Californian Pleasure Overload
First, let us rejoice because the weather has returned to California norms.
E and I left after work on friday to drive 2+ hours in the country so that we could enjoy the return of the sun with a weekend in wine country. We alternated between eating (R's little bro is a chef there and he hooked us up!), lounging by the fire and sleeping, art and wine with family, eating a meal I'm not certain I'm qualified to write about, more lounging by the fire and sleeping (over 12 hours!), and, of course, more winetasting.
I learned that the stupid freeze, while bad for the California citrus is very good for the grapes. It pushes the sap deep into the roots and causes simultaneous fruit bearing/blooming, which means simultaneous ripening in the sun, which means easy to measure and harvest grapes for a high-quality must. So, we should be having an excellent Californian harvest for 2007. Also, I received exactly three work emails on my phone over the whole weekend, and other than a quick response to one of them, did not have to work at all. Celebration on all fronts!
My 12-mile run was a piece of cake at an easy 10:02 after sleeping in 'til 9:30 AM. The non-frozen weather, sun, and flat, gorgeous wine country did not hurt the motivation. Compared with the last few weeks of long runs, this one felt like it belonged in the weekend of vacation. Amazing that you can get to the point where 12 miles feels like an overly indulgent lazy experience. But trust me, I'm not built for endurance. If I can get to this point, so can anyone with similar determination and willingness to be an idiot.
On our southward return, we stopped at Ocean beach and took a photo of E & I in front of the crashing surf by the Cliff House. We have a similar photo from 5 years ago. It should be interesting to see how they compare. We watched the sunset from the new Cliff House. E was very disappointed at the renovations (much too modern for his old-fashioned tastes) as well as the eviction of the Musée Mechanique. Nostalgic is the word, I believe.
From there, we headed to a friend's house for his visiting parents-prepared banquet of south-Indian food. Mmmmm... We stuffed ourselves silly. You know, in case we hadn't eaten enough over the course of the rest of the weekend.
I think that covers it. I am spoiled, full of food, wine, conversation, smiles and happiness. More later this week on cooking basics, and, if I can gather my thoughts and taste bud memories enough, the dinner at the laundry, which, if I fail to write more, suffice it to say was every bit as superlative as the overused clichés would have it be.