Friday, December 7, 2012

magical forest

There is basically nothing I love more than learning about the fun, secret places and activities that an area has to offer. I love getting a group of long-time locals together and asking them the best place to do this or that, and then creating a bucket list of my own. Last year I got an email from a friend who has lived here for a while with a list of her "tippy top favorite" things to do in our area at Christmastime. It included a few tree lightings, a gingerbread village, a life-sized replica of Bethlehem, and then the cutest little Christmas tree farm you ever did see.

This little farm is about an hour southish of here, right along Highway 1, literally across the street from the ocean. You pay a flat rate for any size tree, they hand you a saw, and you peruse their forest and choose one of 9 different kinds of pine. They have a giant fire pit with a bag of marshmallows for roasting, plus several tables set up for making wreaths. They also have these enormous, magical swings that could fit a whole family, and if you swing out far enough, you can see the ocean. Not to mention the entire place obviously smells like pine heaven.

Last year we took our family pictures there and chopped down our very own tree, but we were sadly had a pressing appointment back in Palo Alto, so we didn't get to stay as long as we would have liked. This year, we don't have enough room in our tiny apartment for a tree (we have a nice rosemary bush on the kitchen table), so we just went for the experience, and so that I could make a wreath. My hands smelled like Christmas for hours.

T LOVED the swings. 

Lovely basket of greens about to be wreathed. 
The finished product was a bit unruly, but very foresty.
What fun activities or places are there in your area at Christmastime?

PS - For those who haven't heard, we found out on Wednesday that Tyler has matched at Stanford for his hematology-oncology fellowship! We are thrilled that we will be staying here in Palo Alto for another 5-6 years (he's throwing a PhD in there - crazy boy).


Kristi said...

That looks and sounds like an amazing place. And I love your wreath. It's very organic-looking.

Steph said...

And I'll put this on my list for things to do next year :)

Saskia said...

Germany is known for its Christmas markets, so I'll go to at least one of those, even if I do tend to avoid the gluhwine and fried everything. But it's always very festive to just take in the lights and people.