Date: Sun, 29 Oct 1995 20:27:21 -0800
From: Karen Kay <karenk@NETCOM.COM>
Subject: WHTMISebastopol
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L <WORDS-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>

I left late on Saturday morning, mostly because I spent 1/2 hr. looking for my cousin David's explicit instructions. Another miscalculation was that I forgot that 101 disappears in San Francisco. So I was rather frazzled by the time I approached the brige. But--I got this wonderful view of one spire of the Golden Gate bridge emerging from the fog. It was an awe-inspiring view. (The GG and the Eiffel Tower are two of my favorite man-made structures ever.)

The trip to Sebastopol, which is in Wine Country, took a little over two hours, and took me through about 35 different climates and environments. I phoned my cousin from Sebastopol (from "Joe's Place"--I can't recommend it), and he gave me directions from there. I saw a pumpkin patch on the way. Though I couldn't figure out why they were still in the field. Oh! And I found out that Gravenstein apples come from Sebastopol.

We ate lunch, and talked and talked and talked (I found out some good family gossip), and then decided to go to the beach (Bodega Bay). This is where a bunch of stuff from "The Birds" was filmed, but I saw this movie so long ago, I couldn't recognize anything. We went through three more climates on the way.

After that, we came back and were trying to figure out where to eat and what to do. On a whim, we decided to try Sufi dancing, and then eat at a new Italian restaurant afterwards. I'm going to draw a discreet veil over the Sufi dancing, knowing how Anne is about other people's beliefs. Suffice it to say that it was a lot of fun, and I'd do it again.

Then we went to Claudio's Trattoria. The guy who runs this place has had restaurants in New Haven, New Orleans, Palm Beach, Boca Raton... and other places. The food was the best food I've had in eons. Just incredible. Perfection. And not that expensive. (I think the most expensive entree was about $14.00.) I had veal w/ proscuitto, eggplant, and mozzarella, and my cousin had chicken w/ rosemary. The vegetables were zucchini, peppers, and carrots--and the carrots were *not* overcooked. My cousin had tiramisu for dessert, and I had zabaglione. The zabaglione was way too sweet, but still quite good. The best meal I've had in ages.

After that, we came home, and David, being a good host, gave me his bed while he took the couch. This turned out to be <rather> interesting, because it's a waterbed. Still, it was comfortable, and delightfully warm. (It's colder in Sebastopol than in Mountain View, and I forgot to allow for that.) I had dreams of being on the ocean. (Yes, I had to pee in the middle of the night, and getting in and out of that thing while still remaining asleep was not something I could manage.)

We got up in the morning, and went out for breakfast, then for a walk. First, we went down to check out the vineyards. (He lives behind Iron Horse Winery.) There was a wonderful view of the valley in which the vineyards are situated. Everything's been harvested, and the vines are turning color. About a mile and half from my cousin's house, there's a farm that has some . Llamas, ostriches, emus, cassowaries, and kiwis. The one cassowary we saw was funny--looked like a feather lump. The llamas were definitely cute. (He's also got all kinds of birds around his house, because it's behind an apple orchard--the orchard is between the house and the vineyards. I mostly saw hummingbirds and quail on his deck, but I could hear a lot of birds I couldn't recognize.) Oh, and there's a resident dog. A golden retriever that is definitely sweet. I forget what her name is. David's landlord (who owns the dog) said she's an excellent retriever--she gives him a sad look when he shoots at ducks and misses. This dog also puts rocks in her mouth and chews them, so I'm not sure how smart she is. (She knows heel, sit, lay, and stay. And "drop it".)

My cousin bet me a million dollars that the time didn't change till tonight.:) Unfortunately we weren't able to verify it while I was there. He also bet me $500,000 that it would take me two and a half hours to get home again. He lost both bets.:))) (It took me 2:20, but that included getting gas and a huge accident. Under optimal conditions, it should take just under 2 hours, I think.)

Coming back today, I didn't notice the 35 climates--that's because the entire Bay Area was foggy and cold! I had a really good time--Sebastopol is only two hours away, but it's an entirely different world. I don't want to live there, but I really liked visiting. I'm feeling rather peopled-out at the moment, but it was a good trip.