Have I Found the Quirkiest Spa in California?


Technically… Matt found it. He surprised me with a spa day, but you’re going to love the story (and the pictures!).

The Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary up in Freestone (near Napa) offers a very unusual treatment: a cedar enzyme bath! You change into a robe and relax in a meditation room where your bath specialist serves you green tea, and then you’re walked back into a room with what kind of looks like a big sand box (I love some of the comedic aspects of this story and play them up, but don’t let the monkeying around fool you — this place is amazing!).

So, back to the story. We walk into a room with a (very nice) “sandbox” where our specialist has literally taken a shovel and dug two holes – one for Matt and one for me – which kind of look like reclining chairs.

Then she lets us know to unrobe and hop on in.

We look at each other, and then at her. And I ask if folks usually just kind of strip down and climb on in. She was great – she acted like it was no big deal, and we stripped down and clambered up into the box (my guess is that it must have been hilarious to watch because we were NOT graceful about it).

And then the best part: she covered us in the fermented cedar mulch which was kind of like a blanket of stinky, itchy wood chips. But they were warm, very warm. It was like being enveloped in a delicious cocoon, and our bath specialist came by every 5 minutes to wash our faces with a cold wash cloth which felt amazing since the cedar mulch can reach a temperature of 120 to 140 degrees fahrenheit (oh and a water cup with a fancy metal straw our specialist would hold up to our faces so we could rehydrate)!

And once our 20 minutes were up, she helped us climb out of the bath, led us outside, and gave us brushes to get the mulch off of our bodies. They kind of looked like pony brushes – you know, the ones kids use to brush the ponies at pony camp – except that this time WE were the ponies 🙂

Then we showered the last of the cedar mulch off and glided up the stairs to our massage, which was lovely as well.

And now, for the pictures!

(Sadly, WordPress seems to have instituted a cap on images, so I was unable to upload my photos. You can check them out here though!)

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A Few Last Pictures of Paris


I’ve already spent 2 days in Barcelona and arrived in Munich today, but my uncle took great care of Alex and me and kept us super busy so I’ve fallen a little behind. Before I start posting pictures of Spain and Germany, let me share a few last pictures of Paris. I took these on my last day (except the sushi, taken at a dinner with friends the night before.)

Go to Tokyo on avenue Parmentier for pretty decent sushi in Paris (at a very reasonable price.)

Alex had sashimi

and I had chirashi.

Before heading to the airport, we walked around Chatelet (in the center of Paris) in the rain.

This is the Tour Saint-Jacques. It stands tall in the middle of its own little park.

This is part of a fountain in the middle of a square near the tower. You can find Egyptian style art in several places in Paris such as the Obelisk at place de la Concorde.

Last, but not least, the Arc de Triomphe.

Tasty Mom and Pop Japanese Restaurant


Last week Alex and I tried a neat little Japanese restaurant held by a Japanese couple. We were so hungry and excited we forgot to take pictures of the rest, but here’s the appetizer:

Appetizer: marinated tofu and other mysterious bits

I had sashimi (it’s a real addiction!), Alex had chirashi, we washed it all down with miso soup and ended this rather healthy meal with fruit salad before trying out local milk tea (unfortunately over-priced and not that good =/)

Does anyone know good milk tea places in Paris? I miss this stuff!!

Dec 23 How to Fold an Origami Crane (in under 2 minutes)


A friend of mine who helped me make cranes for my granny told me it took him 10+ minutes to make a crane!! After making several hundred… it now only takes me about 1 minute per crane so I thought I would record a video (looked some up and they unfortunately weren’t that  helpful/simple.)

So here’s my how-to video for origami cranes ❤

It’s about 5 minutes since I go nice and slowly to make sure it’s all easy to understand, but let me know if there are parts you don’t understand or if it just isn’t helpful!