I picked Judy and Debbie up at the Daly City Bart station Saturday morning. Debbie was recovering from a wee bit o' hangover, while Judy felt fine. She'd calculate the amount of wine we'd had Friday and figured that it was fine because, after all, we'd split it between six of us.
So...that would be me, Dave, Debbie, Judy...and Judy's two invisible friends.
Um...and Debbie had the hangover?
We set off across the Golden Gate Bridge towards Mendocino. Our agenda for the day was a trip to Glass Beach (see my February archives for my visit there) and then a meandering return through the Anderson Valley wineries. First stop, however, was Starbucks in San Rafael for necessary caffeinated fuel and something to snack on. Did you know that Starbucks has new breakfast sandwiches? Dang me if they're not really tasty!
We had a three hour drive ahead of us and all of it was filled with conversation, still catching up with the last 15 or so years of each other's lives. Debbie had recently moved with her family (two kids and her husband, Peter) to to Bainbridge Island in Washington, a huge move. They'd recently lost their house in Script's Ranch to a fire...ironically not the wildfire which destroyed acres of land and houses in San Diego County a year before, but a random accident that burned most of their belongings and gutted their house.
Even without something as traumatic as a fire, the move would still be difficult. I speak from experience. No friends, no family for support. Not that the kids and the husband don't count. They do. But still, it's a tough transition. I so relate to that.
Judy is facing a possible move to L.A. because of her husband's job. She currently has a job at a non-profit organization that she loves, they have a little house in Pacific Beach, and a good life. The move would be good for the husband's career...but not necessarily a improvement for their quality of life as a family.
I listened to all of this and, as usual, shot off my mouth with my opinions. I'll spare you my take on things, but I will say that I was flattered that my opinion mattered at all...and that both Judy and Debbie felt comfortable enough and trusted me to share things with me. I do, btw, have permission to write about everything I've mentioned so far. You don't take a gift like getting two good friends back in your life and use their lives as blog fodder without their consent.
Glass Beach was everything I'd promised. A beach. Glass. Lots of both. Debbie and Judy happily plopped down in likely looking spots and began foraging for treasure. I kept running my fingers through the mounds of glass and saying 'Arr....treasure, it be....arrrrrr!' After being made fun of my boyfriend and Jen the last time I went there for my beach glass fixation, it was gratifiying to watch Judy and Debbie single-mindedly dig through piles of shells and glass, picking out choice pieces and succumbing to the hypnotic sway of Glass Beach. We spent 45 minutes collecting pieces of glass worn smooth by the ocean, stopping only when our bladders decreed it was time to go. And the fact that we were running out of time to wine taste.
We stopped at Roederer first...champagne. Yummy. Judy took over as designated driver (thank you, Judy'!) with the promise that we'd take back some liquid booty from Anderson Valley and share it that evening. I bought a bottle of Roederer rose for the evening.
Next stop...Navarro. Been there? Oh, you really should...between their pinot noirs and amazing zinfandel, gorgeous picnic grounds with flowering gardens and pastoral views, it's well worth the trip. Judy bought some salami, bread and stinky cheese (it tasted great, but smelled like belly button lint) to have for lunch. We settled at a picnic table and enjoyed a mini-feast after tasting and buying. Judy got a bottle of the zinfandel to add to the evening's festivities.
Brutocao, my personal favorite winery, was the next stop. Their red wines are to die for. They range from a red table wine (Bella Lona School House red) to consistantly delicious zinfandels, cabernets and merlots (yes, their merlots are good, you snobs!), and they've added Dolcetto, Quadrigo and other Italian style blends to their roster. All good. All well priced. Debbie bought some School House red as her contribution to our evening's debauch. After all, we could invite Judy's invisible friends along.
Judy was an excellent designated driver (I'm not a very good passenger in my own car, btw) and we made it home by 7:00 and ordered pizza. I pulled out my old photos from high school and we spent several hours looking at our former selves and wondering why our mutual self-esteems were so damn low back then. As I mentioned in my first blog on our reunion, hearing Judy and Debbie's view of me back in high school was, to use an old Trekkie term, definitely a pat on the ass for my ego-boo. So funny how our friends saw us as opposed to how we saw ourselves.
I found a picture of Debbie that I'd taken one evening we decided to play dress-up in some of my slinky costume vampy dresses. And she felt insecure? Jeez louise, the shit that we women put ourselves through for no reason...and Debbie, you're supposed to scan that and send it back...remember?
I'm hoping to scan some of my old photos and put 'em up on my blog. Judy, you need to send me pictures of Debbie's wedding shower...or do I need to be nagging Debbie about that?
Anyway, we looked at pictures, reminisced, ate pizza, drank some amazing wine, and had a wonderful evening. All 18 of us, right, Judy?
Sunday morning we went to breakfast at the Bashful Bull, a diner two blocks from our house. Then we went for a long walk on Ocean Beach, continued conversations started the day before. I'd tell you about them, but then I'd have to kill you. Some things between friends are told in confidence and stay that way. Until such time they tell me I can write about 'em. Then I'll spill the beans.
Not much else to say...other than if you're gonna have a reunion with old friends, I hope that yours is as good as this one. Just watch those invisible friends 'cause they can drink a hell fo a lot of wine.