Napa was heavenly. It was blue sky after the rain, marriage retreat, fellowship binge and wine/foodie tasting all folded into two contented days.
I never seem to remember how good it is for us to drive away together. We should probably get in the car and drive more often. Destination is unimportant...time in the car is priceless. And so we drove as the sun rose, leaving everyone sleeping at home. We listened to David Sanborn, we talked and listened, we even talked about really hard things that we disagree about; it was time we needed and we are the better for taking it.
Oxbow Public Market, specifically Ritual Coffee Roasters, provided the perfect cup of espresso, twice.
Cup number one was outside by the river and under the shimmering canopy of bright blue sky. We were serenaded by an extremely extroverted song bird, it was a little chilly (just the right amount of chilly) and we were all by ourselves. Occasionally an obviously-on-their-way-to-work person would march purposefully by with their game face on, and we were the smirking, shirking, no-job-to-race-to couple that just kept staring at the blue sky and sipping and talking as long as we wanted to.
We weren't done talking when the chill soaked into our bones, so we moved inside. I loved the golden walls, the unusual light fixtures, the open feel of the marketplace. The smells of spices and pastries and coffee and tea mingled together to make the perfect ambiance.
I expected Napa to make me uncomfortable. The high prices, the celebrity status of the place, the glamour of it all isn't really my style. Yes, we are Fairplay Wine Snobs. But on this Thursday morning, a work day with regulars chatting over cups of coffee and pastries, the feeling was of a beautiful, normal neighborhood. I felt very much at home.
Worth every penny.
We could have strolled back to the car, hand-in-hand, and headed back to Placerville to face life again. It was that good. But we didn't. Well, we strolled back to the car hand-in-hand, but instead of going home we went up the hill, above downtown Napa, and we found the cottage that was the vacation place for friends.
It was time for the feast of fellowship, wine and food, games and laughter. More on that tomorrow.