight. :)

A-Frame cabin in the California redwoods

A-Frame cabin in the California redwoods

vintage a-frame cabin

A-Frame cabin in the California redwoods

A-Frame cabin in the California redwoods

A-Frame cabin in the California redwoods

A-Frame cabin in the California redwoods

Glamping in California

The property also has the coolest little sauna area, which would be nice for the cooler evenings. We didn’t end up using it, but probably would’ve if we had stayed for another day. We did, however, fully utilize the hammock!

A-Frame cabin in the California redwoods

A-Frame cabin in the California redwoods

Glamping in California

We were so thrilled to finally be able to get away, just the two of us, for the first time since our honeymoon ten years ago. Many thanks to our Glamping Hub hosts! I’ll be sharing the second place we stayed at soon, but in the meantime, I’ll be dreaming of our next trip to Cali.

A-Frame cabin in the California redwoods

We’re Buying a House!

Mandi Makes a New Home

You guys! Something absolutely crazy is happening in my life. On Saturday, April 1st (yes, April Fool’s Day), I asked Phil if he wanted to go to an open house for an amazing 1970s house I found on Zillow that had a CONVERSATION PIT in the living room! He said, “Sure!” We talked about how fun it would be to move, how ready we were, and how we should probably start getting our house ready to sell. Not that this ’70s house would be “the one.” But you know, this was a fun idea, and it made us realize we should probably gear up to sell our house and move on to the next adventure.

Fast forward to the next day, we attended the open house and fell in love. Should’ve seen it comin’. We wanted to put an offer in, and we were even pre-approved for a mortgage to do so. But we decided this was financially stupid, seeing as how we weren’t even close to being ready to put our house on the market. Two mortgages? Yeah, no.

So, I got on Instagram, shared the day through live videos, and then ended the day telling you all that we were going to put our house on the market in two weeks. Maybe we could get it on the market in time to put an offer in on that amazing ’70s house! Crazy, right?! But something even crazier happened the next day.

A friend of mine texted me to tell me he knew someone interested in our house. I let her see it that evening, and she was very interested. And Phil and I were very excited. That week, I barely slept. I worked on our house night and day, preparing it to sell. I wanted to move, and I wanted to move badly. Well, six days later we entered into contract with the absolute perfect buyer for our home, and had been crushed to find out our dream home was already in contract as well. Wow, what a whirlwind! I had been emotionally to the moon and back (and then back to the moon?) and while I was sad to have missed out on what I knew would’ve been an amazing house, I was excited about taking our time to find a new house, as we saved money while living with our parents while we waited. How many months would it take? We didn’t know. The thought of waiting and not knowing if or when to settle made me very stir crazy. Would we ever find what we wanted and in our budget?!

Mandi Makes a New Home

But then I found the above images on Zillow for a house I had scrolled past countless times— its lead image showed a boring looking home which lacked curb appeal— nothing about its exterior photos that would lead me to think this could be “the one.” I remember (because it wasn’t that long ago— ha!) clicking through the photos thinking, “Hmmm… I could work with that!” And Phil said, “You could work with that, but do you really love it? Is it really ‘the one’?” I said, “No, probably not.” But I made an appointment to see it the next day anyway. And wow— it was so perfect for us!

We had made a list of qualifications for our dream home, but figured we’d not be able to find a place that met all the criteria. At least, not in our price point. Still, we needed to start somewhere. So here’s what we put on our list:

An entryway separate from the rest of the house, a large kitchen open to a dining area big enough for my heirloom farmhouse table, a private office for Phil big enough for a sofa and chairs for his mentoring and Bible studies, an office for me that was big enough to work on all of my crafts and projects, a large great room with high ceilings, a basement with potential for finishing down the road, a room the kids could call their own (to house most of their toys), three bedrooms, two baths, a two car garage, a decent yard, not on a busy road, in a nice neighborhood, and a house that was asking for cosmetic upgrades, but didn’t need big renovation done. WHEW! What a list, right? And did I mention, our budget was around 175k? Ha!

Well, what would you know, we sold our house and found that exact house (that met all of our criteria and then some— partially finished basement, 3 and a half baths, and a three car garage) and got it for the exact price we were hoping for! We are basically in shock. So much is changing so quickly, and my far off house dreams are coming true in such a short amount of time. I keep thinking I’m going to wake up and find out this was all a really fun dream. (Please don’t pinch me.)

Mandi Makes a New Home

If all goes according to plan (we trust God that it will), we’ll be  closing on our new house at the beginning of June and will be starting renovations on the first floor immediately. We are ripping out all of the flooring material, removing much of the cabinetry in the kitchen, rearranging the cabinetry to move the oven to a different wall, and oh, so much more! Check out my video tour of the house on my Facebook page here, and see my inspiration images for the house below. So excited to share this entire crazy journey with you guys!

click images to see where I found each one

white living room earthy accents

Floating shelving around floor to ceiling fireplace

Open Pantry System

california modern

velvet banquette

gray lower cabinets, white and gray subway tile

neutral kitchen with floating shelves

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