A wonderful gift

First of all, this post is long. I’m not really sure if it qualifies as a blog post or a mini book. Also, it’s not about home design or sneakers, but a wonderful time I had with my mom this weekend. So here goes.

When I asked my mom this year what she wanted for Mother’s Day she said “nothing, I’m serious”. Of course I knew I still had to get her something, but maybe this year I would make it a little different. My normal go to gifts for her would be jewelry, clothes, maybe something crocheted or even tickets to a play or show. But there was something in the way that she said, “nothing, I’m serious” that made me think I needed to get a little more creative. She had mentioned a couple times before about just the two of us going on a little trip. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that is what I had to make happen. Our very first mother daughter trip.

When I was researching what to do and where to go the first thing that came to my mind was WINE. Not because my mother is a wino but maybe because I am but the wine country conjures up everything I think my mom values and appreciates – beauty in nature, delicious food, and peace and relaxation. As I racked my brain, the ultimate place I decided to plan our trip around, was the small but very beautiful town of Glen Ellen in Sonoma County.

We started our trip yesterday morning, taking our time getting ready (my mom spent the night at my house the night before) and eating a delicious breakfast made by me – fresh sauteed zucchini, yellow squash, and mushrooms with scrambled eggs and smoked mozzarella. Then eventually we headed out the door around 11 and were off.

We stopped at the Glen Ellen Village Market to pick up some sandwiches and a salad for our picnic lunch at Jack London State Park. From the market, the park was only another mile away.  And here is where the picture show begins.

When we got to the park I realized not only is this our first mother daughter trip but also my first mini road trip in my new car. Look at that beauty.


Then we started on a little hiking adventure. First we checked out Jack London’s grave site which is a little creepy but also beautiful and simple.

jack grave

Then we headed over to what I was really excited for, the Wolf House. Just to give a little background info, the Wolf House was Jack London and his wife, Charmian’s dream home. It took two years to build and at completion was 15,000 sq ft with 20 rooms and 9 fireplaces. Unfortunately, right before they were to move in, the house was destroyed by a fire. Before Jack London got a chance to rebuild, he died, and only the ruins from the house remain in the park.

jack's house

The ruins clearly show how massive and impressive this house would have been. In person, it’s really amazing.

inside jack's house

We also go to check out the museum at the House of Happy Walls. Charmian London built that house to include all of Jack London’s collections and books from their travels.

house of happy walls

After the park, we made our way over to our hotel, Hotel Olea. Oh. My. God. This place is immaculate. From the detail of the white trim on the outside to the heated floors inside the rooms, to the perfectly landscaped grounds, they did not skip a beat with this hotel.

hotel olea outside

hotel olea 2

We walked around and took in everything. Look at how gorgeous this place was!

hotel olea jacuzzi

After relaxing for a little bit in the room we decided to get up and get ready. Our first stop was back in the hotel lobby. Why? Because of this.


Your stay there includes all the wine your little heart could want.  And coffee, tea and fancy lemonade.  And dessert at night and a 3 course breakfast in the morning. But anyway, back to the wine. Yum.


As we enjoyed a couple glasses before heading out, I thought it was funny when my mom said, “Man, I really want a beer.” But hey, what my mama wants, my mama gets.

elena mama beer

So we went with the hotels suggestion and walked over to the Jack London Saloon. We got two IPA’s, a pulled pork sandwich and shoe string onion fries. We sure are two classy women.

The food was great, the atmosphere pretty, but ultimately we decided “let’s go back to the hotel for more free wine.”

We went back, poured two large glasses, picked up two cute mason jar desserts, put on our swim suits and big fluffy robes, and headed to the jacuzzi – which, by the way, they keep open and available 24 hours. We enjoyed our wine, conversation, and stars in the sky. And then we ended the night with our delicious mason jar mango cheesecake.  What a day.

Just when I didn’t think it could get any better, breakfast happened. And what a breakfast it was. And what a great way to end this magical little trip.


hotel olea breakfast

Asides from the beautiful surroundings, delicious food and great wine, one of the best parts was the amazing conversations that were woven in each experience. We laughed, we cried, we shared stories – some old, some new. This trip was so fun not only because of where I went but because of who I was with. I’m fortunate to have a mother who is so kind, loving, understanding and just plain fun to hang out with. In the end, what I thought was going to be just a nice gift for my mom ended up being a wonderful gift for me too. Love you mama.

2 thoughts on “A wonderful gift

  1. I love you too Elena, I hope all your readers appreciate the time and love you put into this writing. The pictures say so much everyone take a trip with your mother what the heck, have a glass of wine and enjoy life!

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