windsor, sonoma county, california

Yesterday was a travel day, a short distance that took a long time.

If the Oakland Airport wants to be a viable alternative to San Francisco, they have to fix their rental car problem. And PS, don't ever rent from Payless out here. But after the BART to the "Air BART" (bus link between airport and BART), to the insane rental car shuttle, and almost to a second, nonexistent shuttle for Payless, we finally did get a car from National. If Payless wants to try and charge us for the reservation we didn't keep, bring it on.

We immediately drove to the nearest In-N-Out, which we had seen from the Air BART bus, and Allan had his first In-N-Out experience. By that time it was late and we were very hungry, and ate copious amounts of cheeseburgers and fries. I've already noted this on previous California posts, but it's amusing that there's a "double double" here, too. As we would say in a Joy of Sox gamethred: In-N-Out Double Double > Tim Hortons' Double Double.

After a few wrong turns, we joined a slow parade of traffic crawling northward from San Francisco, to the town of Windsor in Sonoma County. This is the heart of wine country, very near the hip, happening town of Healdsburg which everyone tells us to check out.

The cottage is so sweet - just perfect. It's a bed-and-breakfast cottage, so our hosts have stocked it with everything we need for breakfast. Last year in New Mexico, as soon as we put down our bags after a very long day of travel, we had to head out to a store for basics like coffee, tea and cereal. This is easier and more convenient.

We were late for the rehearsal dinner, but by coincidence it was being held at a golf club right down the road from where we're staying, so we were able to relax for a bit before getting ready for the party. Like last year, the best part of this trip is seeing our nieces and nephews, sibs and sibs-in-law, and some extended family (not necessarily related to us). We have a lot to catch up on with a lot of people, and it's great just to be around them.

Cue take 4,573 of how freaking amazing it is to enjoy family gatherings now. After half a lifetime of approaching these things with anxiety and dread, I now look forward to them with joy and excitement. And people think death and divorce are bad things! They've done wonders for us.

Our cottage are adjacent to a farm. We hear baby goats bleating and horses whinnying - and this morning we actually woke up to a rooster crowing. (Then went right back to sleep.) Next to the porch, there's a plum tree laden with ripe fruit. It's beautiful and quiet, and hearing the animals talk is so peaceful.

The wedding is this afternoon, so I'm not sure what, if anything, we'll do besides that.


johngoldfine said...

Funny--we had laying hens and roosters for 30 years til the fox cleaned us out, just like in the cartoons, but we rarely noticed them unless they pitched a danger call--but when we listen now to old audiotapes we made, the birds are constant background: cackling, pucking, crowing, and squawking.

Yesterday's technology! (Audio tapes, I mean, not eggs....)

9casey said...

And people think death and divorce are bad things! They've done wonders for us.

That may be the best line ever written about families....funny stuff..

L-girl said...

Ha ha, audio tapes, not eggs. :)

Thanks, 9C. :)

I've blogged about this before, probably ad nauseum to the people who read the family stuff. But I didn't grow up in a happy family, and I am so appreciative (happy, amazed, etc.) to now enjoy these family gatherings so much. We all really like and love each other and have a great time together. It's not something I'll ever take for granted.

The difference is a few key absences. Like I said...

drewbydrewbydroo said...

Hi L-girl,
I love your blog! As someone who is contemplating moving to Canada, I'm finding it enormously helpful! Forgive me for my blogging ignorance, and for appearing to hijack this blogging thread, but can you tell me how I can email you through this blog with a question? I went to "sign in" and created a Google account (drewbydrewbydroo), but it's not letting me email you directly through the blog. I'm pretty Internet savvy, but for some reason I can't seem to figure this out. Thanks! :)

L-girl said...

The email address is at the top of the sidebar. You can't email through the blog page itself, but you can type the email address. It works. Thanks.