REDWOOD RANCH RETREAT | A TRIP TO THE SEQUOIAS PT. I + A GATHERING UNDER THE STARS
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Winter Gathering Inspiration ! Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell

This past weekend I took 14 friends with me to a 190 acre ranch, tucked away in the foot hills of the Sequoia National Park.   We stayed for 3 days in a renovated barn that resides next to a bustling river and shared life with chickens, donkey's, horses and cows, peacocks, pups and the friendliest little kittens you've ever met.  I invited my friends to come escape to the country side with me to celebrate love, nature ad the coming of new age - my 30th birthday. I have been dreaming of organizing this kind of retreat since I can remember.  To come together with likeminded souls - to create and exist  under one roof and in such a beautiful place is simply perfect.    We began our mornings in a group with yoga and meditation, we explored the river and loved on the animals, we made flower crowns and played silly games.  We prepared food together and sat at a long table to enjoy it.  We lived together and bonded, and took away all of the distractions to just be present.  It was a beautiful thing.  I could have stayed forever... or at least a few more days.  

I want to make these kind of retreats a more regular thing.  For one I love planning them.  Creating an inspirational environment for people, especially artists is so important to me.  I know, for myself, it is vital to escape the day to day and get into nature, surround myself with like-minded beings and just exist.  That is where happiness resides.  I dream of a future filled with such experiences and I hope the universe will give me the pieces to create it for my community.   

Below is one of two blog posts posts covering the weekend. This first one shares with you the amazing birthday dinner that occurred on the night of the 13th.  It was a group effort piecing this together on the day, and I truly thank every peron that was there, who helped make my vison a reality.  It was the most beautiful.

Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Itinerary Inporation ! Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child /Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child // Photographed by Valerie Noell

On to the Dinner

Throughout the weekend I had a few themes and surprises for the gathering. A large theme was roses.  I used rose infused in the drink and dessert.  I used it on the table and in the arrival gift.  I also splurged and got a keg of my favorite locally brewed kombucha  - Goodnight Rose by Better Booch - to be flowing all weekend. I wanted everything to be fresh and local and beautiful.

 I decided in putting together my table setting that I wanted to use the dark brown glass (from kombucha bottles) on the table for the flowers.  There is something about that dark glass mixed in with the the light roses that melts my heart.  It also, just so happens, that my favorite local candle company-  P.F. Candle Co. - uses dark glass to jar their scents.  So I stopped by their studio and purchased a bunch of their 3.5 oz Spruce Candles.  I wanted to keep the table decor simple and neat so I paired it with natural white rock, geodes and quartz crystals.  If you know me, you know my obsession with crystals.  I have been an avid rock collector since I was a little lady and it has only just evolved into quite a large collection.  I believe in using natural minerals and foraging on all of my table settings.  The most beautiful things are from the earth.  

My favorite part of the table was the place setting.  I wanted each person to have a little gift from me to remember the weekend by and topped each plate with a geode rock. Geodes have become one of my favorite minerals.  The literally look like chunks of dirt, but inside are simply magnificent.  It was so special watching everyone crack open their geodes to reveal what was inside.     

The night was simply perfect and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Thank you to everyone who helped to make it a reality.  To all of you small task bunnies, to kitchen prep- to cooks, to you grillers and chair runners and extra hands,  Thank you! You made my birthday dinner beautiful.   

Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
THE_RANCH-8303.jpRedwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell
Redwood Ranch Gathering by The Eternal Child //Winter Gathering Creative Directed + Photographed by Valerie Noell

More From Redwood Ranch tomorrow on the blog.  

So until then -

 Peace, Love + Geodes.