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Posts tagged ‘sonoma’

So Sweet

I LOVE opening presents early and since we were getting an early start on celebrating by going to Sonoma, I got to open some of my gifts on Thursday night.

Along with some chocolates that were soooo tasty, this is what Chris found me:

Panda spirit hood

That was funny and super warm, and we had a fun time playing with it…  but then, this is what his mother, Leigh, did for me:

Writer's Toolbox

I have to admit that I cried a bit when I opened it.  This is what was on the inside:

Contents of said toolbox

How thoughtful and sweet, huh?  I’m really thankful that she is supportive of what I’m trying to do.  And with the toolkit, I’m off to a great start for 33!

And there will be even more tomorrow.  Woo hoo!

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It’s Sunday Night

Reasons I am not posting a thoughtful, contemplative note this evening:

1.  I had an extremely busy and fun day, and I’m spent.  We went soaring through the redwoods while ziplining this morning at Sonoma Canopy Tours (my first time ever!) and had an awesome and humungous lunch at Howard’s Station in Occidental.  Then I drove all the way home and tutored.  Plus, after all that, Chris and I spent 1.5 hours cursing IKEA and saying WTF as we put together our new bed.

But look!  We did it!  It is great in our room, and even though it doesn’t match any of the rest of the furniture, it somehow pulled it all together.  The room feels proportioned; the bed is the right height; and we even get some under-the-bed storage.  It sure makes me thrilled about my new plan to get our house in order…  Except the vacuum broke again.  Damn you, Hoover!

Honey and Chris enjoying the bed

2.  I keep forgetting that tomorrow morning starts a 9 day cleanse with my friend, Chandra, who lives in New Jersey.  Since I just remembered (for the zillionth time in the last 3 days) that it begins so soon, I am spending some time planning and steeling my mind to the challenge ahead, i.e. no coffee, which she just reminded me of.  It’s a good thing that I (actually remembered for a brief moment on Friday and) ordered extra veggies and fruits from the CSA for the upcoming week.

This is the plan:  2 days eating raw foods, 5 days juicing, and 2 final days eating raw foods.  It’s an interesting way to end year 32 and begin 33!

3.  See numbers 1 and 2 above.  Nighty-night!

Vacation Contemplation

Vacations are tricky for me.  I love being away from home, relaxing, exploring, and trying new things.

Those very activities, though, also tend to make me melancholy.  Stepping away from the normal routine in my life gives me time to reflect without as much noise.  And that’s where I start to get into trouble.

One minor example is that I always decide that I want to move to the place where we’ve travelled (except LA, yuck).  For me, the grass is literally greener…  San Jose is dirty, smoggy, and expensive.  In Hawaii, I can buy an oceanfront condo in Kona for $199,000.  In Sonoma, a house on the Russian River surrounded by redwoods goes for $300,000.  Compared to the prices in the South Bay, those are a steal!

Vineyard, W. Dry Creek Road

But, honestly, it’s not really that the housing prices are more reasonable.  Sure, though places are quieter, cleaner, and more peaceful than being near the junction of two major highways, but I’m just not settled, and I haven’t been for a very long time.

Being in a new environment somehow forces me to think about my life and what I would like to do differently.  Maybe it’s because when I’m someplace different, I am the only thing that hasn’t changed.  (Well, Chris and Honey haven’t changed either, but I just bring them along for the ride!)

Olive trees, W. Dry Creek Road

So today, while taking the long way and driving through the various wine growing regions, I started to get sad- for no apparent reason.  I think I have a clue, though.  The last six months have brought major changes, and I’ve struggled with the transitions… And there are even more on the horizon.

Some come as soon as Monday, when I start looking for a new job.  Part of the quiet contemplation as we drove came from the fact that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  After years of switching jobs, industries, etc…, this prospect is daunting and exhausting.  While I am sure that I will find my niche eventually, the road seems as narrow and windy as our off-the-beaten-path trek today.

The bright side to this is that come Monday, when I put my nose to the grindstone and start my search, I will be rested and invigorated after having some fun excursions.  Maybe this time up in my brain is just setting me up to be successful and more grounded during the changes.  Maybe the new job is right around the corner.  In the meantime, I’m still bringing home the bacon as a tutor, and I am very thankful for that.

Plus, being away does have it’s perks too.  Yesterday, I brainstormed my idea for a cookbook (watch out, Rachel Ray) and came up with a way to make our home office a more pleasant place to work (plants outside the window).

But if I moved to Sonoma, I could just be a farmer.  🙂

Red Champagne

Chris and I have been taking long weekends in Sonoma for the last 3 years. I’ll share more about them in a future post, but I want to tell you about one of the most important things we do each time. We drink this champagne:

Korbel's Rouge Champagne- best food ever!

We like sparkling wines that may be fancier, but this one holds a special place in our hearts. The Korbel winery was the first place we ever went tasting together (in 2009, on our first long weekend away), and we spent a leisurely afternoon eating lunch and drinking red champagne on their patio with Honey at our feet. Plus, the champagne is beautifully sparkly. AND it’s actually so yummy that I forgot to take a photo to show you. Oops!

Up close, in case you want to buy some

Chris and I started dating after an evening drinking champagne, so it seems fitting that a fabulous start would grow into a wonderful tradition. Today, our first stop in Sonoma was lunch and tasting at “our” little spot. It was an amazingly gorgeous day, and we sat outside under the redwoods with Di—- (doesn’t want to be mentioned) and Montana as we sipped. After the drive from San Jose, we were able to unwind and get into relaxation mode.

Gorgeous day!

Knowing that we wouldn’t be back for a while, we bought some for home… Come over, and we’ll introduce you to a great treat. {In case you’d like to order and live in a state that’s not run like it’s 1925, click here.}

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