It just keeps getting better. Each year when these life long friends reunite it seems we have even more fun. Maybe it is because we are all together only once a year and shut out all of life’s stresses. Whatever the reason, it is one fun weekend. We returned to the beautiful Northern California wine country for the second year renting a spacious house in a spectacular setting among the vine-covered hills to celebrate our 60th year of life.
Everything was perfect: the weather, the setting, the food, the wine, and the companionship. Well, almost everything.
Our plan was to meet at the property at noon on Thursday when our rental period began. There were three vehicles coming from different locations. We had written directions from the owner, GPS in our vehicles and on our smart phones, supplemented by maps we had printed off the Internet. How then, you may wonder, did we all get lost? After much frustration and an hour or so wondering around the hills of Healdsburg with very limited cell service, we came to the realization that the street name and the address of the house did not match up. What? Why were we not given this information? Eventually we all found the house and the confusing drive to get there made our arrival all the sweeter once we entered our world of luxury, serenity, and friendship.
With all the supplies we needed for great eating and drinking, we settled in to play in the pool, soak in the hot tub, take walks in the vineyards, and enjoy each other. In celebration of our milestone birthdays we expanded our weekend to three nights this year and planned to get gussied up and go out one night.
For the days we stay in we divide ourselves into two competing teams (team A and team B) for preparing meals. That way there are not too many cooks in the kitchen at any one time and you have a day when you are free of chores. Last year my team (team B) unanimously won for best dinner. This year we had to give the honors to team A, who pulled out all the stops due to the fact we had guests for dinner, a relative and his wife who live in the area, joined us on our last night. The more the merrier and it was very merry.
Laughter is the best medicine, and we laugh a lot over the weekend, especially at night when the wine is flowing freely. As we packed up to head back to the real world, we carried with us memories of our time together and find ourselves smiling at our exploits for weeks to come. We have already chosen our house for next year knowing that it just keeps getting better.