30 January, 2012
I wish that this weekend had never ended! I drove up to Healdsburg by myself for some time away from the distractions and stress of regular life, and had a wonderfully relaxing and productive time. It was a beautiful weekend- 65 degrees, sunny and warm, and I stayed at my favorite hotel, the H2, which is super green and very comfortable, and conveniently located upstairs from Spoonbar, where Scott Beattie makes the most amazing cocktails! I checked in on Friday afternoon and immediately went over to the Healdsburg Hotel Spa for an incredible hot stone massage, followed by a nap and dinner. I spent the rest of the evening working on some illustrations for jobs and the PBP 2012 collection. On Saturday morning I stopped for one of my favorite treats- a sour cherry gallette from Downtown Bakery- before driving out to Unti, my favorite vineyard, to buy a couple of cases of my favorite wines to restock my "cellar."
Then, on a whim, I decided to take a picnic out to the coast. I took the windy backroads through arid hills dotted with volcanic rock and enormous, ancient oak trees, rolling acres of grapevines dense with brilliant mustard flowers, cool, misty redwood forests filled with trickling streams and lush ferns and moss, and finally made it to the Ocean at Stewart's Point, where I enjoyed my lunch in the sun with a good book. I drove back through Guerneville, along the Russian River, and spotted a belated birthday note to me (how did they know?!) on the small, quonset hut-housed movie theater in Monte Rio.
Sunday, I was sad to leave Sonoma- for some reason being up there always makes me feel at peace, and I hope that one day I can have a place of my own somewhere between the valley and the sea to escape to whenever I want- but more fun plans were calling. I stopped for takeout at Sol Food in San Rafael and drove straight to Golden Gate Fields for the races, where one of my friends was on an assignment for a magazine. I won $10 on a horse named Intriguing Vision. Then I barely had time to run home and change before meeting another friend for the tail-end of the Dashiell Hammet marathon at Noir City. We saw The Glass Key, which was new to me and really wonderful, and The Maltese Falcon- always a hit.