Last weekend was wonderful, though it was also a busy one. Come along with me for a magical mystery tour of the county!
Friday: Met my friend Jim after work at the Ledford House. I was greeted outside by a very fluffy and friendly black cat, and inside by my friend, who had a local beer in front of him. I ordered a glass of local wine, and we settled in at the bar to admire the view and catch up with each other’s news. Even though it was overcast, the view was still spectacular. I never get tired of watching the ocean in all its moods.
The second anniversary of his husband Joel’s death is upon us, and we drank a toast to the dear departed. But we also laughed, thinking of how the royalty checks still come in from the “MacGyver” episodes Joel wrote, and remembering how he smoked pot with Allen Ginsberg when he was at Harvard. He lived a rich and wonderful life. I just wish it had been longer.
Saturday: Megan and I headed to Boonville in beautiful Anderson Valley. We were in search of tomato starts for the family garden, so we stopped at a nursery where chickens were merrily hatching:
And two yin and yang cats were playing (or was it fighting):
It turned out that the white cat in the background is the mother of the black one in the foreground. The white one was very friendly to me, but the black one needed some convincing before I could pet her.
At the farmers’ market in Boonville, we ran into Rose’s daughter Citlali, but we didn’t find the Holy Grail of tomato starts. We ended up getting Plan B tomatoes at a plant sale at the high school. As you do.
We met Erica and Jessica for lunch. We worked on plans for Junapalooza, which is basically going to be a dessert extravaganza, and entirely catered by Erica other than the cucumber sandwiches, which may be the only thing we are serving that doesn’t have sugar in it. There have to be some compensations for being a grown up, and having sugar in multifarious forms for your birthday dinner may be it.
We gave Jessica her belated birthday t-shirt, which she loved, and she gave us origami birds she had made, seen here gracing my sandwich:
I love those girls.
On our way home, we stopped at Libby’s, which was miraculously open, but which only had one order of al pastor left, because you can’t have everything, which seemed to be the theme of the day. I let Megan have the al pastor and I settled for carnitas, because that’s the kind of sister I am.
I got home in time for the Kentucky Derby. I had made simple syrup infused with mint, and bought all the other Julep necessities, including freezing the glass for it. It turns out that I am not a Julep fan, sadly. I love the idea of it and the name of it and everything but the actual taste. It is pretty intense for daytime drinking also.
Sadly, my favorite jockey, the legendary Calvin Borel, had retired just a couple of months before the Derby, and I missed him and his smile as the jockeys came out of their dressing room to mount the beautiful horses. I love the walk over and the call of “Riders, up!” and all the pageantry. The favorite, named for the legendary Detroit Red Wings player Gustav Nyquist brought a little reminder of hockey to the glamorous occasion, only appropriate during playoff season.
Sunday: It was up and at ‘em again, leaving the house by 9:00 am and not getting home until after 6. Megan and I headed over to Lichen’s house, where he cut her hair and we admired his garden and his new to him Rottweiler, Keeper. At nearly 9 years old, she isn’t very fresh, but she is very sweet, and they seem very happy together.
Our next stop was Anchor Bay Thai, where we got dinner to go at lunch time, ‘cause that’s how we roll. I always think I will try something different, but I couldn’t resist getting my favorite Massaman curry, fresh spring rolls, and cucumber salad.
With dinner taken care of, we headed to Point Arena for the last ballet of the season streamed from the historic Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. At three hours (partly because of two intermissions), it was long, but it was my favorite of the season. I loved the costumes and sets and the beauty of the dancing. Semyon Chudin, who memorably played the Mouse King in the Nutcracker, played the male lead, and he and Ekaterina Krysanova, who played his love interest, had wonderful chemistry and matched each other well. I still can’t believe they can jump so high and spin like that!
It was a wonderful experience. And it was wonderful to see something so beautiful and then drive home through such beautiful countryside.
It was a great weekend.
A YEAR AGO: I was having a lovely weekend then, too.