Goodbye, California. You were good to me, despite some bumps in the road, and I’ll come back to see you again, because you are where the wine is. There are lots of things I’ll remember (and a few things I won’t, between fever and giant glasses of wine at Mondavi), but I’ll only share the best.
The depressing, strange hours spent in the Las Vegas airport, where I overpaid for a beer just so I could sit in a bar, only for the bar to close at 7pm and send be back out into the bleak expanse of the airport proper.
Our giant and absurd room at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, complete with two full bathrooms, a cute under-the-television murphy bed and more square-footage than the first apartment Erin and I lived in when we were in Boston.
Disney’s California Adventure, under construction, mostly empty and hilariously disappointing.
The ElecTRONica event that first night. Music, lights, DJs and dancers dressed in TRON costumes, glowing drinks, Flynn’s Arcade and an Identity Disc frisbee.
That? That was just through the first Saturday.
Sunday was special.
I’m certain to get gutted for this moment of sincerity, but the fact is that my friendship of the last six months with Mere has been continually surprising and wonderful, and I’m grateful and happy that she wanted to kill me badly enough to go out for breakfast with me and Erin first. I now have a face and a voice to haunt me through my twitter-torment, and lovely memories of a fantastic breakfast.
Lots of good has come from said friendship; one of the best is that I’ve met some incredibly awesome people through her, one of whom – Claire-Dee of The Power Object – was game for drinks that Sunday afternoon. A beer, a walk through a beautiful farmer’s market and lots and lots of fun and engaging talk. Claire and her husband were great to hang with; thanks, both of you, for the great time.
The Haunted Mansion with the best Mansion crowd I’ve ever seen. Screams and quoting along and the works.
When I woke up Monday, feverish and chilled, I’d already had so much fun I could hardly complain. Erin, though, was forced to spend the next two days driving me up the California coast and might disagree. Snow in the mountains, Paso Robles and Monterey passed through a haze of sleep and fever. It was kind of a bummer.
Wednesday in wine country, finally getting antibiotics, Sudafed and lots of wine.
Coppola’s winery, with its Godfather memorabilia, tasty wines and gorgeous grounds, Geyser Peak – a tasting I will discuss in greater detail later – and a final stop at Harvest Moon Vineyards. I could have spent an entire vacation in the Russian River Valley.
Erin’s first non-Disney drunk in Napa, courtesy of a two-for-one tasting at Mondavi that we probably should have skipped. The stop at CVS on the way home where I bought Erin nail polish. Erin is a wicked cute drunk.
The relief of being able to find joy and happiness despite the undesired onset of depression, of learning that admitting it to Erin could make it better and not worse, and the wonderful feeling of freedom the day it finally departed.
Sparkling Shiraz, Late Harvest Zinfandel, French style whites in the heart of California, and Port-like fortified wines.
Dinner at the Girl and the Fig with Renee and Judy, one friend (Renee) who I hadn’t seen in years, and the other met in person for the first time. Wonderful dinner, better company. A great, great night.
A minute with @harmalicious in her toy store. Not enough for anything more than a hello, but worth the stop regardless.
Wandering the streets of San Francisco in the morning chill, the beautiful Embarcadero, the cable cars, the enormous chili dog, the cable cars and the cable cars.
Thank you again, California. You treated me pretty well.