Thanksgiving, and being thankful.

It was that day again, and I hope you had a good one. Lily and I enjoyed some quality time with our good friends in Northern California. The weather was great, the wine was perfect, and the food was delicious. We couldn’t have asked for a better visit, and we are most thankful for that.

Before we get to Thanksgiving, we need to wrap up our time in Humboldt Country and continue south away from the Redwoods and the Pacific Ocean to be the guests of a few fantastic Harvest Hosts along the way.

Mendocino County

Our first stop after the 3.5 hour drive down US 101 was in Ukiah at Nelson Family Vineyards. During check-in, I tasted and of course bought some wine, and also picked up the ingredients to assemble a homemade campsite charcuterie plate. It was all delicious.

Parked along the vineyard near the Tasting Room. It was nice to get out of the drivers seat.

The dedicated RV parking was about 2 miles off the HWY in the middle of a vineyard nestled up against a little canyon. We were the only rig parked that night. It was amazingly quiet, isolated, and very very dark once the sun went to the other side of the world. It was just us and the moon and the stars … and the coyotes.

Lily approves of our overnight location.
The little canyon where the coyotes live.
Lily loved having the whole place to her self so she could roam free.
Full moon shining behind a California Scrub Oak tree. Kind of haunting to be honest, so much so that I got spooked and smacked my face on the awning arm as I panic rushed back into the safety of the Airstream 😂.

Woke up the next morning to abundant sunshine, an energizing cold brew coffee, and a stunning view of the vineyard.

We rolled out around 10 am and got back onto the highway to head over the mountains towards the next Harvest Host destination. Before hitting the road, I stopped at the Tasting Room to say thanks for the wine and hospitality.

Last look at our awesome vineyard experience before leaving.

Corning, CA

I had no idea what to expect when we arrived at the MoonBeam Lavender Farm, but it was the absolute best spot to spend two days and two nights. Btw, did you know that Corning is the olive capital of the world? If you consume an olive from a can, it was likely grown here. That said, there are appropriate opportunities to taste olives and olive oil here.

We checked-in and settled into a area in front of the lavender field. Once leveled out, I promptly started happy hour. With tequila in hand, the owner came around and gave me a tour of the farm as the sun was setting. I forgot how pretty the sunsets are here.

The perfect spot, at dusk, for happy hour, on the farm!
So happy to feel the sunshine on my face! Also, happy hour.

During the tour, I learned that the farm also grows loofah … yup, loofah is a vegetable, then it’s dried and peeled for use in the shower. And, the seeds are harvested for the next crop.

Loofah on the vine.
Picked, dried, and seeded.
This is Lily’s chair, I have a matching one!
Stunning sunset over the valley.

I stocked up on Lavender lotion and Herbs de Provence grilling salts and packed up to leave. Before pulling out, I emailed the owner and thanked her for the hospitality and tour.

Chico, CA

After two perfectly peaceful days and nights on the lavender farm, we headed south to Chico to enjoy Thanksgiving with our very good friends. While together, and before/sometimes-after Turkey day, it’s tradition to celebrate our combined birthdays at Fifth Street Steakhouse, which I did without hesitation!

A Woodford Reserve Manhattan to start.
Celebratory Prime Rib Eye Steak. Delicious!

Then it was Thanksgiving day and time for turkey which is consistently cooked to perfection. It was so good to visit, catch up, hang out, spend time together, eat, drink, get full and sleepy.

Low key Turkey dinner with my favorite people.

Lodi, CA

Leaving Chico behind, we head to our next Harvest Host at M2 Winery in Lodi. I have been a fan and wine club member of this boutique winery for some time. Parking here overnight is a perfect opportunity to stock up on some fantastic Zinfandel before leaving the area for who knows how long.

Parked at M2, the best of the best on The Lodi Wine trail.
Tasting and then buying lots of the 2017 Block Reserve Soucie Zinfandel. Perfectly amazing!!!!
Barrels an barrels of Old Vine Zinfandel. This is Soucie heaven.
Hanging with these people is good for my soul ❤️.
Final sunset for me before leaving California’s Central Valley.
Farewell dinner at Wine and Roses in Lodi.

So, that’s our trip to the Center of California for Thanksgiving. I’m stocked up on wines and ready to hit the road. We are heading back to the Pacific Ocean – next stop is the Central Coast of California.

Before signing off, and in the sprint of Thanksgiving, thanks for reading and taking this journey with us. I feel blessed to be able to have this experience and share it with you.

Talk to you again soon!

5 thoughts on “Thanksgiving, and being thankful.

  1. Debra+Huiras November 28, 2021 / 9:20 am

    Happy Trails Paul! We had an amazing visit and so happy to see you enjoying your adventure-
    C and D❤️


  2. Tonya November 28, 2021 / 9:41 am

    Looks like an amazing Thanksgiving!!


  3. Chris Huff November 29, 2021 / 7:46 am

    Love it! Looks like you two are having a blast. Enjoy Senor!!!


  4. Darcy November 29, 2021 / 8:48 am

    Will he seeing you today! Glad you are having an amazing adventure ❣️


  5. Sharon and Dorn December 4, 2021 / 11:07 pm

    Happy Birthday. Enjoy your adventures.


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