these people, this family

January 1, 2013 · 20 comments


We got back from a week of vacation in Crescent City, CA last night. We met up with Henry’s extended family (the same gang that came to visit last summer) and stayed in a rental cottage just outside of town. I meant to do a little blogging from afar, but I was having too much fun cooking, eating, chatting, arguing, Lego building, beer sampling, and participating in other shenanigans while I was gone, so I have a lot of catching up to do.


I took about a million photos while hiking in nearby Jedediah Smith State Park that I’ll share here as soon as I get them sorted out, but I just wanted to take a second to tell you how much I like spending time with this group of people. Henry’s aunt, two cousins, and cousins’ boyfriends were game for any sort of activity from silly to serious, sedate to strenuous, and they were just about the best vacation companions I could ask for. I’m sure I was the most uptight and self-conscious of the bunch, but somehow, they took me in, and we managed to get along fabulously.

You can see photos of some of the more ridiculous antics of our trip on Ellie’s, Becky’s, or my Instagram feeds.


Legos were the major source of indoor entertainment. It seemed like at any given time of day, 2-6 people were working on various vehicles, weapons, or structures. In this family, Legos are definitely not just for kids.


Crescent City is a pretty small town (about 7,000 people, I think), but they have this great big playground with sorts of towers and bridges and fun features to play with/on. All nine of us spent several hours exploring the various perks of the park.




The beach was chilly but beautiful. The dogs came home exhausted.





DSC_0435Ellie and her boyfriend Luke (above) are serious tech enthusiasts/experts, so I took full advantage of their proximity by grilling them for hours about my computer woes. They were so patient and gave me loads of good advice about several different issues from how to fix tiny little quirks on the back end of this blog to laying out the options I may have for setting up my own e-commerce website for my business without spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours getting it up and running.

Ellie and Luke are hiking the Pacific Crest Trail next spring/summer/fall as part of Ellie’s PhD thesis on how long-distance hikers are using new technology. We’re planning on meeting up with them sometime next summer to shower them with gifts of fresh fruits and vegetables. I’m hoping someday they might consider moving to Oregon permanently.


Because we were in a rental house with a full kitchen and because we coordinated pretty well about bringing prepared foods and ingredients to cook with, we were able to rustle up great meals every day: goat roast with potatoes and winter squash, yeasted buckwheat pancakes with homemade lemon curd, fried tofu with brown rice, pesto, roasted peppers, and more. I ran across Smitten Kitchen‘s recipe for spicy gingerbread cookies a while back, and I’d been trying to find time to bake them before we left. With all the other things that have been going down for the last couple weeks, I never managed to get it done, but I was smart enough to pack the necessary ingredients to  whip up a big batch while we were away (with an actual oven at my disposal). They were foolproof to bake and delicious to eat.



…more Crescent City photos coming soon…

Happy New Year, friends! I have such big ideas for 2013 (more on this later), and I’m entering January full of hope and motivation. I’m wishing you all good health, good food, and lots of love…always.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Tonia January 2, 2013 at 9:02 am

Looks like a lovely time had by all. The sunlight filtering through the trees……heavenly! Happy New Years!


Camille January 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Thanks and Happy New Year to you, too!


Rachel January 2, 2013 at 9:07 am

What a coincidence that you were in Crescent City at the same time we were! Wasn’t the weather glorious? Keith’s grandparents live just outside Crescent City, in a cabin near the redwoods. We visit them there often and always have a lot of fun exploring the trails and the beaches and rafting on the Smith River.


Camille January 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I’m kind of in love with Crescent City now. I can’t believe what a well kept secret it is.


Gini January 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Happy New Year! It looks like you had a wonderful, renewing time. I was in Crescent City last in (oh goodness) 2007, when my husband and I RVed through the redwoods with another couple. One of the best vacations of my life. When our wee one is bigger, I daresay we’ll do it again!


Camille January 3, 2013 at 8:09 pm

I think an older kid would appreciate it more, but my kids had a great time even without fully realizing how special that place was.


Michael from Suburban Digs January 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Happy New Year to you too from Australia. I love the simple life you live, and the way you capture it with your photography and writing. All the best, Michael.


Camille January 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm



diane January 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm

so nice to spend time with like-minded people!
my daughter and her boyfriend LOVE their wayward spark live edge board that i gifted them!


Camille January 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I’m so glad to hear that!


Becky and Allen January 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm

We really enjoyed seeing your pictures. We had a lovely time. Hope we are able to get together again soon :) (ps omg we’s internets famous now!)


Camille January 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Made for reality TV, you two. ;)


Amanda Whitmire January 2, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Looks like it was a great trip! The photo of the drip castles really took me back – I haven’t made one in FOREVER! Big plans brewing, eh? Can’t wait to hear…


Camille January 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Gotta love the drip castles.


Aunt Sue January 3, 2013 at 6:11 pm

all those goodies you brought were the icing on the cake…i have never enjoyed a vacation so much….despite being out of commission for a day….it was still the best vacation ever


Camille January 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Hope you’re feeling better. I’m just glad that funk didn’t get spread around, and we were all able to enjoy the week so much.


Aunt Sue January 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm

yes, i am totally ok and yes, i am so glad no one else experienced it!


Kim B. January 8, 2013 at 7:05 am

Hi Camille,
I enjoy reading your blog. I admit I am a little envious of your lifestyle. My husband and I live in CT so it’s a lot different here but I think I came across you on the internet awhile back b/c we have goats as well. I see that you had goat roast and was wondering if you have a recipe for that to share?


Camille January 8, 2013 at 8:11 am

I don’t have an actual recipe, but basically Henry just marinated it in Italian-type spices, olive oil, and a little vinegar for 2-3 hours, browned it in a pan, and then roasted it in the oven at 250° for 4ish hours along with leeks and potatoes. It was super tender and delicious.


Kim B. January 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm



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