Let me warn you that this post is VERY picture-heavy (for me). Hubster went crazy with the picture-taking finger and got pictures of everything from the cabin to the squirrels to the chipmunks to the road to the boulders to the ... well, you be the judge.
We left VERY late last Wednesday (I won't even tell you what time - I'm embarrassed by it), so we didn't arrive in Idyllwild until 3:30 a.m. Bear in mind that this tiny, charming little town is in the San Jacinto Mountains east of LA (and between LA and San Diego) at roughly 6,000-7,000 feet. Not only did we have to find the right turnoffs, we had to climb those mountains (one lane each way and straight up) in the type of darkness you only get in the wilderness. By the time we rolled up to the office where we were to pick up our keys, we were exhausted. Then we had to find the house, which entailed reading the map and instructions under a tiny light while I aimed a huge flashlight at the street signs through the windshield (and right in Hubster's eyes at one point when I swung around to answer a question, forgetting about the monster in my hand). We finally found the correct street but drove right past the house because we were looking for a driveway. I had a sickening feeling that the lights dimly shining through the trees WAY down the slope was where we were headed, but I kept hoping I was wrong. I wasn't.
Fortunately for me, I'm married to a man who believes that women shouldn't have to do the heavy work - especially when that woman is severely limited in what she can do anyway - so I explored around the cabin while he made several trips up and down those stairs bringing all our shit inside. As usual, we had packed way too much stuff, but you know how that goes. In any event, he finally finished, plopped down, and had himself a well-deserved rest.
The cabin we rented was absolutely charming and so well-stocked that it made my house truly look like a shithole. It was also spotless - no mean feat when you're smack in the middle of the forest. Here are some pictures of the inside of our home away from home.
My knitting niche.
Our kitchen, with the back door leading out to the deck in back of the house (and more property); the deck runs all the way around the house. There's also a small deck outside one of the upstairs bedrooms right above the deck in front of the house.
Emma wondering why we're not going outside to look for peanuts dropped by the scrub jays or chipmunks. She had an absolute ball, and I'm thrilled that we were able to bring her. She doesn't feel good, either; she's teething again.
Part of the front room and fireplace. They left us firewood, kindling, and matches in case we wanted a fire; it was too fucking hot for that. There was an outdoor fireplace as well on the deck in front of the house, but we never seemed to have enough time to light it. Besides, the fire danger was so high that we were a little afraid to light it.
Standing next to the stairs (to the extreme left) looking towards the front door across the living room. You can see part of the deck outside along with the hammock. Those garbage cans by the door? One is for pine cones; the other came filled with peanuts for the squirrels and chipmunks.
The "Log Room", one of the two upstairs bedrooms. There's also a half-bath off this room and a sitting area out of the camera's range.
The "Balcony Room", the other upstairs bedroom. True to its' name, this is the room with the small deck in front of the house. It's accessed by a slider. This room is smaller than the other one and also didn't have a ceiling fan like the others did.
There was also another bedroom downstairs with a wrought-iron bed and a full bath next to that. While there was no A/C, each room had a built-in wall unit for heat (I'd never seen anything like it before). Across from the full bath was a closet with a washer and dryer; right across from the dining area (next to the kitchen) was another closet with a vacuum, an ironing board and iron, and some other small appliances. There was also room for you to hang up your clothes after washing them if you so desired.
I debated about whether or not to show you these next few pictures but finally decided that you'd get something of a kick out of them. This is me (and Emma) knitting.
Then Emma got too hot to be where she was and moved to her final resting position for my knitting session that evening.
At least you can see that I was indeed knitting at some point. Actually, I think that I took out my needles, plopped the yarn into my Knit Witch yarn bowl when Emma came crawling up to cradle in my arms, and promptly fell asleep. I barely remember Hubster waking me up.
That's it for the pictures today. My next post (hopefully tomorrow) will show you the outdoor pictures, including the squirrel who took to waiting for me on the railing and scolding me if I came outside without peanuts. She also took a peanut from my hand, which Hubster caught on film.
Mac (the man with whom I recorded) took me shopping on Friday (Thursday was for exploring and resting). Idyllwild is an absolutely charming town with lots of cool little shops to look at. I managed to keep my spending under control (how, I don't know). Then it was back to the cabin for dinner and to do a sound check with the flutes to see which ones we were going to use in the studio the next day. It took us a few hours to select about 20 pairs of flutes, but once we had it all down, the job was done. Mac left, I knitted and began to freak out about the following day, and finally got a few hours of sleep much later that night. When I woke up at 7 a.m., I just stayed up. I had missed my alarm the day before, so I wasn't about to miss it on recording day.
At the appointed time, Mac picked me up (he had loaded all the flutes, drums, and rattles into the van the night before), we both sucked down some smokes, and headed over to the recording studio. It turns out that the studio was built behind and to the side of the sound engineer's house. It was absolutely lovely - there was a Steinway concert grand in the middle of the room, guitars hanging on the back wall, an organ against the back wall, and an enormous mixing board in a soundproof room off to the side. We took our places, got miked, put the headphones on, and began to record.
We were in the studio for five hours with both of us making a few substantial mistakes. All in all, however, it was an outstanding session. Mac was picking up the rough edit in the morning and sending a copy home with me so I could listen to it and make notes. It would have been much simpler if I could have come back up, but it's an awfully long drive. It also doesn't help that Labor Day is this weekend, so we'll do the best we can. I'll make a note of the track and what time the blip occurs, write down my thoughts, and send it off to him via email. We don't have a lot of time to get this done - the concert is at the end of October. To be honest, I can't believe that's me playing on there. Mac thinks it will be good enough to be nominated for a NAMMY (the Native American equivalent of the Grammys). We'll have to see how it sounds after everything has been cleaned up and all the effects put in. We have about 90 minutes of music, so that affords us the opportunity to actually delete songs if we so choose. We each did three solos; the rest of the songs are duets. I haven't sat down to listen to it yet because of this stupid illness thing. I slept for most of the drive home and got REALLY sick on Monday. I have a feeling that this one is going to hang around for a while.
The vacation was everything we hoped it would be, the recording session was outrageous, and I wish I owned a cabin up there for a get-away home (you should see some of these places). If we had the money (and a permanent house), it would be something I'd seriously consider. I guess a lot of Angelenos keep homes there for weekend trips. I can't say as I blame them. There are a lot closer places around here, but there's something about this idyllic place tucked away in the middle of the mountains. To give you an idea of the views you're blessed with as you're driving up or down, here are a few closing pictures.
About halfway up the mountain.
Another breathtaking view. There are "scenic view" turnouts all the way up (or down) the mountain so you can pull over and take pictures like this.
I'm not sure what this valley is called, but it's home to the Morongo Indians and their casino.
About halfway up the mountain. We drove all this at 3:00 a.m., so we missed all the sheer granite walls and the beauty of the surroundings. Because of that, these were all taken on the way home.
So now I'm going to go plop my big ass in my big-ass chair, pick up my knitting (I've cast on for a new pair of socks and managed to swatch for another pair), and work on that for the rest of the evening. Maybe later on tonight, if I feel up to it, I'll get some work done on the shop. I'm caught up (YAY!); however, I got three new vendors in the mail while we were gone, so Hubster has to take pictures of all the goodies those boxes contain. With the opening of knitting season coming up fast (I consider it open right after Labor Day), I want the shop to be well-stocked with goodies.
Until then... I think I'm going to barf.