I’ve always wanted to drive cross country, and I’ve started collecting a little list of places to see along the way. Here’s one for you:
If you find yourself in Petaluma, California, especially if it’s cold out, consider stopping for a drink at the Washoe House.
The place has been around since 1859, and used to be a stop on the stagecoach line. Patrons have been tacking dollar bills to the walls for decades, so the bars walls are almost ruffled. It looks like the world’s most expensive parade float turned inside out.
I can spend hours reading the notes on the bills over an Irish Coffee.
How about you? What would you add to a stranger’s road trip map?
Typekit is moving into a new office that’s still under construction. The staff is all over the country, so when everyone flew in for an all-staff meeting, Bryan surprised them with a dinner party in the construction zone. Best view in the city.
These photos are from Surfer Magazine’s bio about photography legend Ron Stoner.
Stoner disappeared at the height of his fame, but just look at what he left behind.
Am I the only one who thought you have to go to the Arctic Tundra for dogsledding? The idea is so exotic to me, I expected to be shrouded in seal pelts and lunching on whale blubber. Then again, having grown up in California, windshield ice scrapers are exotic to me, so I may not be the best judge. Turns out there’s a dogsledding operation called Wilderness Adventures in Truckee, California, just a few hours north of my home town. Score!
This is our family riding in a dogsled, you guys. Hank is covering his face because I gave him my sunglasses so snow chips wouldn’t hit him in the eyes. He loved them and got very screechy when I tried to uncover his face. I thought about fighting him, because I was attached to the idea of a crazy-awesome dogsledding Christmas card, until I realized I was in danger of turning a magical day into a Perfectionist v. Toddler screamfest. So you’ll just have to trust me that he’s looking pretty cute under there.
Sledding was a little scary in the beginning because the dogs were so excited to get going, and also because this life list project has made me afraid of going fast without an adult helmet. Bryan asked if we should be prepared for the sled to tip. On the bridge, for example.
Our guide assured us that there was too much weight in the sled. So he basically called us fat. Take that, huskies!
For the most part, dogsledding was sort of like an amusement park ride, only the the bumper cars can poop. Speaking of which, the dogs do let loose while they’re running, sometimes without even breaking stride. So it was nice to have front row tickets for that.
Apparently the motion of the sled is so soothing that it often puts kids to sleep, and Hank was no exception. It was so cozy to have him dozing in my lap while I snuggled up with Bryan. Dog sledding is fun for the whole family!
After the run was over, we got to go play with the dogs, which made Hank delirious with joy and slightly terrified. He’s a little nervous around big dogs, so he kept saying, “These doggies are so nice to me. They will not bite me.”
And he was right.
We rewarded Hank for his bravery by finding him a pair of his very own sunglasses.
Christmas card secured.
A huge thanks to Verizon Wireless for sponsoring my Mighty Life List and helping me achieve my dreams. They gave me a Palm Pre Plus, which I used to find my way to the dogsledding place because it has GPS, and we were totally lost. Our guide also used it to take the first photo of this post, which I frankly would not have believed was from a camera phone if I hadn’t been there. Well done, everyone.
Winter citrus! These are Mandarinquats, tiny Kishu Mandarins, and a Fremont Mandarin.
Kishu Mandarins are so wee that the segments are about half the size of a quarter.
They’re very sweet, with barely enough tang to feel like you’re actually eating citrus.
Fremont Mandarins tasted similar to the Kishus, but larger, with a brighter peel that would make lovely zest. Also, they have seeds.
I was most excited about the Mandarinquats, which are a Mandarin-Kumquat hybrid. They’re supposed to be similar to kumquats, which have a super sweet peel and tart fruit. Kumquats are about the size of grapes, so you just pop them in your mouth whole, and I love them.
I do not love Mandarinquats. They’re pretty, but the peel is nowhere near as sweet as a kumquat, which means you’re just eating an orange peel. But! If you’re a bartender who wants to make a kumquat drink, these would be less time consuming to juice I guess. Also pretty in floral arrangements?
Meh. Mandarinquat, you are no friend of mine.
Here are Day One and Day Two, if you’re looking for them. Spoiler alert: Today’s post is sponsor heavy, as our partners made the weekend far cooler than it would have been without them. Thanks, sponsors. You are nice.
Our last day at Broad Summit was a spa day, so we started things off with a yoga session led by Gwen Bell.
Gwen was an attendee who also happens to own a yoga studio in Japan. She said this was the only yoga session she’d ever led where she received applause afterward.
Zicam sponsored our yoga, and their representative Kelly has quite an eye. She knew it was a designy crowd, so she brought the yoga mats, set up the towels and pre-filled water bottles, and made everything look so pretty. I brought the Buddha head from home, and Kelly found a cute place for him. (More about the pretty yoga session over on Design Mom, by the way.)
Throughout the weekend, DDF Skincare asked if they could set up personalized facial consultations for everyone.
They had us fill out forms in advance so they could bring specialized products, and then had an aesthetician go through a skincare regimen for each woman. DDF’s products are really high end, so we all tended to gather around when each girl came back with her bag.
My sister Raina is a masseuse at the Fairmont Mission Sonoma Inn & Day Spa, so she brought along a few co-workers to give massages in the Boon Hotel spa rooms. Lots of the guests had never had massages before. As you might imagine, they were a hit.
Boon catered our breakfasts and lunches for the weekend, and everything was as tasty as it was attractive. They made things really easy for us.
We asked Boon to set out a lunch buffet just before everyone left so girls could enjoy lunch outside or take a boxed lunch along for the drive to the airport.
(Photo by Jenny Lawson.)
With Toyota’s help, all the attendees had access to cars all weekend, so we were able to set up carpools on the way to and from the airport instead of having a million separate vehicles.
(Photo by Jenny Lawson.)
I like to think that everyone felt so pampered that by the time they left, they had more energy than when they arrived. I love these girls. They deserve good stuff.
Eric made us these lovely limited edition linocut prints to commemorate the weekend, and took a few photos of the process for me.
California iconography is a running theme for 3 Fish Studios:
(Update: Oops. My original upload contained some similar work by Annie, these are Eric’s prints.)
When I told Eric we were staying in a redwood forest, he already had a few photos of redwoods he’d taken as inspiration. He even surprised us by hand coloring the prints.
They were so lovely, we decided to use them as favors instead of adding them to the gift bag. If you’d like to learn to make your own and you’re near the Bay Area, 3 Fish Studios offers linocut printmaking classes pretty regularly, so drop them a note and they’ll notify you when space opens up. Thanks again, Eric!