Giddy in Gualala

We survived Gualala!

Sorry about the lack of posting…there was ZERO service/reception/anything up at Sea Ranch and we ended up staying an extra night because there was a huge storm! Talk about straight out of a movie. We pretty much survived on chicken and dumplings and sea salt chocolate all weekend. But it was perfect and the best way possible to disconnect and relax. I need another week there!

Before we headed out on Saturday we grabbed some sandwiches in Santa Rosa for the drive. I had a hot turkey and cheese on whole wheat—

And then we were off! Naturally there were a few photo stops along the way….



After exploring the house for a little while (thanks Polly and Bob!!!!!!) we headed out to the Seaside Grocery Store in Gualala to get all the necessary ingredients for chicken and dumplings. While the boy cooked, I made a snack plate with some truffle goat cheese, hummus, grapes and whole wheat crackers for us to enjoy with some Merlot…

I really should have taken more photos of the dumpling making but I was COVERED in flour! I rolled out the dumplings while he cooked the chicken and the end result was delicious. How lucky am I to have a cute boy cook me chicken and dumplings by the ocean??! I feel so spoiled. 😉

Photos don’t do it justice!
Of course there was oatmeal with banana and peanut butter yesterday morning, eaten while staring out at the balmy waves.

MORE chicken and dumplings (with grapes and chocolate) for lunch….

We shared a perfect caramel marshmallow…


And then visited the tallest lighthouse in California! Gosh, it was breathtaking…I wanted to bring sleeping bags and camp out at the top!




I think because I grew up on the ocean I have an obsession for lighthouses. I just adore them and everything about them! The view from the top was spectacular!



It gave me goosebumps! 🙂
After the lighthouse adventure, we found an orchestra that was playing at the Whale and Jazz festival (oh yes!) in Gualala and then we ate the most delicious pizza ever. Yep, it was pretty amazing….not going to lie.


The pizza had the most amazing sourdough crust……I actually can’t stop thinking about it. Normal? 😉
So many fun adventures!




We were going to head back last night but the storm was too bad so this morning we left around 6:30 after fueling with some oatmeal (of course):
Whew!!!! Currently caffeinnating at Starbucks and heading to the studio to work for a few hours. So many fun times…I have a cheesy grin on my face that I can’t seem to wipe off. 😉

Happy Monday!

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  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    April 12, 2010 at 9:32 am

    you are a lucky girl indeed! i love my husband for MANY reasons, but the fact that he’s an amazing cook is just icing on the cake. and what could be so bad about surviving on chicken and dumplings and chocolate while a storm rages on the sea? sounds incredible!

  • Kamaile
    April 12, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Glad you had a good trip!

  • Paige
    April 12, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I need to hook my boy up with some cooking lessons or something…that man manages overcook everything! Glad you had a great time at the beach…sounds marrrvelous!

  • eatmovelove
    April 12, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Ahhh cheesy grins usually have something to do with love. I LOVE dumplings…but I LOVE PIZZA even more – and that one has my name written all over it…delish!!
    Great pics. It does look stormy there.

  • Angharad
    April 12, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Sounds phenomenal. I want to get stuck in a storm somewhere! Lighthouses are also a favourite of mine after growing up sailing! So enchanting, are they not?
    Oh and dumplings sound SO GOOD!

  • Julie
    April 12, 2010 at 9:39 am

    It just sounds so amazing! Just by looking at your pictures I can tell that I definantly need a week by the ocean soon!

    And I need to make dumplings very soon 🙂

  • Nora@LiveLifeEatRight
    April 12, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Wow this looks so surreal! I can’t think of a better way to relax than with good friends, good food and scenery like that! I’m glad to hear you had such an incredible time! You deserve it!

  • runnerforever
    April 12, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I love it when you just can’t stop smiling, good times! That pizza does look really good.

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    April 12, 2010 at 9:41 am

    OMG–such great photos–what a fabulous time! Pizza, mmm.
    I have a weird love of lighthouses too. If ever near Carmel be sure to take a quick tour of the Point Pinos lighthouse. Oldest continuously running LH on the west coast. The docent explanation of how operates is fascinating, the ‘works’ are mostly in the basement. The most popular keeper ever was a society woman who lived there after her rich doctor husband died. She left Berkeley Hills and moved into this quaint lighthouse where she entertained all of her guests. It isn’t impressive looking in the photo–but really is–especially the gorgeous setting.

  • Laura
    April 12, 2010 at 9:44 am

    All those FABULOUS pictures and not one of this “cute boy that makes chicken and dumplings!?”

    i love that “we” as strangers are SO interested in your love life..

    I’m so happy for you that you’ve found someone that makes you smile.

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    April 12, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Awww sounds like you had a blast!! I am seriously craving pizza after seeing that picture. I get food stuck in my head too when it’s so good… you’re “normal”. 😉

  • Diana
    April 12, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Sounds like you had a great time! That place looks amazing, even if the weather wasn’t the best. 🙂

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat)
    April 12, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I am in desperate need of a disconnect weekend. I’m glad you got to celebrate your brother’s birthday in such a peaceful and beautiful environment.

  • Evan Thomas
    April 12, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Such beautiful scenery! And that marshmallow sounds dreamy

  • Midgetkeeper
    April 12, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Sounds like a fantastic weekend. Everything you ate just looks delicious.

  • BethT
    April 12, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Glad you had a nice time! That pizza looks wonderful.

  • Kalli@fitandfortysomething
    April 12, 2010 at 9:48 am

    oh i love sea ranch…..stayed there many years ago. but it is always freezing! sounds like you had fun!

  • Cole
    April 12, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Beautiful photos! And cheesy, happy grins are completely the best.

  • Mama Pea
    April 12, 2010 at 9:50 am

    “Giddy?” “Cheese grin?” “Goosebumps?”

    Somebody’s in trouble. Wonderful, glorious trouble.

  • Katharine
    April 12, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Sounds like the perfect weekend with the boy. And just what you needed! 🙂 (P.S. Cheesy grins are the best.)

  • EAN
    April 12, 2010 at 9:54 am

    You take amazing pictures!!

  • Jess @ MTL Veggie
    April 12, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Your pictures are so beautiful! I seriously think you need to start selling them to tourism sites- you could make a pretty profit!
    So glad to see that you had a great time, cheesy grins are always the cherry on top to great weekends 🙂

  • Christie {Honoring Health}
    April 12, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Sounds like someone might be in love 😀

    Everything looks gorgeous.

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    April 12, 2010 at 10:01 am

    What an incredible weekend!! That pizza made my mouth water!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    April 12, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Awww that is so sweet!!! Glad you had an amazing time girl, you deserve it!!!!
    That pizza looks AMAZINGLY good!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet
    April 12, 2010 at 10:07 am

    What an amazing weekend, Jenna! I love the lindt with sea salt – to die for!

  • Corinne
    April 12, 2010 at 10:12 am

    awwwww cheesy grins =) wheeeeeeee! i share your adoration for light houses and for some reason i love them on overcast stormy days! such great pics!

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner
    April 12, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Looks like a beautiful weekend! Glad you had such a blast 🙂

  • theemptynutjar
    April 12, 2010 at 10:16 am

    u r so blessed. to be able to travel and experience the things u do. its absolutely amazing the things u are able to do and experience. that pizza looks great. and i really like your hair.

  • Laughter-Loving Stacy
    April 12, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Oh it looks gorgeous!! There is a pizza place I’ve been to a few times and their crust is SO GOOD- they even serve it with honey packets on the side! 🙂

  • Lindsay
    April 12, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Looks like you had a great weekend! I’m totally jealous of your cute boy who actually knows how to cook. My cute boy’s idea of cooking is thawing frozen vegetables. Seriously…boys can be so silly sometimes. 🙂

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    April 12, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Those views are breathtaking! If this was like something out of a movie then Wolf Creek written in the fence was some foreboding sign. Kind of creepy. Other than that, looks like an amazing way to spend the weekend.

  • Paige @ Running Around Normal
    April 12, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Wow those views are outta control! Glad you made it back safely:)

  • Allison K
    April 12, 2010 at 10:37 am

    In college we used to call that cheesy grin “the face.” as in….”ooooooooh you must really like have the face!”

  • Jaime
    April 12, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Love the cheese plate and the pizza! Everything looks divine. What a fun weekend.

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs
    April 12, 2010 at 10:43 am

    sea salt chocolate, toasted sandwiches and goats’ cheese – AMAZING!

  • mary ann
    April 12, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Is just funny to me that they advertise “pizza every night! (except sunday)” haha. What kind did you get? looks like some shroomy cheesy, glorious concoction!!
    ps: if you havent had it before, go get some oreillys pinot noir. if you ever get invited to their vineyard… you best invite me!!

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    April 12, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Beautiful pictures, and great looking food!! Looks like a fun time! 🙂


  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    April 12, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Beautiful pictures, and great looking food!! Looks like a fun time! 🙂


  • Sarah R
    April 12, 2010 at 10:45 am

    What a wonderful weekend you had! Everyone needs to disconnect every once and awhile and it sounds like you had a wonderful guy to disconnect with 😉

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers
    April 12, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Glad you got to escape for the weekend- yikes, what a scary place to have a storm in!

  • Adam
    April 12, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Ah i love storms! And lighthouses. And the ocean. And Chocolate. What was my point again? Oh ya, sounds FUN! 🙂

  • Sharon
    April 12, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Oh I so badly want to spend a weekend up at Sea Ranch-many fond memories from my childhood of that place-my father’s company put in all the roads up there (more than 20 years ago) and he’d often take my mom and I on drives there to see how the work was progressing and we’d visit the ocean, Gualala, and the lodge. It’s such a wild, magical place. Unfortunately the drive up there scares the heck out of me now…didn’t bother me as a kid though! So glad you got to have such a lovely, peaceful weekend there.

  • Run Sarah
    April 12, 2010 at 11:13 am

    What gorgeous photos, it looks like an amazing trip! So nice to unplug as well.

  • Teresa
    April 12, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Absolutely GORGEOUS pictures and INCREDIBLE food. Love iiiiiiiiit !! Sounds like you had a great time with your “friend”. You deserve it !
    Very off topic question: GLO BARS ….which flavours are good? Do you order online? THANKS

  • melissa
    April 12, 2010 at 11:29 am

    its so great to read about the things that make you smile. its contagious – even through a computer screen 🙂 so happy to hear you had such a wonderful weekend. and cheesy grins are the best… 😉

  • Kelly
    April 12, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Glad you had such a fun time!! Those pictures look gorgeous even though they aren’t very sunny! Dark and gloomy in a romantic way! 😉

  • Helen
    April 12, 2010 at 11:42 am

    It sounds like you had a great time. A relaxing break is always great, I so need one right now! I love the fact that my bf can cook amazing meals! Also all you eats look great, especially the pizza!!

  • Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle
    April 12, 2010 at 11:49 am

    SOunds like an amazing time! I’d love to have a cute boy cook me chicken and dumplings 🙂

  • Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle
    April 12, 2010 at 11:49 am

    SOunds like an amazing time! I’d love to have a cute boy cook me chicken and dumplings 🙂

  • jill
    April 12, 2010 at 11:53 am

    lOve the pictures. Thanks for sharing!

  • Erin
    April 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Sounds like love is in the air…. 🙂 Can’t wait until you introduce boy to all of us…

  • Erin
    April 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Sounds like love is in the air…. 🙂 Can’t wait until you introduce boy to all of us…

  • Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary
    April 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    You got some really beautiful shots! Looks like a great trip.

  • Jil
    April 12, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    What an amazing trip!! The pictures are gorgeous!!

  • Angela (Oh She Glows
    April 12, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    SOMEONE’S IN LOVE! Luuuurve. Fantastic love.
    Sorry I’ll stop. 😉

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope
    April 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    when will we get to see this cute boy? lol

  • Laura
    April 12, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    WAIT!!! I can see cute boy’s reflection in the shiny table top photo!!!
    identity revealed!!! and he is CUTE!!!
    [okay, not really :o(]

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    April 12, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Awww, Jenna! It looks like you had a marvelous weekend! From the incredible caramel stuffed marshmallows right down to the boy-induced giddiness. Oh, and the spectacular lighthouses, orchestras, and seaside bliss. 🙂

    So glad to hear you had a great time!

  • Rachel @ Suburban Yogini
    April 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    I have always wanted to live in either a lighthouse or a windmill. I have a thing about round buildings!

  • lola
    April 12, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Your pics are so wonderful!!! I can almost smell the salty air and feel the breeze in my face! I adore little sea villages!

  • Jess (Fit Chick in the City)
    April 12, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    What an amazing amazing place! So glad you were able to get away and revel in the results of an amazing weekend.

  • Carrie (Love Healthy Living)
    April 12, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Lovely photos. This post was inspiring, per usual. 🙂

  • Jennifer
    April 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I LOVE lighthouses – I used to live in Maine 🙂 I also LOVE your blog!! Which is why I gave you this award! I know your blog is pretty famous now, but I love the vibe of your blog…. easy breasy… and I love your outlook on food! Thanks for writing something that makes me smile – your goofy little smirks say it all! 😉 *Cheers Jenna!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg
    April 12, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Looks like an amazing trip– I am LOVING the pictures! And yes, I agree that lighthouses are the bomb 🙂

  • Andrea
    April 12, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Such a wonderful weekend! I’m so happy to see that you’re loving life so much right now!!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    April 12, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    What an amazing trip! And he can cook 🙂

  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly
    April 12, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    How fun!! It sounds like a great time!

  • Tara
    April 12, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Gorgeous pics. Looks like a great and yummy time!

  • Kait
    April 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Looks like an amazing place and an amazing weekend! I think being giddy is one of the best feelings ever, glad you had such a great time!

  • Hillary
    April 12, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Awww…what a fun, romantic weekend getaway! What else do you need in life? ; )

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    April 12, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I love your photos!
    And truffle goats cheese???? YUM!!!

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale
    April 12, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Cooking with my husband is one of the best perks of a relationship! We usually switch off taking the lead… but just being together in the kitchen doing something like that – creating food – is wonderfully romantic and bonding!

  • Stacey
    April 12, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    How cute, isn’t love amazing. Glad you had a good time and I’m sure the storm was a good thing since you stayed another night.

  • cara
    April 12, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    that sounds like such a romantic adorable weekend. cute!

  • kirsten
    April 12, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    beautiful pictures!! 😀

  • steph-exercise physiologist and artist!
    April 12, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    That is so amazing!! the pictures are great and I am sure it is even more beautiful in person.

    Sorry to hear about the storm although I am sure it wasn’t so bad since it sounds like you had great company!

    Lucky girl! how do I find one of those? haha!

  • amanda
    April 12, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    The pictures from your trip are amazing. I would love to visit a lighthouse some day. Also the pizza with the sourdough bread sounds marvelous!

  • kate
    April 12, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    I love lighthouses & that one is gorgeous. I get too see so much of Cali from your blog, it makes me want to go back and visit all the places Ive missed!

  • Danielle
    April 12, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Stunning! Sounds like a wonderful weekend that you most definitely deserve 🙂

  • Lori
    April 12, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    This is one of my favorite posts of yours. What a wonderful story and the pics are amazing. No wonder you are writing a book. : )

  • Mary (Food Fit & Fun)
    April 12, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    sounds like you had an amazing weekend!

  • Fancy
    April 12, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Can’t wait to see a pic of the “cute boy” 🙂

  • Pam (IIN Health Coach)
    April 12, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    What an awesome weekend, good for you!
    Who doesn’t love a man that cooks, lucky girl 🙂

  • diana@mymarblerye
    April 12, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    I seriously wanna fly into San Fran and stalk you till I see this boy…okay that sounded crazy. Anyways I’m glad you had a relaxing weekend…and i can FEEL your energy and giddy love throughout this whole post! 🙂

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    April 12, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Wow those photos are incredible. I love every one of them! You really do have a gift.

  • Sarah
    April 12, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Your little trip sounds amazing and completely relaxing! Definitely looks like a place to go and unwind. I love technology as much as the next gal, but nothing is more destressing than turning everything off and being on your own! Glad you got to enjoy some down time. 🙂

  • Katherine
    April 12, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Such great outdoors pictures. Do you ever find it hard traveling all the time?

  • Blaire
    April 12, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Hey Jenna, what kind of camera do you have ????? your pictures are awesome

    • jenna
      April 12, 2010 at 8:28 pm


      I have a Canon Rebel and usually use a fixed 50 mm lens on it. I’m learning!!


      I use 8 lb weights…it hurts.

  • Amanda
    April 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    My boyfriend cooks for me too, it’s so sweet! What awesome pictures!

  • Anne P
    April 13, 2010 at 5:10 am

    I’m not sure whether to vomit (a la Dexter last night) or say awwwww 😉

    Next time I come visit, we are totally going to see that lighthouse. I’m obsessed with lighthouses as well!


  • Lisa
    April 13, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Hi Jenna, do you have the Canon Rebel XS or T1i? Thanks!

    • jenna
      April 13, 2010 at 7:53 am


      I have a video capability. its still awesome though!