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Secluded in Sequoia

Valentines Day is different for everybody. For some, the day is full of cheap chocolate and wilted roses while others bask in their single-living freedom. For me, a simple weekend surrounded by giant sequoias and still noise with my guy and little fur nugget does the trick.

We booked an affordable Airbnb cottage at the base of the mountain, close enough to drive in and out of the forrest in a jiffy. With two cozy beds and quaint furnishings, we found ourselves at home for the weekend. The second bed would be for the pup, but she confidently nestled herself between us when it was lights out. Other guests arrived in the early morning the next day, so we had the entire property to ourselves for the night. We burned a fire, gazed at the stars and absorbed the silence and sounds of critters until the flame was out.

At the rise of dawn, we were alive and chipper, as the next day was our time to explore. Nothing, absolutely nothing, beats breathing in the crisp, clean air of the forrest. It broke my heart to see much of the forrest dry and burnt from recent wildfires, but it was refreshing to see new growth peaking through the cracks of mountainsides. As we made our way through, we hit some snowed over roads but eventually stumbled upon an enticing valley of snow. As many time’s as I’ve snowboarded during a fall or on fresh powder, a child-like excitement overcomes me whenever I see the blinding white fluff. I was overwhelmed with joy and so was Chai, as it was her first time ever experiencing snow! Sam quickly whipped out the drone and took some amazing shots of us playing in the snow (see the video above).

As the sunlight dimmed and the snow snuck into our shoes (unprepared, as we were not expecting to see any snow), we made way towards home after an early morning of snowy fun. Heading south, we made a pit stop in Kern County, to find a breathtaking hot spring. The exclusive rock pools sat a few friendly nature lovers, which we quickly connected with and chatted ’til the sun set. We learned the pools are cleaned by cave-people that live around the river, devoting their time to preservation of the hot springs. We allowed nature to take its course and exfoliate our skin, as we floated into the evening. It was a fascinating experience I had never encountered. While I’m dreading to share all of the details, I leave it to the independent and keen adventurer in you to find the hot springs, as I want to respectfully preserve as much of its privacy and exclusivity as possible.

We hiked back to the car in complete darkness with Chai leading the way. With a new layer of skin and slight aroma of sulfur, our stomachs growled until we spotted an In-N-Out off the side of the road. A swift run in the drive-thru for some double doubles, fries and meat patty for the pup, had us back on the road towards Los Angeles.

Completely in awe of our unforgettable Valentine’s Day weekend, we returned home, awaiting our next escape from the city. Until then…

xo

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