It has been a week of drinking. So many celebrations, so few reasons to be up early in the morning. Last Saturday was a glorious vacation; Adam and I spent the day in Sonoma. We had use of Bro's car and off we went. Small town life, not suburbial, is so much nearer than I had realized. I had read that Sonoma is the less chi-chi of the wine areas in Northern California, much less trendy and yuppified than Napa; however, the yuppie imprint was everywhere. Yet. Small town life, I love you so. The town has a large park in the middle. When we were there the high school jazz band was playing. Couples and mothers pushing strollers, joggers and bikers in ridiculous biking attire, slouching teens and polished girls wandered the streets. Adam and I started the day with brunch at the girl & the fig
. The food and the service were incredible. We got a complimentary cheese plate (the pierre robert), with apple slices, fig, and bread. Of course Adam went for the burger (Neiman Ranch beef, naturally), but what is it with fancy restaurants that they have to do matchstick fries? I don't get it. I had the omelet special: goat cheese, spinach, and duck confit. Outrageous. And a big strong mug of coffee. I want to eat this omelet again.
Our first winery was Gundlach-Bundschu
, one of the oldest in the area. I think this was my favorite place and wine overall. Perhaps I am swayed by how I spent my time post-imbibing. There was a small hill with a trail to backside for picnicking. Most people didn't make it to the backside (slackers), but it worked in my favor. The day was hot but I sat out a table while Adam wandered off. I surveyed the area, hill behind, vineyards before, and realized: I could not see another human being, nor car, nor road, nor building in 360 degrees. The sound of the freeway in my ears? Just my assumption; it was only the wind in the trees. This realization overwhelmed me with refreshment and also made me want to cry. This slice of pastoral paradise lasted all of 20 minutes. I packed the aching away and then it was time to move on.
Our next stop was the Schug Winery
. A small operation. Pleasant, but not all that interesting. Our last stop was Ravenswood
, home of the reliable zinfandel. This place is much more commercial than the others, very touristy, but the wines are good, much better than the standard Vintners Blend zin that we always seemed to drink when last I was living in Alaska. The Sonoma Zin was my favorite. And our server/pourer was a fantastically cute recent transplant from NY.
Quite tipsy (no driving for me!), we made our way to a bar to catch game 6 of the Eastern Conference NBA semi-finals. Go Pistons.
It was an incredibly rejuvenating day. The next day also included copious amounts of wine, though that was not my plan when I woke up in the morning. It was my birthday. My thirtieth. I worked all day at the bookstore and upon arriving home in the evening I had friends in the living room surprising me with chocolate, cheese, strawberries, guac, wine and beer. I had a drink in my hand continuously for 6 hours. I've had musings on this milestone - turning 30 - but perhaps they should wait for later. I have been especially thoughtful about this birthday since I came across a dumb Oil of Olay ad essentially saying that we should claim to be 29 as long as possible. Huh.
In my book world, I skimmed through Ishiguro's latest "Never Let Me Go." Didn't really like it, though my boss thinks it's going to be up for all kinds of awards. I wouldn't be surprised if it got nominated for the ManBooker Prize, but I would be surprised if it won. The writing is crisp, the plot is sort of interesting, but the voice is really irritating. However, when Adam is not reading it, I am stealing chunks of a collection of essays on masculinity Rebecca Walker has compiled in "What Makes a Man." This is a great collection. If you have a progressive dad I would recommend this for father's day. Or for your brother, or boyfriend, or brother-in-law, or gender-progressive friend.