Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Flying Caballos Ranch, San Luis Obispo: Part Two

Flying Caballos Ranch didn't just have beautiful buildings; it was really the details that made the experience. 

This old-school seesaw was a lot of fun as well as a great design element in the farmhouse yard.

Old machinery parts are perfect against weathered wood. Somehow not pictured (really, I'm not sure how I missed taking one picture of it): the hot tub on the raised deck--you can see the bottom of the deck at the above right. 

I want these barstools in my house. 

These great lightbulbs are strung all over the farmhouse yard. 

Couch swing in the guesthouse yard. Only in California. 

The steps from the tower down to the horse paddock. I want these in my dream house yard. Speaking of horses...

They know how photogenic they are. 

Just like the ranch itself. Seriously. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Flying Caballos Ranch, San Luis Obispo: Part One

We were so lucky to be able to attend the wedding of our dear friends at Flying Caballos Ranch this summer. The ranch has a large farmhouse, a two-bedroom guesthouse and guest studio, as well as a really special one-bedroom tower. The groom's party stayed in the guesthouse and studio, the bride's party in the farmhouse, and the tower was a beautiful honeymoon suite. The rest of the guests stayed at various inns in San Luis Obispo just a few minutes' drive from the ranch. The wedding ceremony was in a beautiful field next to the houses and the reception was in the farmhouse yard. It was really special to be able to spend five days with everyone in such a picturesque location. If you're thinking about getting married in central California, you should definitely consider Flying Caballos. 

The farmhouse and grill/bar

The most charming outbuilding we ever did see

The fire pit (!)

An impossibly-beautifully-stained garage

A charming old garage

The guesthouse where we stayed.

Beautiful yet cozy midcentury details in the guesthouse

The guesthouse breakfast nook

The honeymoon suite

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo

Earlier this summer we spent an amazing five days in San Luis Obispo for our friends' wedding. I'll give you the details of the venue tomorrow (it was GORGEOUS) but first I wanted to share a few pictures from our drive from Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo. I can't wait to take many more trips to this part of California--I've always wanted to do the LA-SF drive (or maybe Amtrak). 

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San Luis Obispo is in the heart of the Paso Robles wine region. Paso Robles is an up and coming wine destination and a great option if you want to plan a more affordable wine tour than Napa or Sonoma. We visited a couple of the wineries in the area and tasted some fantastic wine!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Our flight home from Iceland was at 5 pm, so we decided to spend the day at the Blue Lagoon. We arranged for an affordable transfer from our studio in Reykjavik to the Blue Lagoon. The tour bus held onto our luggage while we were there, and then took us to Keflavik Airport when we were done.

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We had heard that the Blue Lagoon was a unique, if expensive, experience, but didn't know quite what to expect. It was relatively expensive ($50 per person plus refreshments), but for an all day do-it-yourself spa experience $50 isn't so bad. The waters defied all expectation...

Upon arrival we walked down a path carved through young volcanic rock and got a glimpse at the unique mix of geothermally heated seawater, freshwater, silica, algae, and assorted minerals that form the signature blue water. 

Inside the spa are locker rooms, snack bars, and the spa lagoon (the water in the lagoon is around one to four feet deep in various places; deeper areas are blocked off).  

The silica and minerals coat the lava rocks like the lining of a pool. Guests swim and lounge in the healing waters; there are tubs of silica mud around the lagoon (it feels like a gel) to apply to your skin as a masque. I had a great time with the mud but the tiny particles got under A's contact lenses and roughed them up--definitely take your contacts out in the locker room. I wore my (cheap plastic H&M) sunglasses the whole time and didn't notice any abrasion on them.

Sunglasses are a must, and make sure to stay submerged or in shade if you're spending hours there. Since the water isn't chlorinated they require you to take thorough scrubbing showers before entering the lagoon; sunscreen isn't really an option. The opaque water did help block the sun but our faces got a bit pink. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Icelandic Sunset

On our last night in Reykjavik we walked a few blocks from our studio down to the harbor. We were bleary-eyed and exhausted from our Golden Circle tour and swimming at the Sundholl Rekjavikur, but we were determined to see something approaching a sunset at least once in Iceland (the sun was still a ways from dipping below the horizon, but we got some good sunset-y colors). There was a little park with this fantastic sculpture (I think it looks like a whale skeleton and a Viking boat). 

The sun obliged us by going behind some clouds and projecting great colors across the sky.