This is a re-post from a blog entry I did on my first blog back in 2003. Thought I'd post some of those old blog entries I did just for grins. Enjoy!
August 26th, 2003
Laura, my darling daughter, just got a new convertible a few weeks ago; a 2002 Chrysler Sebring. The day she bought it, she and I had a blast driving down to Petaluma, about a half-hour drive. And I thought...you know, that's fun! That is a fun car! Playing music really loud on the awesome stereo system and letting my hair blow everywhere, not a care in the world.
So when she invited me to come to Napa with her last Sunday, I eagerly accepted. The weather was lovely and besides, since Dawson was doing website work I had nothing better to do. Since my skin is alabaster-creamy-white (although some may call it
"climbed-out-from-under-a-rock-wormlike-pasty-white"), I brought along a sun hat, sun block and a scarf to wrap about my lovely shoulders (read: I have enough freckles in that area and I damn well don't want any more; they're starting to remind me suspiciously of age-spots). Fully prepared, we set off.
As soon as Laura pulled away from the curb, my light blond hair, which I'd lovingly spent an hour on, applying various expensive products, blow-drying and curling, etc...blew all over the place. I have the straightest hair in the world, it's baby-fine and it simply will NOT stay put. Ever. Even the slightest breeze ruffles it. Unless I put enough hairspray on it to give it that shellacked "helmet-head" look that so many newscasters enjoy.
Even if I'd used a truckload of hairspray, it wouldn't have helped this situation. But what did I care? Cat Stevens was playing loudly, the sun was out, we’re in a silver convertible, Wine Country Northern Cal is so damn beautiful that people flock from all over the world just to gaze at it, so what’s the problem?
No problem. Screw the hair. We were having a great time.
I'm humming and enjoying the ride, despite the hair blowing wildly from beneath my hat. Life is good. Then I slowly noticed my left eye tearing up. I had sunglasses on, of course, (de rigueur for my baby-blue eyes which can’t see a thing in bright light) yet…that eye was really starting to burn. I realized that some sun block must've gotten in it, so I tried to wipe gently at the eye area. But I still had sun block on my hands, so I only made it worse. But no problem, right? I'm still in a God-kissed area of the world, we're in a new convertible, good tunes are blasting, the sun is out, NO PROBLEM!
Sure, I had to squint at the scenery with my one good eye and could only really see in those rare moments when my hair wasn't flipping wildly all over my face, so it was all kind of a green and blue blur going by, but still...
We were having a great time!
We came over the grade above Napa Valley and it certainly takes your breath away. Sweeping vistas of purplish mountains far off in the background, with miles of neat vineyards in the foreground, all interspersed with oak trees and wildlife. Like a scene out of a Disney documentary.
Although it was a bit disturbing to notice it was approximately 20 degrees hotter here in Napa county than it had been in good ol' Sonoma county. Which must have made it about 100 degrees with no protection between lily-white me and that suddenly fiercely burning yellow ball in the sky. But that’s okay, because blasts of hot'wind on my face is a good thing, right? Because, DAMN, we're outside, we’re in a convertible, life is just ducky.
Besides, I had my hat, scarf, sun block, etc...I had it COVERED!
As we continued on, I squinted at the name of the small town we were going through and saw it was "Rutherford". "Ah-ha!" I said to Laura, "I've had Rutherford wine before; it's very good, let's stop there"...so Laura kept both her eyes and I kept my one good one glued to the winery signs, looking for Rutherford Vineyards. Then Laura, cruising along at 80-plus mph, saw the sign: "There is IS!" she shouted. Sure enough, there was a big sign on the left. But we were going too fast to make the turn.
Laura slammed on the brakes like a movie stuntman and made a hard-left into the driveway, bouncing over the railroad tracks and barely missing the telephone pole that stood on the RH side, causing me to watch my life briefly pass before my eyes.
But No Problem. We were having a GREAT time!
We pulled up and got out, me staggering a bit from our close call with death, Laura smiling and laughing and looking fabulous despite the 100 degree heat and wind from the ride. I, on the other hand, looked like I’d just walked out of a wind-tunnel, and my eye had swollen completely shut.
Then I realized with a sinking feeling as we walked into the winery that I didn't have my business cards with me. You see, I get a discount by being in the industry. This was bad, because now I'd have to do my "song-and-dance" routine by explaining who I was so we could avoid paying the tasting fees.
So, with one eye squinting and my hair sticking out all over my head, I introduced myself as being sales director of a neighboring winery, etc., blah blah, and "here we are to try your wonderful wines!"
None of which went over nearly as well as it usually does. No doubt due to the fact I kept turning my head to one side like a parrot while addressing him so I could see, and trying in vain to smooth my hair by running my fingers fetchingly through it. Which always seems to work so well for women in the movies with mussed hair, but always turns out to be a complete disaster for me.
After a barrage of questions, while I clawed at my hair and fixed him with my good eye, he seemed satisfied that I wasn't trying to pull one over on him by pretending I was something I wasn't, (and with my appearance, who could blame him?) so he poured us some Sauvignon Blanc. Which was heavenly.
In fact, I could have stayed in the cool dim winery with the lovely oak barrels and the dark wooden walls with the nice tinted windows where you could barely tell there was any hot sun at all, not to mention basking in the most wonderful invention of mankind, airconditioning, and just sip Sauvignon Blanc in there all day long.
But, alas...my daughter had other ideas, namely food and a restaurant, so I bought two bottles of their crisp, chilled Sauvignon Blanc for Dawson and myself later and we left.
I girded myself for battle once again, donning the hat, the sun block, the scarf, the sunglasses, etc., and off we went. My eye, which had started to recover in the oasis of the winery, started swelling up again. But no problem.
We were having a great time. Damn it.
Finally, we got to Calistoga and pulled in front of a Mexican restaurant we’d eaten at before. The windows opened up over the sidewalk by our table, so we sat and watched the world go by while munching on nachos, fish tacos, and a very fine bottle of chilled white wine. It IS Calistoga, after all, soo, yes...even the Mexican restaurants have a superb wine list. I was actually enjoying myself as long as I avoided looking at my reflection in the window with my crappy hair and Quasimodo-like face.
Once again, I slowly started to recover out of the relentless sun and felt much better. But my daughter had other plans; she needed to go, let's go! Want to check out this other restaurant in Mark West Springs! See the baby giraffe at Safari West!
So back into the now-dreaded convertible we went. Glumly, I pulled on my war-gear and the torture began. I was starting to appreciate what it must be like to be in the desert blasting along in a military jeep.
Still...who am I to complain? And as far as Laura was concerned, we were having a great time.
But even hardened war campaigners must eventually get tired. And I’d run out of steam. The next hotel she dragged me to, the Hilton, the bar stood beckoning. Quiet, dark and cool. So soothing...no wind, no sun, and the Giants were playing. Look, it’s TV! I'd forgotten what it looked like...so nice and colorful and oh, joy, my eye was getting back to normal. But no, Laura wanted to sit on the deck and look at...traffic. Sigh...
I begged her to take me home and she took pity. Off we went. But then, oh NO! She wanted to stop at Paradise Ridge winery where her friend’s wedding is going to be held next year. Since Laura is a bridesmaid, she just had to check this place out! Right Mom?
Right, I whimpered.
Again, it was nice and cool and dark in the tasting room and they had the best view we’d seen all day. So as we were standing there, trying their whites and reds, a gust of wind/air conditioning blew over a wine glass that was on the gift shelf across the way from us. Glass exploded all over the stone floor.
Ever helpful, I went to pick up some of the smaller pieces I could see near us, not wanting myself or my lovely daughter to step on them. Then this insane woman came bustling out and ordered me to stop doing it. "Stop that!" she demanded. "I’m the CATERER!"
Which made no sense to me. Now, if she’d said, "I’m the JANITOR" I could understand her territorial loftiness...but since when had caterers become broken-glass experts? Which, after raising two kids and their gazillion friends at our house, I certifiably was.
I drew myself up and looked sternly at her with my one eye. "But I'm the MOM" I retorted.
Which didn’t fly.
I mean, would you trust a woman with one eye and Phyllis Diller hair to pick up broken glass? Probably not...
I allowed myself to get shooed away from picking up the glass. If that woman only knew how many pieces of glass I’ve picked up, vacuumed, swept, she wouldn’t have dismissed my services so lightly.
So finally, finally...armed with another bottle from Paradise Ridge, this time a Pinot for Dawson, who likes reds, we headed home. We pulled up into my blessed home driveway and I rolled weakly out of the car. Laura popped her trunk and skipped over to it, handing me only one of my Sauvignon Blanc bottles. "I'm taking the other one for tonight with my boyfriend!" she informed me brightly, as she drove away. "I’ll pay you for it later, okay mom? LOVE YOU MOM! Hey, I had a GREAT time!"
I feebly tried to protest her astonishing theft of my wine but my heart just wasn’t in it. I was dead tired and felt strangely woozy, that had nothing to do with the wine. I felt like I’d run a marathon and had come in a dismal last. Too much sun...too much "fun".
Dawson greeted me as I staggered into the house, asking if I'd enjoyed myself. I was too tired to answer so he took a clue and put on "Sex And The City" to cheer me up. The next thing I know, I was pulling my face up from the couch where I’d fallen asleep. "Wha' happened?" I asked blearily. "You fell asleep really hard," he said. "In fact, you’ve been asleep for TWO HOURS, babe!"
Had I? I blinked at the clock...all of 8:30...must be time for bed.
So off I toddled to bed. "It's only 8:30!" Dawson protested.
I didn't care. I slept like the dead and didn't wake up until morning.
But really...we had a GREAT time!
Originally posted by Annie August 23, 2003