The day after my birthday turned out to be a much more lively day. Ms. D has been giving bike tours in Napa Valley and a group of us had managed to find a day to hire her for our own entertainment. It was Mother's Day, and even though I knew she'd understand if my mom wasn't included in my plans for the day, I had invited her to come along. It was biking, it was wine, I knew she'd love it. There was at least one other mom that considered coming too, but mine ended up being the group's only mother for the day. I hadn't been on a real bike, riding outdoors, since Ireland. But I got the hang of it again soon enough. We had a great time biking around to different wineries. Our first stop was Baldacci, where we had actually been before when CM worked there and we were on our way to the French Laundry for an anniversary dinner. It was a great first stop, the hostess there treated us extremely well and actually managed to tell this group of UC Davis alumni a few things that they had never heard about wine! Next we biked over to Ragusci and enjoyed some more good wine, as well as their olive oil. We had to fight against the wind to get over to Laird, but our reward was a fab little lunch that D's support driver had laid out for us. The last winery was Hopper Creek, they had us sit out on the patio with the vineyards stretching out all around us. They had some great music playing on the radio (though KZ may disagree with me), they brought us chocolate to pair with the Merlot (I never knew how to do red wine and chocolate together so right), and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.
In the midst of all this bliss CF says to me, "Why are we leaving California?" I felt a little sick to my stomach, just for a second. Oh no, we shouldn't be doing this! What were we thinking?!? Then I remembered we're not really leaving, it'll be good for us, it's a chance to try something different without having to commit to the change. And when the year is over we'll come back to California and it will seem all the sweeter! Don't scare me like that, CF!
We returned our bikes to the shop, a few people departed, the rest of us freshened up a bit and we headed to our reservation for dinner at Bistro Jeanty. The restaurant is casual, but the food is amazing! We shared dishes around quite a bit. Their pastry topped tomato soup is famous, but I actually enjoyed the chalkboard written additions even more. I got to try the caramelized onion tart and the fried smelt. You guessed it, CF ordered the fried smelt, I suspect just because it was fun to say. But it was a great pick! For dinner I had mussels in red wine, I usually enjoy them in white wine so this was different, but fantastic. For dessert I ended up splitting a strawberry cream pie with PZ while mom split a lemon tart with Ms. D and CF enjoyed bread pudding of his own. The pie was very tasty! It was topped with a huge mint leaf, which is always nice to finish off a dessert with, the minty freshness stuck with me the rest of the evening.
CF and I headed home and tried to get organized for the week. My week of just being was over, it was time to reel in my behavior and get back to good habits. I got to bed early so I could get up and run before work again. Somehow I thought it would be hard to get through my half hour run, but I was pleased to see I still had it! I used the morning to work on my first assignment for my writing class at the Borders near my store. It sort of made it feel like I was at work all day long, but at least I got the work done and out of the way so I could spend the next day hanging out with Ms. D.