Berkeley, Davis, Napa.

Wed was our last full day in Berkeley. I’m not sure what we did – Jeremy biked up another hill which now I’ve forgotten the details.

I hung out at home and worked a bit, but really, I did not do very much. In the afternoon, Jeremy started packing our stuff (which takes a few hours at least) and I went to a laundromat and did some laundry. That evening, Jeremy made the most delicious salmon dinner – really comparable to any high end restaurant entree. We had the sourdough from the Cheese Board and I think I’ve never had a more delicious dinner. We still hung out in our backyard and enjoyed the beautiful evening outdoor weather.

The next morning, we did some last minute packing and were getting ready to send a very apologetic email to the airbnb host telling her that we accidentally broke a light fixture and that the replacement was slated to be delivered to the house that afternoon (I couldn’t bear to pay the extra $50 for next day shipping, but had paid the extra $15 for 3 day shipping, but I counted the three business days wrong because…I’m lame that way), but about 30 minutes before we left, the FedEx truck pulled up with the package and we were able to hush hush replace the fixture without anyone knowing (hopefully – fingers crossed) and did not send any email to our host. I asked that we go to the amazing dog park again and let Elka run around in her happy place.

Then we drove to Davis to pick Vince up to do the very short and fancy part of the trip, our couple of days in Napa. Vince took us to an Indian food place for lunch which was very delicious. Because Jeremy is such an excellent cook of many classic dishes, my main desire for eating out is cheap hole in the wall ethnic foods which this lunch was a prime example of.

We drove about 90 minutes to Napa using winding roads and areas which had been through forest fires a few years ago. We drove through lots of vineyards to our hotel in Calistoga. I know that vacations, even very beautiful and expensive ones, can be stressful and fraught with expectations and timing and competing desires, so I’m always trying to be gentle with me and all my fellow travelers. There are lots of needs to look out for so we don’t get too grumpy with each other. The first one is that Vince gets his own room which took me a long time to get used to because, all four of us could technically fit into one room and I can be cheap in certain ways which include spending money on “unnecessary” hotel rooms. But it’s hard with all of us essentially having different sleep (Edda first at 8 pm, us next at 10 pm and Vince last at who knows what time) and wake up times (Edda first or second at 5 am or 7 am, Jeremy next at 6 am, me next at 6:30 am and Vince at 10 am?) and different habits (Jeremy out at 6:30 am for a bike ride, Edda having breakfast at 7 am, Doris on a work call at 8 am, etc, etc.). So Vince got his own room (which we booked with an accessible shower which Edda has already enjoyed) and Edda shares with us.

I went to the pool in the afternoon on Thursday while everyone else took a nap and/or researched bike routes or whatever they do (maybe watch TikTok). Then we went to the restaurant at the hotel where we, tyros at wine appreciation, ordered a flight of white wine. We promptly forgot which one was which after the server carefully placed them in order and explained to us each type and then we decided that all of them pretty much taste exactly the same. We tried all the different ways of tasting the difference including clearing our palates, we tried closing our eyes and really concentrated on the taste. Haha, nonetheless, they were enjoyable and tasty. Wine appreciation is lost on us – maybe tonight we’ll try a red flight. We won’t try the real kicker which is that blindfolded even true wine connoisseurs can’t really tell red from white.

Don’t lick your sister.

Katherine asked for a family photo which we are attempting to do during the few days that we are together. We are not very good at this. The first time I mentioned this at dinner, Vince was like ummm, I have only this t-shirt to wear and didn’t bring any nice clothes. But no matter. We tried! We’ll keep trying. This was a not very good first attempt. That chair does nothing for Edda and it looks like I’m strangling the dog, but other than that, it’s perfect.

We walked to town which is about a half mile down the road to go looking for some ice cream (which we found) and we also found the beautiful labyrinth on the way. Vince and I both reached nirvana, but Elka, she broke all the rules and crossed the lines, I’m not sure it counted for her.

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