life on pine

North Bay

sf >> mendocino coast

Kate ParrishComment

cruising california’s north coast

after spending a week in austin with family for christmas, we headed back to california to ring in 2019 and celebrate baby p. we went up north to explore a region that i’d never really spent much time in – anderson valley and the mendocino coast.

the whole drive from healdsburg to mendocino is the happiest blend of mountains, trees, wine country [famous for pinot noir] ocean cliffs and some of california’s rawest natural beauty. sadly our camera broke halfway into the trip – but we were still able to capture a few fun photos to share.

here are some of our favorite stops!

lunch on the final day at the shed in healdsburg which just closed [very sad to see this place go] and a pit stop at our favorite dry creek general store – followed by a night at the brambles in philo, breakfast [and dinner] by the fireplace at maccallum house, perusing fun goods at honey & ro, another delicious dinner at wild fish and cozy coffees at moody’s coffee bar. if we did our trip over we’d stay at the blue door inn during our days in mendocino. on our way back to SF we stopped in elk for a night at harbor house inn [more on this incredible spot later] and timber cove lodge.


how to glamp [for cheap] in napa

Kate ParrishComment


i almost prefer wine tasting in crummy weather –  it is so much cozier than trying to drink multiple types of wine in the scorching summer heat. the spring colors were starting to show as we drove through the napa/calistoga vineyards, and as the afternoon went on, the rain only came down harder. we kept ourselves busy popping in to different wineries and coffee shops – balancing out our buzz with caffeine.


  • tank wine,and chateau montelena [from a garage to a straight up castle] 
  • olabisi wines – a cozy interior where we sat by the fireplace and played cards
  • dinner at the french/creole inspired evangeline
  • sleeping in our yurt tucked back in the trees. we heard every raindrop on the roof and cozied up around our headlamps [FYI the tents are pretty bare bones with no electricity and you need a sleeping big and pillow ]. 


WHERE: bothe-napa state park | less than 10 minutes from calistoga
PRICE PER NIGHT: $70, check availability here
NOTE: the tents are pretty bare bones with no electricity and you need to bring your sleeping bag and pillows.

^^ and after a stormy night we woke up the next morning to sunshine and pastries from bouchon bakery before heading back to sf. 

Y O U  M I G H T  A L S O  L I K E:

a celebratory weekend in calistoga, ca

Kate ParrishComment

last weekend we headed up north for a *surprise* trip to celebrate being together for 5 years [and being married for 5 months]. we often only go as far as sonoma when heading to wine country – it was so fun to see a side we've never really explored before. we spent the weekend mostly in calistoga with stops in napa, and it was ridiculous – the combo of mountains and wine country! i cannot wait to get back up there this summer for a friend's wedding at the crazy cool calistoga ranch– so much more exploring to do. 

some favorites from this day include:

- pit stop at ernie's tin bar in petaluma for cider & beer
- oysters at hog island inside the oxbow public market followed by dinner at solage
- breakfast the next morning at cafe sarafornia
- mud baths and hotsprings at indian springs resort | this place is truly heaven if you're looking for a splurge
- lunch [the smoked salmon bagel was insane] at sams social club

more on wine tasting and our campsite in bothe napa-valley state park

^^ when you try to snap a photo of the beautiful sheep and the babies start humping ....

^^ when you try to snap a photo of the beautiful sheep and the babies start humping ....

tourist day: biking over the golden gate bridge to sausalito

Kate ParrishComment


biking over the GGB is something tourists do here in sf [weather pending] and i haven't done it since i moved here back in 2010. if you can avoid some of the madness that is inevitable with something like this, it's really quite fun. a few tips to surviving: 

  1. stop for sugar and coffee before crossing the bridge, because hills are coming! dynamo donuts in the marina is one of my favs
  2. beware of crazy tourists – there are so many people snapping photos with selfie sticks and not riding their bikes properly that it's legit dangerous 
  3. skip the first strip in sausalito –  it is super cute and quaint, but the great restaurants are on the other side [in my opinion]. some of my favorites are: le garage, fish and bar bocce
  4. take the ferry home – biking up the never ending hill you just flew down to get into sausalito will probably ruin your buzz 
  5. if you don't want to go to sausalito – some other fun stops are cavallo point or rodeo beach


hunting for mushrooms in point reyes

Kate ParrishComment


years ago we went to an underground "wild kitchen" event through foragesf where we ate ramen and watched this hilarious 80's movie about ramen called tampopo. it was such a unique experience and ever since, we've been on their email distribution list and constantly discuss how we need to try one of their weekend excursions up north. 

we finally tried the mushroom foraging in inverness, and it was such a fun & interesting day. we hiked for 4 hours learning about all of the different mushrooms around us from our guide patrick. there are so many that we can eat! and so many that will make you terribly ill. or kill you. it was fun to learn the difference. that night we went home with a bag full of oyster mushroom's and made a delicious pasta dinner. it's hard to believe just hours earlier i was on kyle's shoulders picking them off a tree!

afterwards we made an obvious stop at two of our favorites: the marshall store and gestalt haus.