Thursday, June 19, 2008

School's Out For Summer

Well, the blessed day has finally arrived...the end of the school year and the end of work for the summer. I have to say, the count down to today has been outstanding. It started on June 9th with a trip to Disneyland (a work responsibility) that just happened to coincide with Drew's birthday. What made it even better was the fact that Courtney, Cameron (is he an official member of the family yet?) Rachel, Alicia and Drew were all there. We had a great you can see by going to Drew and Alicia's they got to my pictures before I did!

Following graduation preparations on Thursday 6/12 I hopped a flight to Oakland to stay with Courtney and together travel up to Napa Valley on Saturday morning to stay with John. John is working on an Adam Sandler film, "Bedtime Stories" in Calistoga. Courtney worked on Friday so I had a leisurely day that consisted of a citrus/pecan scone from Jay's...around the corner from her apartment and then continued up the street to Nancy's for a manicure and a pedicure. Am I boring you yet? Walking around Alameda is so charming, it reminds me of the walks "up-town" in Coronado with my Uncle Hoyt when I was young. We would always start at the bakery on Orange Avenue and usually get a few groceries at the market. Unlce Hoyt would always wear a hat and a jacket with a collared shirt. Whenever he passed anyone on the sidewalk he would tip his hat and say Good Day. (He also always had lifesavers in his pocket! Isn't there a commercial about that?) That afternoon Courtney came home and we went to Berkeley where she had a work meeting at the Cal campus. While she was in her meeting I visited another of my favorite places..."Games of Berkeley". I could hang out there for hours. From there I did a little baby shopping...I had to! After all, a good grandma knows her I'm doing my due diligence. Later we went to the Crate and Barrel gotta do what you gotta do! That evening Courtney and Cameron's softball team had a double header to determine the league championship. They won the first game handily...the second game was not quite as good. The other team came with a vengeance and played as if their very souls would be damned to hell if they did not win. So...they won...good for them, their souls are safe.

The trip to Napa to see John was fantastic. For a non drinker, Napa has a lot to offer. The views are pastoral and soothing. The architechture as diverse as one could imagine with a scenic vista at every glance. These people have money and they know how to spend it well! John was filming in a castle that a man had built for $38 million. Around the back of the castle is a lake...with his wine cellar under it for temperature control.

Not to mention the food...we dined at The Farm, a beautiful relaxing resort just off the main highway. The food was all we hoped for, innovative, seasonal, fresh and done to perfection. I wish I had taken pictures of all our dishes...they were so lovely...I think we were too excited to taste everything and didn't think about it. At any is yet another picture of Courtney and Cameron mugging for the camera.

On Saturday we visited the di Rosa Preserve, (peacocks freely stalk the visitors there) a quirky, off the beaten path estate owned by a quirky off the beaten path art collector/winery owner/bon vivant/eccentric. The estate boasts a beautiful main residence, art gallery, various outbuildings, a lake complete with a "tropical" island and a sculpture meadow...and everywhere you look there is art...not everybody's art, but art none the less. Rene di Rosa is an amazing collector and it was so fun to see his collection. As I close, I will include 2 what I will call tribute a tribute to Cameron's tie collection and finally a tribute to John's long lost finger which apparently is now an art piece! TTFN I will return shortly with what I hope will be baby news! Let the countdown begin...23 days and counting.