Wines and Bungees

Farewell to the beautiful 101.
I made it back in one piece, no worse for wear and definitely lighter of spirit, but it would be easy to let my "real life" bring me down, so I'm throwing myself into work. I have a lot of projects on the table which need to be prioritized and dealt with if I want to make my dream come true...

The trip was a 100% phenomenal success. There's just nothing negative to tell about. The only glitch was on the way home. My flight out of Dallas was delayed by an hour, but that gave me time to go across the way to an Irish pub for a Bass ale and dinner, so it wasn't a glitch at all. I've generally had good travel experiences; in that part of my life at least, life seems to reward me every time. There have been one or two experiences that have had me sweating drops of blood, but mostly things go well for me. But then, I don't set too-high expectations where hotels, restaurants, and airlines are concernedI travel to experience life, not to have the picture perfect Condé Nast vacation. I've never shied from meeting all kinds of experiences, good or bad, and after all, I'm only on vacation for a week or two. Soon enough I'll be back to the same old same old, so why not just embrace it all in a spirit of fun?

Two of the more pleasant discoveries I made while in the Santa Ynez Valley were some California wines that really impressed me. First was a 2009 Toccata Rosato from the local Lucas & Lewellen Vineyard. I don't usually like rosés. In fact, I remember them as the wines of my early 20s when my palette still craved sweet, sweet, sweet. In Solvang, however, I nipped into the Toccata wine tasting room (the streets there are lined with such rooms!) and gave this wine a try. I loved it! It's dry, light, and clear. Take a white zin and infuse it with the refracted sunlight of Santa Barbara County and you'll have this wine. I hope I can find it here.

Second, but not least, is the 2009 Bridlewood Chardonnay from the Bridlewood Estate Winery in Monterey. I've liked only about 50% of the chards that I've tried. Their tastes can range from an almost Pinot Grigio lightness to the most acrid, oaky, vinegar bite you can imagine, but since I've taken to the dryer wines these days, I decided to give this one a try, just from reading the label. I truly scored on this one, and it was the only wine I bought by the bottle while I was out there. It's very light on the oak, buttery and light. I'm hoping I can find this one here as well. Both wines are around the $15-$20 range, which is a great price for some very enjoyable wines.

Between the sampling of amazing local wines and amazing local live music, my senses are filled to the brim with happiness and love of life. Today I begin the task of creating a revised literary to-do list. I'm determined to move the family back home; there is no other place where we're supposed to be. I recognize that now and knowing what your destiny is makes up over half of what it takes to make that destiny happen. I want my trip to California to act like bungee cord: now that I've been out there, I want it to snap me back home ASAP!