Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day Five: In Which I Open My Big Mouth

Yesterday I discovered the limits of how long I am willing to stand on the sidewalk in the sun waiting while Linda wanders shops.

We had checked out of MacArthur Place and popped over to the town square in Sonoma to check out the shops. You know times are tough. It is the middle of the summer holiday season on a beautiful day in one of the most popular tourist towns. We parked easily and wandered around the square with only a smattering of other people in sight.

Anyhow, my limit is about an hour. But that may be an artificial number because Robert was standing with me and we were having a good old yarn. By myself, it may be closer to 20 minutes.

I discovered the time limit when Linda started to go into yet one more store selling things she really didn't need. "Oh come on," I snapped. No sooner had I said it than I realized it was not a cool thing to do - especially with someone who has been awake several hours every night while you are sound asleep next to her.

And she stopped, looked nicely at me and quickly said, "OK" in the most pleasant voice. A chill went up my spine.

We crossed at the street corner, and Jaki led LK off to another shop. A sisterly solidarity sort thing I think. You know. No man is going to tell us women when we can and cannot shop. I was in deep doodoo. Fortunately, I figured out a way to save the day.

When they came out, I suggested that the women can take their time shopping but us guys were going to go have a beer. That suited Robert, who had noticed an pub with Guinness on top, and it suited the women who promptly walked back across the street to the store Linda had not entered when I piped up.

And I have learned my lesson and will never again open my mouth like that.

After all the Sonoma shopping and drinking was done, we piled into the Hummer and made our way up to the Napa Valley and into St Helena, where we stopped at Taylor's Refresher for lunch. This is a drive-in built in 1949 that looks pretty much like every other post-war drive-in. Jaki and Robert hadn't ever eaten there, but it had featured in the show, Drive-ins, Diners and Dives, and she thought it would be fun to stop.

We had a pretty good idea it would be worth the stop because the line was about 15 deep to put in orders. Turns out the place has changed hands in recent years, and the new owners have turned it into a gourmet drive-in. Sure, they had burgers, but we all ended up with the seafood options which looked so interesting. LK and I had ahi burgers with wasabi (Big Yumm), Jaki and fish and chips, which was mahi mahi not your old whatever bait didn't get used on the boat fish, and Robert had fish tacos. Add in chili sweet potato chips and battered onion rings. Super good lunch.

If you're within 50 miles, go there.

Then on to Colusa and Jaki and Robert's house. Their backyard is one of the most beautiful gardens you will ever find. I will take some pics and include them tomorrow. Maybe make a Shutterfly page if I am really energetic (which has not been the case so far this trip). And if I do the camera thing properly, I will also show you Robert's rather amazing collection of tools. So many things. So few that I can use.

We had a lovely evening sitting around the backyard talking. Well, three of us were talking and Jaki was frantically getting water into all the plants that had not done so well under the care of a teenaged neighbor while they were away. As evening fell, a swarm of dragonflies above the roof seemed to be taking care of any mosquitoes for us, and hummingbirds keep popping onto the birdfeeders Jaki has hung.

It will probably go near 100 today (in centigrade, that's "very hot") so poolside and relaxed sounds like a good idea.

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