The Happiest Place on Earth...

Disneyland calls itself "The Happiest Place on Earth", but I happen to know of a little place that is even better!

Whenever we get the chance, (holidays, weekends or just on a whim) we all climb into our pickup trucks, endure a bumpy 20-minute ride down dirt roads to reach our destination...El Rancho (the ranch).  But I like to refer to it as little piece of Heaven on Earth!

Located in what some might call the middle of nowhere, lies this rustic, turn of the 20th century home.


El Rancho has running water, thanks to this pozo (well), built by my mother-in-law's brother.


Although there is electricity, there are no TV's to be found, no cable, no phone and no internet.  But who needs all of that stuff anyway?  There is so much more to do and enjoy.

My favorite thing about the ranch is this clay oven,


where we bake everything from Pollo y Papas en Adobo...


...to better-than-gourmet pizzas.


 Don't want to cook in the oven?  Then fire up the grill!


While waiting for lunch or dinner to be served, head on over to the sitting area to chat with family and friends...


...and enjoy a drink or two.  Tequila, anyone?


Then sit back, relax and wait for night to fall.


 (Sigh!)  Life is good!

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24 comments

  1. Oh Leslie - again how you make food sound soooo good!!! Great pics!!! Looks like fun!

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  2. Oh, I wish I had a place like that to escape to. Simply mahvalous. You can sure turn out some good lookin' food, lady!

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  3. Looks like a gorgeous day! There is so much beauty in simplicity. :-)

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  4. Absolutely magical Leslie - loved the post and Leah Flinn's statement "beauty in simplicity" so true!

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  5. Yes life is good, Leslie. Thanks for the pics to remind me that life is good. I love the oven.

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  6. Just returned from a weekend at Rancho del Cielo - our hideaway of a similar nature. It is nice to have a place to get away - thanks for sharing about yours.

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  7. That looks DELIGHTFUL! I can imagine the kids adore it!

    Stopping in from SITS.

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  8. That trully brings back memories! My step dad's parents had a rancho similiar to that in Zacatecas. We would stay in Teocaltiche,Jal then make the 30 to 40 minute drive to the ranch on weekends, no plumbing, no running water, no electricity!What good times we had! I trully envy you, I wish I had that simple life. Thanks for sharing your memorable moments!xoxoxo ~Anabel~

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  9. Wow Leslie it does look like a great get away.

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  10. I am considering building a outside brick oven, but then I am afraid I would make too many pizzas...
    The getaway looks great!

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  11. that place looks amazing! i'm new to your blog and i definitely have to check out your recipes now!

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  12. Oh that looks like so much fun! I think I would sleep like a baby there.

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  13. oh my gosh you paint a gorgeous picture and I could actually see myself sitting there stuffing myself with that amazing looking pizza. oh and thank you for visiting me on my sits day!

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  14. You know, Leslie, I wish I were at that little ranchito right now!
    PS: I mentioned you on my blog today.

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  15. wow! this looks fantastic. sounds like you have your priorities in order. and it's so neat it's so close. I see you have four kids---i did too. it's a great family size--lots of work but brings a ton of life and excitement into the everyday goings-on.

    If you get a chance check into my blog and check out my latest post on mommy profiling.
    http://dianeswords.wordpress.com

    Have a great day....dianeswords.wordpress.com
    A SITS sista

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  16. Who needs a gourmet kitchen to turn out delicious food.

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  17. Following you over from SITS! hey, I wasn't invited! LOL Looked like fun! I am loving and following your blog :)

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  18. I love your post! I love the look of your blog! I love the pictures! I miss my country! I wish I was there!

    Big Hugs to you Leslie!!! by the way... I also love your last name ;)

    Paloma.

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  19. beautiful! thank you for sharing it with us.

    shuttling in from SITS :)

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  20. el rancho looks like fun. and the food looks great. it'd probably hold up if you vacuum packed it and shipped it to me, too.

    stopping by from sits.

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  21. Oh. My. Goodness! This sounds like heaven on earth....no TV's to be found, no cable, no phone and no internet. My teenagers would hate it but I would be in hog heaven! How far is it from Georgia?? :0)

    Stopping by from SITS. Hope you'll visit me, too!

    Teresa <><

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  22. Looks just fabulous! I found your blog over at TMC. So glad I did!!

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  23. What a great post!  This reminds me a lot of El Rancho where my husband's family lives.  Great pics!!

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