Posted by Nerinna Valera on
Tomorrow we’re in the Santa Cruz mountains for Jessica and Cesar’s wedding. I drove there a couple days ago to check out the venue and it’s magical…truly magical. To get there you MUST follow directions that were emailed and completely disregard your GPS unless “you want a tour of the mountains.” And there’s no sign announcing you’ve arrived. Repeat…NO SIGN. Your only marker are four green mailboxes. I was weary so I drove slow. I stayed true to the directions and immediately located the four boxes (with skepticism) lined up like ducks in a row tucked to the right side and then drove down the hil.
The place is Nestldown. Again, a magical place….with no sign. I parked my car close to a large sunlit expanse of lawn sloping downhill and guessed the brown building (aka barn) was what I should walk towards. I noticed a group of four with a woman leading the way stepping out of the barn. The woman was Brooke and she immediately waved to say hello which immediately swept my skepticism away.
I was 45 minutes early so I decided to walk the grounds until Brooke finished with her group. So first things first, look up. The place was surrounded by huge monolithic redwood trees…beautiful old trees that sheltered the area from the blaring sun. They built a manmade waterfall with an accompanying pond. Listening to the water was like Calgon offering me a bubbly tub. To the left of the falls was another huge expanse of lawn shaded by trees (perfect for performances, dining, bocce ball, frisbee, whatever you like) and to its right, was a fantasy garden replete with Edward Scissorhand carvings and a yellow-orange-brown mini-fantasy house.
Towards the back of the barn, were miniature train tracks with a working train. Brooke mentioned the bride and groom usually ride it on the way to reception. Lucky for me I could accompany them. Woohoo!!!..and Choo Choo! Best part yet were the bunnies!!! I saw one cross my path and my excitement level rose. I ran to see where the critter went and then his buddy appeared. Both bunnies then hopped down the tracks. Immediately after a squirrel scampered up a tree. My imagination took hold and I started thinking deer, moose, hobbits, the shire…..LOL
Lastly and what put more icing on the perfectly iced cake was the ceremony site. You walk down a flight of unpaved stairs surrounded by trees, trees, and trees. I felt a wave of calm envelope me as I descended and when I began to see the entirety of the site, replete with a beautiful lake, fountain, and an old-fashioned taxi cab just screaming to be photographed, my heart just melted. GORGEOUS!!! Nestldown is truly magical and tomorrow, when Jessica and Cesar say their vows, I’m imagining serenity with friends, family, bunnies, squirrels, trees….AND…a choo choo train silently waiting.
Jessica and Cesar’s engagement photos were already posted but I’m posting one here just because.