What To Do When You Have Vacationing Friends/Family Visiting

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This past weekend, I had my cousin and her boyfriend from Sweden visiting, and also my aunt from Washington. Naturally I wanted them to feel welcome to my home, and know how happy it made me that they decided to come for visit. I live a rather simple life. So how could I make them feel welcome? I thought about it for a couple weeks before they arrived.

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I decided to go for a combination of things. When they arrived I gave them a tour  of my house, garden, property, and introduced my animals (dog and horses.) It was probably ten years ago since I saw this part of the family, and we had a lot of catching up to do. It truly was wonderful to see them all.

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That first night, my cousin and I cooked for everyone. It was fun. It gave us a chance to talk. For me it was a treat to speak my native language. Even though I feel that I can make myself understood in English, my native language add more color and emotion to a conversation.

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My family had enjoyed my photos from Lassen Volcanic National Park on social media. I asked them if they wanted to go there. I go there several times a month. It almost feels like second home. They were thrilled for the opportunity to see the park themselves. The photos in this post is from our visit there.

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I really enjoyed giving them the tour of the unique volcanic landscape in Lassen. We entered through the northwest entrance, at Manzanita Lake, and took the 30 mile long, Highway 89 through the park. We stopped at many vista points to enjoy the views, talk about the landscape, and of course take photos. We enjoyed a picnic lunch along Kings Creek.

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It was a perfect day! Around 80 degrees, and very comfortable weather, happy people, and awe-inspiring vistas. We took Highway 36 back, towards Red Bluff (CA.) On the way we passed a fire.

 

They later named it the TuscanFire being near Tuscan Lookout Road. The fire is 100% contained now.

We finished the first day by going to my favorite restaurant in Red Bluff, Casa Ramos. Casa Ramos is a chain, but the Red Bluff location definitely is quiet a bit better than the other ones. (The other ones are nice as well.) I’ve been going there for years, and tasted everything on the menu. I usually bring guests there. Everyone loved the food, the service, and the cozy atmosphere.

The next, and final day I took them to see three waterfalls, and another amazing restaurant (actually in the top 100 list, in all of the US.) That will be another post. To be continued..

What do you like to do when you have faraway guests visiting for more than a day? Do you give them a taste of your world? I guess that was what I was trying to do. I know that they were curious to know what I’ve been up to, and what my life is like. That was what I tried to show them; my home, garden, animals, hiking, and our amazing corner of northern California. Tell me about how you like to treat your guests. How do you make them feel your love?

 

Love,

Ms Zen

 

Energy

After a couple cooler days in the mid 90’s last week, we’re back to normal three digit temperatures. I was planning on just doing the minimum required in the garden, and with the horses today. I was going to get a great work-out, and lift some weights in my comfortable air-conditioned house. Afterwards I was planning on spending the afternoon reading. Well….it was so much fun outside that I ended up working with both horses, and spending six hours working in the garden. A concerned neighbor actually told me that I shouldn’t work outside more today. LOL.

Well inside I didn’t exactly feel a need to work-out, or lift weights anymore, but my book is still tempting. BTW, don’t Ghost look amazing? The break in his training have done him good, and he have matured some. The heat doesn’t bother him at all. Just looking at him you could never guess that it is over 100 today. If he ever trust me enough to become an endurance horse, we’re going to be dangerous out there. He rarely even break a sweat. I kind of had hoped that the heat of the summer would make him slightly less energetic, making it easier to start him under saddle. That did not happen…

I hope you’re having an awesome day!

Love,

Ms Zen

 

SUNDAY STILLS: #SUMMER = Hiking!

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There’s no joking around, summer’s are made for hiking! You knew that, right? One of my favorite places to go hiking in the summer is in Lassen Volcanic National Park. If you’ve been here before, you knew that as well, since I go there all the time. How can I not? It’s close by, and SO amazing.

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Yesterday we hiked to Mill Creek Falls. At a majestic 70ft, it’s the biggest waterfall in the park. Somehow I have missed this hike. I’ve been thinking of going to this fall more than once, but been persuaded to go on other hikes. Yesterday I finally got to see it. It was amazing. The fall was extraordinary, and so was the hike there. The wild flowers along the trail are exquisite.

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The yellow flower above, is a mule’s ear. The vegetation covering the ground next to the trail below, is all thousands of mule’s ear, growing together. I’m estimating that along 1,5 mile of the trail, the sides were covered with massive amounts of mule’s ear (like in the photo.)

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Mill Creek Falls Trail is another out -and back trail, totaling 3.8 miles. It’s not difficult, I believe it’s rated moderate. It was in the 80’s yesterday, and because of the coming 4th of July holiday, there was lots of tourists visiting, many having some problems with “the heat”. (I live in the valley, one hour away, and it was 107 there..) The trail actually offers plenty of shade, but warm summer temperatures should be considered when you’re planning this hike of course. We did not see any bears, but there are bears in this area. I talked to a girl that had seen one there the day before.

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The fall was even more magnificent than I could of imagined. One of my friends claims that we have 80 waterfall, within 1,5 hour drive. I’m not sure if that’s correct, I could only think about 20, or so. In the end we agreed that we are blessed with many amazing waterfalls. Mill Creek Falls is definitely in my top ten now.

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If you continued a little further on the trail, after the fall, you would see a bridge on the left side of the fall. We walked over, and had a picnic lunch above the fall.

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I cooled my feet in the creek, while eating my salad. It was really nice to sit down in the shade.

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The view from the top of the fall.

It’s impossible to feel anything other than immense gratitude when hiking in this park. The views make you grateful to just be alive, and able to hike these amazing trails.

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The shade in the forested parts of the trail was appreciated.

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I hope you enjoyed my take on Sunday Still; Summer

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Until next time –

Love,

Ms Zen