Allison’s 30th Birthday

Happy Birthday Allison!

Our dear friend Allison turned 30 this year and to celebrate we rented a mansion in Sonoma! Allison had many ideas floating around of what to do for her 30th… be hunted, play laser tag with penguins, rent the house across the street from her apartment (to name a few) – but I’m really happy she landed on this one. There was an abundance of delicious food, sparklers, Allison’s homemade piñatas, gorgeous weather, ample pool time, and ombre cake! It was fantastic.

Chris and I arrived at the Sonoma mansion before the rest of the party to prep the house, bake the bread, and ice the cake. The road to get there was deceiving. As you drove the houses went from trailers to homes, homes to bigger homes, and finally big homes to gates. At the very end of the road we arrived at this black and gold gate that swung open upon your arrival (after you entered the code, of course). We drove up the small hill and there it was – BOOM – mansion.

The Mansion

There was a pool, hot tub, veranda, personal vineyard, 2 grills, an outdoor fireplace, 2 patios (one in the sun and one in shade), servants quarters, a dumbwaiter, and total of 9 dining areas (we used 5 of them in the 2 days we were there). After running around the house like kids in a candy store, Chris and I quickly finished what we needed to do and spent the rest of the time before they got there drinking margaritas on the shaded patio. When they finally arrived from their Sonoma Safari, Allison surprised everyone with her homemade piñatas!


After much rejoicing on how fantastic the mansion was, Emily began making an epic feast with the help of Nathan, Donna, Chris and I. Emily made many delicious things including: a charcuterie plate, a caprese appetizer, and bruschetta. Chris and I made the pasta and Nathan and Donna prepared/cooked the veggies that went in it. Emily masterfully put everything together into a perfect meal.

My favorite dish was the burrata caprese appetizer.

Later that night we played with sparklers, relaxed in the hot tub (brave souls entered the pool), and watched the super moon.

Chris’s long exposure of the super moon.

The next day we awoke to 90 degree weather and another delicious spread made with love by Emily. The day was spent:


splashing around,


smashing pinatas,

and eating cake!

Unfortunately I didn’t check my camera’s settings before taking pictures so some of them are slightly blurry. Fortunately you’re looking at them small enough that you probably won’t notice. Huzzah! All-in-all it was a perfect birthday and Allison did a great job getting the mansion and planning multiple surprises for her guests. Thank you for everything! If you’d like to see all of the photos from the trip, check out our Flickr albums: Linzi, Chris, and Allison.


The End. Photo by Allison.