The Sea Ranch & Plans For 2011

So here I am on the last day of 2010, editing and organizing photographs and writing. I’m not one for creating a ‘Greatest Hits’ type of post, or compiling a list of resolutions for 2011 that will overwhelm me with guilt by the time April rolls around only to see that I’ve barely made a dent in the list. No, instead, I’m hoping that you’ll indulge my inner architecture/design geek following our getaway to the Sonoma Coast over Christmas.

We decided to keep our Christmas celebrations low-key this year, but no less special. A road trip was on the cards, it was only a matter of direction and the amount of time we were willing to spend to get to our destination. As luck would have it, there were vacation rentals available for two at The Sea Ranch over the Christmas weekend. I first read about the place two years ago, and it was enough for me to bookmark it as a ‘Must Visit‘. Award-winning architecture nestled in the landscape along the wild Pacific Coast – what’s not to like?

With a Christmas storm headed our way, there were environments far worse to be holed up in than Condominium One. Awarded the American Institute of Architects Twenty-Five Year Award in 1991, the structure is in the same league of architectural greats as the Rockefeller Center, the Eames House and the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum.

We soaked in the expansive views of the ocean from two well-appointed leather chairs…

Counted stars through the skylight above the bed before falling asleep every night…

Savored the abundant daylight streaming through every window…

Looked at the houses around us and dreamed of retiring in one of them…

Admired the view again. And again and again…

And when the weather lightened up, took leisurely walks by the coast to the constant soundtrack of pounding waves along the cliffs.

It was cold, wet and mostly grey during our time there – hardly anyone’s idea of a White Christmas – but with Nature’s rugged beauty surrounding us, I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else last weekend. I think I may have found my Happy Place.

Looking ahead at 2011, I’m pretty excited about what lies ahead for Bon Vivant. To cut to the chase: I’m giving the blog a makeover, saying Bye Bye to and Hello to Self-Hosting.

Since its inception in May 2009, my focus and interests have expanded from recipes and the occasional travel post, to stories about the people that grow our food and what actually goes on Beyond The Plate. You can thank the Californian food scene and farmers’ markets for this shift in awareness, but don’t forget the Dunlops at what used to be TLC Ranch, Michael Pollan, Joel Silverstein and the good folks at Niman Ranch, each of them doing their part to improve the food system and consequently, our health.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Living in the proverbial ‘Salad Bowl’ of the country, it seemed to me that there were many many independent family farms as well as artisans out there who are feeding their communities in a manner as natural, sustainable and local as they can. Who are they, and, given the challenge of running a profitable independent farm these days, why do they do it? That’s what I hope to find out.

Not to fret though, this blog is not going to morph into a civil activist platform where I will be telling you what to eat, from whom and when. No. There will still be the recipes, recaps of our travels (a round-up of New Orleans restaurants still to come!), my conversations with the Pragmatic Singaporean and general ruminations about love, life and marriage. Think of it as a change of wardrobe, from a one-size-fits-all uniform to an array of outfits infused with personal character and a new attitude.

We’re putting the final touches on the layout and design of the new site, so stay tuned for more updates. In the meantime, here’s wishing you and yours the very best that life has to offer in 2011!


  1. What a beautiful place!! there is something sea and waves crashing on the shore.. grey and cloudy takes on whole different hue of powerful and soothing!

    I have enjoyed your blog so much this year, Danielle and I look forward to the 2011 version of it :)))

    Wish you a fab fab year ahead!!

  2. valerie kuan

    Happy New Year. Saw your post on Whip Up and realized you are a fellow Singaporean! I live in the Bay Area as well. Your blog is very beautiful and your photography is great. I feel like I was at Sea Ranch.

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