As great as it was to be back in New York City (we really do Love NY), we have to admit that this time, it was equally good to get away. Over the past four years of travel we’ve mostly managed to avoid winter and, in the process, have become hot-house-flowers of sorts. Last weekend’s storm gave us enough snow and ice to keep us stocked up on winter weather for the foreseeable future.
And for all the bitching we always do about air travel – the ridiculous undressing for security, the cramped coach seats, the inevitable delays – we really owe it a big, fat round of applause. Thanks to modern aviation, we spent only a half a day getting from Central Park’s winter wonderland to Southern California’s bikini beaches.
After spending two weeks in the cold, returning to the sun and palm trees we’d otherwise have taken for granted felt like vacation. It is nothing short of a holiday miracle.
There’s something humbling about being in the presence of creatures old enough to remember the Dark Ages, especially when they grow taller than the Statue of Liberty and thicker than a city bus.
It didn’t take us long to spend the money we saved passing up pricey Napa Valley wine tastings. While we left Napa without purchasing even a single bottle, we didn’t come away empty-handed in another of California’s great wine regions.
The Anderson Valley is more off the beaten path than Napa and Sonoma, further north and harder to reach but well worth the effort. In fact, the effort is part of the fun. Driving from the coastal town of Mendocino we followed a beautifully winding, redwood-lined road that was as much a joy to drive as it was breathtaking to observe.