I’ve just returned from a trip to northern California, where I visited both Sonoma and Napa Valley. My trip can be summed up in one word: Fantastic. Maybe one more word: Wine.
However, blogs were not meant to be short and sweet, so let me expound.
It was my twentieth wedding anniversary (I know! Can you believe it? Yeah, we were babies when we tied the knot. Babies, I tell ya!). My husband joined me, of course. (Might have been a tad awkward if I’d gone for our anniversary without him.) The best man from our wedding (and his wife) and my bestie-in-the-whole-wide-world, aka maid of honor (well, she was technically matron since she got married first, but that term sounds lame, so we stuck with maid) and her husband, and the parents of our flower girl and ring bearer (Who are also super amazing besties of ours–the parents, I mean. The kids are cool, too, though.) all joined us.
(Side note – yes, another one – we suggested the ring bearer and flower girl join us for the next trip, since, crazy enough, they’re of age, which is so weird considering they were these two totally adorable toddlers walking–and maybe a little bit of running–down the aisle at my wedding. But then again, I guess that whole thing did happen two decades ago!)
Anywhooooo, so we vacationed in Cali, these four couples who have known each other for far more than two decades. Which is crazy, because are we even old enough to have friends that long? Okay, okay, maybe I’m referring to the way we act. But hey, if you can’t have fun with your besties…
I won’t bore you with every single detail (not that a single detail was remotely boring–not even that morning three of us woke up early and went hiking, legit hiking, on a mountain that just happened to be at the end of the street on which the house we were renting was located. Of note, we are not from states in which hiking on mountains at the end of the road is a thing, so yeah, we may have been a tad excited.)
I will tell you that it was magnificent, every single aspect, from the wine to the food (we highly recommend Brix in Napa Valley and the Depot Hotel Restaurant in Sonoma) to the company (the laughs, oh my gosh, the laughs!) was utterly and spectacularly perfect.
I will also leave you with a funny story from our trip (and a reminder that I just wrote a book about wine country–okay, okay, it’s based in Australia, but it’s still about a winery, specific a super hot guy who owns a winery, and it’s well worth the read if you’re into, well, wine country, and also romantic comedy or maybe just my books in general. It’s called No Jerks on Monday in case you want to check it out.).
So here’s the story: My bestie and her husband started their vacay early–they flew into San Francisco on Monday and on Wednesday, when the rest of us arrived, we picked them up and headed north to Wine Country. While we were at dinner on Wednesday, they told us a story about a food tour they’d gone on in downtown SF. It was quite the pleasant experience, until a presumably homeless man stepped in the middle of their group while the tour guide was giving details about whatever building they happened to be standing in front of.
She didn’t miss a beat, keeping her cool and nodding at the guy as he talked gibberish while gesturing wildly. She carried on as if this was a completely normal part of the tour. And then, after he muttered something about someone named “Steven,” she said, “Oh, yes, I know Steven.”
At which point the homeless guy shouted, “STEVEN IS A BITCH.”
And the tour guide, still without missing a beat, said, “And we’re walking,” and herded her group down the sidewalk and on to the next stop.
We found this story outrageously hilarious, and proceeded to insert “Steven is a bitch” into every conversation we possibly could. It became our “That’s what she said” of the weekend.
Oh, but it gets better.
Thursday morning, we went on the Sonoma Food, Wine & History Tour (if you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend it, and ask for Abby because she’s amazing, as you’ll learn in just a moment).
Our tour guide, as I just noted, was Abby. Friendly, bubbly, made a point to get to know every person in the group. We were comfortable with her in probably less than twenty minutes.
The tour started right outside the Depot Park Museum in downtown Sonoma. Abby was giving us a bit of history about the area, including the fact that the now-defunct tracks we were standing next to used to carry a train full of basalt (which was excavated from the mountain right there in Sonoma) into San Francisco to be loaded onto boats to be carried who knows where in the world.
An elderly woman who clearly worked or volunteered at the museum happened to be walking by at the precise moment Abby mentioned San Francisco, and the woman snapped, “No, that’s not where it went. It went to blah blah blah [I don’t even know what she said, to be honest]. You should come into the museum so you can learn something.” And then she stuck her nose in the air and stomped away.
At which point someone in our group muttered, “Annnnd Steven is a bitch.”
And then we collapsed against each other, laughing hysterically, while poor Abby looked on, quite mystified. Until we filled her in on the joke.
Which she proceeded to use to her advantage for the duration of the tour.
So, yeah, we had a marvelous time. I can’t wait to go back.
Tami Lund is an author and wine drinker who writes books about sexy winery owners. Take a peek at No Jerks on Monday HERE.