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you can have what I'm having - birthday trip recap

By 6/12/2018

a few weeks ago, i celebrated my birthday with a pretty epic trip to aspen, where a few friends joined to herald my birth, then to san fran for some serious eatings and then up to napa (my first time there) and back home via berkeley and oakland. here, lemme show you.

this was my inaugural trip with the new short hair.  i feel it works best with a hat.  most things do, really- my hats are from brixton, primarily, plus a few vintage stetsons that i scored at thrift shops in basalt.  i take those to kemo sabe in downtown aspen and they fit them for me, and they also sell rad hat bands with beads and feathers and fancy bits.
may is a great time to be in aspen and also not a great time.  it's dead to the world people/happenings-wise, but if you can take to the hills by yourself, particularly in a vintage banana republic romper, everything is starting to bloom, and there are dandelion fields for days.  much enjoyment can be found.
I had my heart set on making some pretty cookies a la lori stern, so Asher and i set off to the nursery in el jebel in search of edible flowers.
we tried three recipes - all starting with a basic shortbread cookie and adding colors to the formula.  turmeric for yellow, juiced beets for pink and blueberries for the lavender color.
all in all, it didn't work.  they were terrible tasting, and marginally attractive.  i messed up the egg ratio but that's neither here nor there.  i'ma let lori keep on keepin on and just order online from her.
at my favorite dive diner for breakfast, two rivers.  the most casual.

this guy probably would've blended in better than us at breakfast.  he lives in a flourishing llama colony at the t-lazy-7 ranch, on the way to maroon bells.  
in an effort to be outdoorsy, we took a little hike up to hardscrabble lake, where we screamed the birthday song over the valley and through the woods, ate some cheese and split a pack of m&ms 5 ways.  
if there's ever time to kill in downtown aspen, you can usually find me at the explore booksellers.
for the books, yes, but also because this bun bun works there and you can lure her into your lap with cilantro.
somehow or another, I'd never made it out to maroon bells, so we spent a morning there judging nature, watching two moose have breakfast and meeting an adventure cat who hikes on a leash and has an instagram account.

if you're coming or going from the aspen airport, sneaky good little French cafe (total hole in the wall) across the street from the airport in the aspen 'business' center with the very best croissants you've had this side of the llama farm.
I've never seen so much construction in all my life going on right now downtown, but that didn't stop us from getting a little shopping in, and street-posing
life is Gucci - well, not really, but just for a moment when Cory the manager brings us champagne and we get to try on glasses.
on my actual birthday, we flew to San Fran and had dinner at atelier crenn, which honestly couldn't have been more specialer, deliciouser and such a remarkable experience.  every bite from the chef's tasting menu immediately took me to a place, a time, a memory from my childhood.  that's the best kind of eating isn't it? -- when a flavor, or a smell conjures up that magic of nostalgia.  it was really something - the highlight of the trip for me. 
it's been a minute since i was in sf - i'd forgotten how much i enjoy shopping there.  nest, on filmore street is such a treasure trove of pretty little interesting finds. 
more secrets i discovered at nest
my most favorite discovery was all this handpainted dishware at cottage industry, also on filmore.  an ig follower sleuthed out that this is the iconic dishware that chic nyc restaurant santina uses.
I mean, how cute, right?
second favorite eats of the trip - the uni cacio e pepe at rich table.  the restaurant has a good vibe, worth trying for sure.
from San Fran, we headed up to napa for a quick trip - it was my first time, and this was my very first view from our table at lunch.  we came in hot with a Sunday brunch at auberge du soleil, and you didn't have to tell me twice why napa is magic - I was in.
I wore a cape.  a shawl really.  it was a birthday present, and quite perfect for the person I needed to be whilst in California, and will henceforth incorporate (said person) into my stylistic being moving forward.  
I didn't spring for the mud wrap at solage du soleil but I did have a great facial at the spa and turned many a corner to find an instagrammable moment like this one.
a gorgeous lunch at the solbar, which I discovered the second day in has a Michelin star.  good af.
I'm kinda at the point now where I'm out on all pool activities.  I'm just not fit for the sun.  but the pool at the hotel was so lovely and our travelmates had a strong to quite strong relaxation plan that involved sunbathing, so I sported this new Cynthia Rowley long-sleeve one-piece, and I have to say, I felt my best.  it's fairly chic (and not expensive!), and several people asked about it.
one of those turn-the-corner moments.  beautiful white roses with just a sunkiss of pink everywhere on the property.
on the way home, we stopped at bottega and had a really lovely lunch.  such great pasta.  tad rode a motorcycle.  I wore a cape.  this is us now.
and finally, we concluded with one night in Oakland, with our friends who loved the sun in napa, and got to see their hood.  we bumped around downtown berekely for an afternoon, making sure to stop by the most magical store tail of the yak.  
just the most special shop - meticulously curated and infinitely browsable.  I picked up a few pairs of these twisted beeswax candles for gifts.
and literally last thing, as we made a dash for the airport, our friends insisted we stop by la noisette sweets, where the chef opens his kitchen up for you to shop only on Wednesday, from 9-3pm.  get the panna cotta.  it's a thing.
i've been in raleigh for a few weeks now - and feeling pretty good about it! moving, shaking, making and taking the time to dig into my city. people are checking on people. i put some goldfish in my pond and they're growing, i washed my yoga mat (what's the protocol on this - I mean, it was nasty), i danced to drake at a club (can we really call Neptunes's a club?) last weekend and things really aren't so bad. i hope the same for you.


  1. The Solage in Calistoga? It's the best. Went there in 2011 or 2012...

  2. This just brought me all the feelings. If anyone sends yoga mat cleaning suggestions, please advise.