Thursday, August 17, 2006

what we were up to

(the large cold plunge at Harbin...fuzzy photo hi-jacked from the Harbin website because you aren't allowed to take photos near the pools)

MyFk and I went on a little trip to Harbin Hot Springs. It's about 30 minutes outside of the well-known (ie: commercial and overpriced) Napa Valley Wine Country and Calistoga mud baths and spas. Harbin is a rustic retreat center, and might be on the new age tooty-fruity side for some of you...but it really is quite the treat if you aren't bothered by the heavy crunch of granola. I'm sort of the "urban" version of "hippy-chick", so I fit right in.

Harbin has several lodging options ranging from $25-$200 per night. You can camp, stay in a dormroom, have a room with various European bath options, or your own private cottage. I try to get up there once or twice a year, and in the 10 years I've been going, I think I've tried just about every option. There are also many options for dining, from a full service restaurant to use of a large fully equipped kitchen.

It's not often that I get up there with MyFK, though. Kidlets aren't allowed in the rooms. If you are there with kids overnight, you have to camp. When MyFK was 2-ish, we camped up there with another family (hi Diana!!). But Harbin is supposed to be relaxing. Relaxing and single-handedly camping with a WildMonkeyChild seems a conctradiction. As a result, when I go with MyFK it's just a day trip. I think MyFK is now old enough and strong enough to actually pull off camping gig with me. I decided to test it out this time by having us either just sleep out under the stars on a redwood deck, or by converting the back of my station wagon into a bed if it was cold out. If that worked, I figured I'd try bringing the tent and more gear along next time for a longer stay.

So we packed accordingly, and off we went. The cool news was that when we got there to check in, we found out that there had been a cancellation and the new tent-cabin was available. This is a new thing Harbin is testing out, and it is currently the only structure they offer where you can have kids. So we snagged it.

Pretty damn cute (photos of the cabin interior are on that link above).

We even had our own private little patio overlooking a stream.

The trip was a fun time. My mom has been teaching MyFK how to swim this past year, so he looked like an ashy prune almost the whole time we were there. There were lots of other kids there and I got to swap life-guard duty with the other parents, so all of us got a few minutes of quiet time, too.

I even met four other knitters while I was there ;-)

For the record (if you landed at this blog for the gimpin'), Harbin is not even remotely wheelchair accessible. If you are gimpin' and goin', drop me an email and I can give you some pointers about how you could pull off a visit despite their lack of ADA ammenities. There a few places you can get in and out of if you know to look for alternate entrances, and there are some things you can manage with a little assistance. Because I usually go on crutches, I have been too self-centered to notice the wheelchair issues before...but now that I'm beginning to pay attention to those details, I'm seeing a few places where they could make a few simple minor changes. I filled out a feedback form.

We got home to some bad news.

Flash (MyFK's leopard gecko) is now an amputee, too:

We're not quite sure what caused it, but he dropped his tail. We are headed to the East Bay Vivarium this morning with him to get some advice on the subject. Geckos usually only drop their tails if threatened or ill...and we're hoping he's not ill :-(


I’m working on another post right now...trying to finish up the touring Hawaii stuff. It's about the volcanos and sock knitting (I swear, they actually do relate). If there isn’t too much Kiddus Interuptus, it will be up soon.

Repeat after me:
School starts the 28th…School starts the 28th…School starts the 28th…


Kerry said...

I hope Flash is ok! Keep us posted. :-)

JohnK said...

Get well wishes to Flash
the 28th....... soon.