Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Baby Bump Mayer is Feted!

Thank you Mother Nature... and thank you all attendees! Oak Hill Lodge was once again the host of another warm and wonderful gathering of Allen Family friends. Although due to feel the wrath of another frightful winter storm, it managed to hold off long enough to have Baby Bump Mayer's Baby Shower. I will no longer curse the Spirits of the Night who seem determined to overdue the creepy decor of the Lodge on All Hallows Eve by staging the most frightful rain storms, or the Fairies of the Summer Garden who seem to reverse June weather for August weather when daughters plan their wedding dates based on "the usual" Maine summer... but will rather be eternally grateful that the week-long prediction of a substantial winter storm managed to begin just as the last guest was safely on the road!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Redwoods and Oaks

A photo from Muir Woods only begins to show the massive nature of the California Redwoods! A "tree hugger" and garden enthusiast, I really loved seeing these giant trees. Their bark is so beautiful with its rugged, craggy appearance and Casey told us that it contains chemicals which make it extremely resistant to the many forest fires which spontaneously break out in the dry heat of summer. The gift shop offered 6" seedlings which had been sterilized to insure no unwanted viruses would be transported with them, and we bought one to be shipped back to Maine. It must be raised in a pot for 3-5 years before being transplanted into the ground. Although I am not convinced it can withstand the Maine winters, I can just imagine this great tree joining the mighty oaks of Oak Hill.

California or Bust!

Eric and I went on a big adventure, visiting Casey and Erica in San Francisco. They were amazing tour guides! We saw SO much of the Bay Area, including observing (cautiously) Elephant Seals mating ritual at Ana Nuevo, vineyard tours in Nappa and Sonoma, and visiting the great Redwoods of Muir Woods. Somehow, I am able to relate most everything to Oak Hill Lodge.... (well, except possibly the seals!). The barrels in which the fermenting wine was stored at Rombauer Vineyard were made of oak. We went on a tour of the wine caves and there were thousands of barrels. Our guide explained that they were made of French Oak rather than American Oak as it is 200+ years old vs. 50-100 years for American (although 4 times the price, the age adds much to the fermenting process).... so thankfully, I guess the oaks of Oak Hill are safe for a while! The wine was superb, the company the best... and I learned yet more about one of my favorite things!