Don't let all that orange distract you from the fact that Ronan is indeed driving a tractor
Welcome to RSV. The orange sign = win. 'nough said.
Getting a Christmas tree should always be fun; sadly, this is not the norm. Some people hastily grab a tree (along with the weekly groceries) at the supermarket, others the local nursery, or some pull the plastic tree out of the attic, dust it off, and grumblingly assemble it (here's looking at you, Nana). Many people approach this annual event as a chore.
Ronan's happy march back to the car, our tree in hand
Fortunately for Ronan, a colleague of Mom's has owned a coastal ranch near Pescadero for over 45 years. At Rancho Siempra Verde find-and-cut-yourself trees are available for the holiday season, as well as pre-made and make-it-yourself wreaths. Really, though, getting a tree and wreath is just an excuse to make a visit.
Soaring over the ranch in a toddler swing
What makes this place so special? The people who staff it and it's serene location, for sure, but it's the fun activities available to families make it a great way to spend a few hours. As Uncle 'S' noted during our time at RSV, "This is the most low-tech fun I've had in years."
Yes, giant xylophones (even those out of tune) are a blast
What activities? To start with, there is a roaring bonfire coupled with plenty of marshmallows to keep you both warm and hyper. A half dozen large tree swings and a couple of tire swings are perfectly suited for the adventurous.
For young kids, in addition to friendly dogs, hay, and lots of places to explore, there are a handful of Little Tykes Cozy Coupe to putt around in.
Less impressive in some ways than the tractor, but it does have a door, a roof, and a wreath, so there's that
A highlight of the trip for Ronan (and me) was not just riding but *driving* a tractor around the parking lot. Instead of boasting the predicted wild grin and cackling of elation, Ronan was serious and focused on making sure the tractor was piloted safely. A surprising but fortunate development indeed. One week later Ronan still recounts the story of him being behind the wheel.
The tractor, post marshmallow snack
So, for those of you in the Bay Area (or even those visiting), next December RSV should be on your list of must-visit spots for weekend fun.
The three (three-and-one-half?) of us loving the swing at the top of the hill