I just got back from our annual trip to Sun Valley, Idaho. When I go with my family each August to the Sun Valley Writers' Conference and stay with our dear friend who has a beautiful home there, three things inevitably happen to me. First, I am carried away and transported by the words I hear -- the ideas and thoughts of the writers who speak at the conference. (Once I gather my impressions about what we heard I will blog about it.) Second, I am refreshed by and in awe of the natural beauty that surrounds us in Sun Valley, Idaho. And third, I always feel ensconced and wrapped up in the beautiful and cozy home that we stay in. There is something so warm and happy about this home, that I bask in its glow for days after I return.
We sit in the living room and build jigsaw puzzles, talk about everything, read, daydream, and feel grateful to have this opportunity to stay in this home and attend the amazing Sun Valley Writers Conference. We have dinner at the lovely dining room table in the great room, eating luscious vegetarian lasagna, green salad, and drinking a beautiful sauvignon blanc. We awake each morning and come out to the kitchen where coffee is brewing and fresh peaches are cut up and ready to eat. Maybe we love this trip because we don't watch television or even read the paper. Instead each day is about nature and ideas. I think the best vacations are the ones that take us out of our everyday habits and allow us to just be. True, we were busy attending the lectures during the days, and we were lucky enough to go on an amazing hike, but when we came home we were truly at peace. I think the mountains do this for you.
This is the cozy breakfast nook
And always, each time I am in Sun Valley in late August, I began to think about fall, about hearth and home, about the holidays, and about entertaining. And although I am far from ready to leave summer behind, I do begin to get excited for the upcoming fall season by visiting a little gem of a shop in Ketchum, Idaho -- Maison et Cadeaux -- that inspires me with new ideas for table top and home decor. And always the theme in this shop is Alpine fall and winter pleasures. This store has some of the best table top items I have ever seen. These are specialty pieces that come from Switzerland and France and they always make me think of cold weather and warm and cozy interiors.
We did get out in nature one day with a fabulous hike in the Adam's Gulch area. Here is my daughter Megan happy on the trail!
I walk through the store thinking of fall dinner parties, cooking and baking, and the pleasures of home. I am excited to feel the spirit of hearth and home that always comes in the fall season. To stay in a house in the mountains is sweet solace for our crazy urban lives. I leave feeling refreshed, inspired, and recharged. There's a nostalgic beauty in a place like Sun Valley, Idaho and it is a feeling that keeps me coming back.