Wine Country Friends

Last week I spent a glorious few days out in Northern California visiting old friends. I first traveled out to Montara, a town that is propped precariously up against Highway 1 about twenty miles south of San Francisco. This is a beach town but not in the traditional way. There are no tourist traps, no surf shops, and not a crab shack in sight. It is simple and sparkling. I know why Nancy lives there. One day we hiked along the coast with the beach below and the cliffs jutting out into the waves. This midwestern girl could hardly catch her breath at all the majestic beauty with all its pure wildness.

After a few days I packed up my red Ford Fiesta rental and headed up to San Francisco to see my son's future in-laws. San Francisco. This town almost has no words. It is a picture postcard. It's breathtaking. It is steep hills and curvy streets and quirky neighborhoods and history seeping out of every corner. Christopher will soon call this area home, and I see why people from there never want to leave.

My final leg of the journey was up to Santa Rosa, which sits north of Sonoma and Napa, in the heart of California wine country. My friends are both wine writers, so obviously it runs through their veins. Peg took to me up the mountain to Napa to a winery that required a tram ride to visit. The vistas from the Sterling Vineyard are beautiful beyond words. This entire area has mile after mile of neat rows of grapevines with roses bushes planted at the end of each one. After a quick Google search I discovered that the rose bushes serve a practical purpose. According to the article "Practical Wine" written by Cher Lim, "Both roses and grapevines are susceptible to the same diseases. Indeed, roses act as early warning of mildew which is a fungal disease." Peg also filled me in the the wine making process, and how the wooden barrels affects the taste of the different wines.

The point of this blog entry, though, is not to give you a travel log of my journeys. In fact, the reason for this visit was all about great, old friends. The scenery was just a bonus. Both of the women I spent time with there I met at different points in my life. Nancy is a college friend who also lived in Dallas when I was there in the 80's. We have a wild and wicked history together. Nancy is one of those friends that no matter how much time has passed, it always feels as though it was just yesterday when we saw each other. We have a true connection that cannot be duplicated. We have seen the best and the worst in each other, yet we support each other's successes and mourn the failures. This friendship is special and priceless; it fills my heart. Peg is truly my oldest friend. We met in Mrs. Plambeck's third grade class and have been friends ever since. My Peg is one of those people who is the embodiment of good, a sprite with invisible wings. Everyone who knows her loves her. I adore what she sees in me. I often don't look at myself the way she does, which is with true love. We also have a storied history that dates back to slumber parties, play rehearsals, and Stevie Wonder. She is my joy.

Hang on to those fabulous women friends in your life. You know....the ones that love you unconditionally, but who will also give you the honest, naked truth when you need it. These women fill your life with wine and dirty jokes. Embrace them all.