We have just returned from Karen’s exquisite rental property, where we spent three nights with our grown children, grandchild and our two standard poodles. From the moment we entered the gate, we were just overwhelmed by the sights and sounds (i.e. birds, breezes) of this paradise. EVERYTHING is done so very tastefully yet not over-the-top decorated – just as a home, not a showplace. The home and property is spacious and the panoramic views of the local mountaintops are sweeping. Karen’s vineyard and orchard sit on the close-by hillside. We pretty much lived out by the pool. Our kids were married in Tuscany and the rehearsal dinner was at a long table on the deck overlooking the Tuscan hills, so Karen does not name this home lightly! We really felt we were revisiting the authentic Tuscan hillsides. The large and modern kitchen has everything you will need and then some. Even the spices and things like baking soda and powder were at our fingertips, so we didn’t have to forage out to buy minutia. In the cool evenings after dinner outside, we retreated to the living room and cuddled in the leather chairs and cozy throws. We saw unusual birds, and two members of the family are birders! There are hummingbirds, butterflies and bees dancing in the front garden she planted just for that purpose. At every sweet vista around the house, there are little sitting nooks. We didn’t even get down to the bocce ball, horseshoe area! The house is fastidiously clean and easy to keep so. We were concerned that being so remotely located (an hour from Carmel, but much closer to other amenities) that we would be restless, as we are used to the beach and small towns. NOT A PROBLEM. It was the first time our family gathered when no one reached for their iPhones/iPads. Did I mention the hot tub? I could go on and on. Thank you, Karen!

Recommended for: Families with Young Children, Pet-friendly, Girls Getaway, Age 55+, Romantic Getaway, Families with Teenagers