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!)


Waikiki + Lookout Points In Oahu

Ala Wai Boat Harbor

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The Beach Bum Life (@ Kailua State Beach)

DSC02077 DSC02078 DSC02080 Lookout Points

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The crew who took us up: we got a crazy ocean show with one of the guys hanging from the sail lines!DSC02137

Pretty sweet graffiti in Waikiki!DSC02145

The Mormon Temple in Oahu

One of our very first stops was the temple of the Church of Latter Day Saints in Laie. I was a little surprised when Matt said it was one of the things he really wanted to see in Oahu, but it was beautiful (and everyone was incredibly friendly)! DSC01737 DSC01728DSC01732 DSC01739  DSC01738  DSC01742 DSC01748 DSC01751 DSC01752 DSC01754 DSC01755 DSC01764 DSC01779 DSC01782 DSC01785 DSC01789 DSC01790DSC01793

The Waimea Valley Botanical Garden and Hike

On our second day, we decided to adventure into the botanical gardens next door (alright, but they were only a 5-minute drive away. That still counts!)

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Matt showing off his dorky camera hat!


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There were wild roosters everywhere!


And we even saw a peacock!

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Hawaii Part 1: The North Shore Airbnb

I’m finally getting around to editing and posting my photos from Hawaii! Oahu was amazing and beautiful. We did tons of fun stuff like surfing, stand up paddle boarding and hiking, but this first blog post is about the Airbnb we stayed at the first 4 days of our trip, Top Floor Pipeline Lodge on Farm (we were there for 9 whole days!).

Our first Airbnb was on the North Shore of the island, which is like the countryside – there were few restaurants, numerous food trucks (delicious!) – and wild chickens everywhere. Our Airbnb was amazing too – an organic farm with a view of the ocean!

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves though…        DSC01996 IMG_20150511_144834


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This was our Airbnb housemate/chaperone. We named him Simba.IMG_20150511_144937 IMG_20150511_144955 IMG_20150511_145011 IMG_20150511_145021 IMG_20150511_145037 IMG_20150512_120847

Cat nap time with Simba.


This was a real organic farm with a chicken coop, vegetable garden and everything! On our first day, we got a box of delicious organic produce for $25. There was so much salad, kale, carrots, radishes, turnips and herbs in there we barely ever ate dinner out!DSC01990DSC01988

There were also huts where the owners taught neat classes like baby music class!DSC01991DSC01993

We were warned there were wild boar and goats when we met the owner, but it sounded like they hid so we had no idea we would see any!


This was the view from our patio!


Jack of All Trades Fair in Jack London Square, Oakland

Last weekend, Oakland was teeming with life as the Jack of All Trades Fair in Jack London Square unofficially kicked Restaurant Week off (in my mind anyway).

Similar to the Renegade Maker’s Fair in San Francisco, it was full of neat crafts, quirky art and overall very enticing fair!

Jack of All Trades Market, right this way!

Jack of All Trades Market, right this way!



More beautiful succulents

More beautiful succulents

Refurbished just about anything into a working radio

Refurbished just about anything into a working radio

Now what do these remind me of...

Now what do these remind me of…

Thought the Burning Man crowd would love these!

Thought the Burning Man crowd would love these!

So here's where you can get them ;)

So here’s where you can get them 😉

There's something touching about the juxtaposition of beauty and it's fragility

There’s something touching about the juxtaposition of beauty and it’s fragility



But don't forget Wall-E

But don’t forget Wall-E

These are going to be EPIC next Halloween!

These are going to be EPIC next Halloween!

I just had to...

I just had to…

Apparently you can get these at Cost Plus World Market. Brilliant!

Apparently you can get these at Cost Plus World Market. Brilliant!

When I get married, this little beauty will be there

When I get married, this little beauty will be there

And a last few sappy shots. I just love those little Star Wars-inspired cranes (or is it the other way around? 😉

Star Wars in Oakland

The perfect time of dusk

The Jack London Square harbor in Oakland

Some pictures you just can't pass up...

Until next time!