jpmurad

Wine territory to Bear Country

In Wander Lust on September 11, 2008 at 6:18 am

We drove over a thousand miles this weekend, starting with a trip up the 5 to Napa.  Lindsay and I woke up at 5am and then drove through west LA and central coast.  I love the drive toward Northern Cal; rolling hills, yellow grass, dried fruit stands and various California produce.  After driving a large section, I napped and read Dugard’s Surviving the World’s Toughest Race.  This book was a great accompaniment to the weekend’s adventures.

We arrived in Fairfield, the town outside of Napa where we were staying, around noon.  After getting settled in the hotel room, we headed out with our GPS, named TomTom, to find some food before the wedding.  We had been invited to the wedding of one of Lindsay’s college friends named Keith.  Keith is a short, blond haired surfer with a Goatie.  He seemed as comfortable in Napa’s vineyard territory as he does in San Clemente’s surf culture.

The wedding was interesting in a formal, Lutheran sort of way.  I could not help but think that Luther exchanged one form of tradition for another.  The church had high, vaulted ceilings crafted out of stone and wood.  There was a large, stained-glass window above the robed ‘Reverend’, who conducted the ceremony. Before the wedding, Keith’s groomsman had discovered that their tuxedo order had been mixed up.  They were short by one cummerbund.  Keith volunteered to wear his dad’s red and black polo cummerbund.  “Leslie will like it,” he told us in the courtyard before the ceremony began.  After the wedding, Keith had switched back to the classic, black-and-white tux for the photos.  His brother wore the Polo ensemble.

The reception overlooked his family’s private vineyard.  We received labeled bottles of wine as wedding favors.  Fresh figs, cheese and crackers elegantly displayed from the entry room table.  We walked through the tiled floors of the Spanish-style villa to the large stone patio area in the back, where they were serving Whiskey sours and Margaritas.  Without an emcee or DJ, the wedding progressed naturally as conversations kept us standing.

As the sun sank below the valley wall, evening stars began to accompany the music and dancing.  The original Billie Jean was fun to dance to after having listened to Chris Cornell’s version so many times (much slower than the original).  We retired to the hotel after ten o’clock to prepare for our 2.1/2 hour drive to Yosemite.  As we entered the park the next day, I was reminded of all those childhood trips with my family.  I gave Lindsay a very animated tour before we had arrived at Camp Curry.

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  1. Oh did David Cook sing the slow version Chris Cornell originated?

    And I never did see the manure pile. What a disappointing thing to miss. ; )

  2. That’s right! Definitely the most memorable version for me.

    Manure pile – quite the impressing name. For the record, click the following link to view the climb Cree and I did with the guide several years ago.

    http://www.supertopo.com/rockclimbing/route.html?r=yomaaft6

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