To celebrate my birthday this year, Rob rented a cottage on Stinson Beach for a weekend getaway with friends and family. I left the city early on Friday to drive across the bridge and along the rocky coast to the red house. (Note: I forgot my camera, so apologies for being all-cell this week)
While waiting for Rob to arrive from San Francisco by bike, I "opened" the house - drawing back the many, many curtains in each room, venting windows, lighting the fire and exploring.
This cottage was full of charm, with plenty of old lamps, straw hats, bells, driftwood and shelves full of odd vintage biology books.
Nicole arrived shortly after me and we walked down the beach in the warm, sunny weather. That coastline you see in the distance is San Francisco, only an hour away.
Rob arrived when we were headed back. Nicole made us paloma cocktails by juicing fresh grapefruits and we watched the sunset from the deck upstairs.
The three of us walked to dinner down the beach at the Parkside Cafe - delicious with freshly baked bread, homemade pesto and local seafood. Tucked in to our beds pretty early, with the sound of the ocean outside our windows.
Heavy fog over the coast on Saturday morning - perfect for lounging in our pajamas reading magazines with coffee and the pumpkin bars Nicole baked. The rest of the weekend guests started arriving at 10:00. My sister Jean and Trent with adorably-outfitted Everett were first in.
Margaret, Seth and and his daughter Rowan arrived shortly after. Snacks, beers and bloody marys quickly appeared. Eventually, the ladies decided to split off to go pick up oysters and other supplies up at Point Reyes. The four of us drove to Drake's Bay Oyster Company first to get five dozen oysters fresh out of the bay.
Seriously, right out of the water. We stopped to watch the sorting process taking place behind the little stand.
From there, we drove to Point Reyes Station for produce from the farm stand and market. Fresh local kale, bell peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins, sausages and cheese. We are so spoiled in the Bay Area with delicious food.
Back at the beach house, the boys had walked down to pick up fresh bread from Parkside. When they returned, we sat down to a hearty lunch of grilled sausages and bread with pesto, bleu cheese, carrots and hummus on the deck.
A quick break from eating in the late afternoon. We took walks on the beach, worked on puzzles, read, napped on the deck and lounged about.
Soon enough, it was time for sunset and another round of paloma cocktails on the deck. Everett was excited.
With good reason, it was a pretty one!
After the sunset, it was time to tackle those oysters. Three dozen were shucked and served raw and two dozen cooked briefly on the BBQ. I ate at least 15 of the raw myself and even three year old Rowan got into it. Did you know that oysters are super rich in iron?
Quick break after the oysters for Margaret to make a lasagna, Jean to prepare a kale salad. Rowan and I carved this pumpkin we got in Point Reyes.
We sat down for a delicious meal together at eight followed by cupcakes that Margaret had baked, Nicole frosted and Rowan decorated with sprinkles. I'm a lucky gal to have these great and kind people in my life! After dinner, we played board games and lounged around by the fire until turning in to bed late.
Another lazy, fogged in morning on Sunday. We hung around in the living room, painting with watercolors and watching dogs go on morning beach runs. Seth made fluffy pumpkin waffles for our breakfast. Rob and Trent took their mountain bikes out for a spin.
We darted back and forth between the beach and the house. The weather had certainly turned colder overnight and that fog didn't want to burn off. The sun briefly came out when we walked down the beach to a snack shack to fetch ice cream and fish and chips for lunch.
Nicole had to leave first, then Seth and Rowan. After picking up the house, Jean, Trent, Rob, the baby and I took one last very cold walk on the beach.
Closing up a beach house is a very melancholy business - I dragged my feet while hunting down the last few lost oyster knives and coloring pencils. Rob and I drove back to San Francisco - spotting our good friend Corey biking on the Golden Gate bridge. Made an attempt an unpacking before taking a hot bath and working on this report. As nice as it is to be back home, I'm already dreaming of buying our own little beach house in the future.