The Healdsburg Adventure: A Dash of Spice

I may be living in Hawai’i, but im writing about Healdsburg. Enjoy.

After spending over 2 hours at the rental spot, and 2 bars, 4 vintage benches, a place setting, and god knows what else, we were late, but on our way to our food tasting. This was what I had been waiting for all day. Now, just wait until you hear this menu…

Upon arrival, we were ushered into a dimly lit dining room. “How very romantic,” I thought to myself. To begin, we were brought a tiny amuse bouche of smoked wild Pacific salmon served with a small portion of a delicate red creamer potato and lightly sauced with a refreshing cucumber and herb crème fraiche. Although, sounding delectable as ever, it was one of the more uninteresting things we would eat all day.

Following the appetizer, we moved on to a lovely San Francisco favorite, Cioppino. This was positively divine. Nothing better than some quality mussels. 🙂  A refreshing salad followed suit with a healthy portion of crispy pancetta. Pancetta, in my opinion, makes this world go round. Is your dish lacking flavor? Stick some bacon on it.

If that wasn’t enough, it was time for some duck confit and a small portion of beef wellington. We were sold. This would be the menu. No questions asked. I was ecstatic, because lets be honest, banquet food just gets old. A sloppy filet with some mashed potatoes doesn’t exactly scream unique wine county wedding. Never settle for the ordinary.

After finishing my second glass of red wine to complete the meal, I remembered the last time I was in this room. I was thinking of him. You know who. My airport mystery man, except for this time, he was just somebody that I used to know.

At this point I was still struggling with this “somebody that I used to know” thing. I knew exactly the game I was playing with myself. Was it because I was bored? Ever since this man had popped into my life, the version of him I had created in my mind remained relatively present in my thoughts. It was like a game of Monopoly and I was not passing go nor collecting $200. Lose, lose in my opinion. I needed to find another game to occupy myself with. I am very competitive, and I was losing this one.

After loosening my yellow Hermes belt to make room for my confit filled belly, I jumped back in the car, and was taken over to the winery where the wedding and reception would be held. I was hoping for more wine. Meetings after a lunch like felt like having to run a marathon. At this point all I wanted to do was stroll the wineries and discover the wines that each grape produces. There were a lot of grapes.

My food coma lasted for about 2 hours and my meetings seem like a giant blur. Im pretty sure I was blacked out the entire time. A fantastic meal can do that to you, you know.

An epic lunch, a chatter filled meeting, a wine tasting and I was finished for the day. I invited Amber and her fiancé into town to join me for a glass of wine before my dinner date. I couldn’t believe I was about to consume more food, but you wouldn’t oppose either if you had a date with perfection.

Sebastian was a fellow USC graduate and esteemed polo player. He came from a prominent family of wine makers, with vineyards in California and Bergundy. Sebastian was blonde, tall, with strong facial features. He had a jawline that cut through your heart, and a body of the gods. Sebastian and I had dated at USC, but found it was too difficult and that we were too young to carry on a long-distance relationship after college.

He lived between San Francisco and Paris overseeing the family wine business. I dare say we were quite a match. We both played on the same field and for some reason our egos inflated congruently each time we were together. We both knew we were awesome, but together, we were just a force not to be reckoned with. It was kind of fun that way. There were not many men that made me feel like that.

Besides that chin of his, the first thing I noticed when I walked into the restaurant were a pair of rust colored socks and brown suede loafers. Impeccable and daring style. I enjoyed the competition.

I loved the way Sebastian still looked at me. It was almost like an excited puppy that you left home alone for 10 minutes. It never got old. I was excited too. Seeing his monogrammed dress shirt instantly shot down any feeling of nostalgia that was lurking. Superficial as you may think that is, it goes much deeper than you would ever know.

We knew there was something between us, and there always would be. We were from the same stock, and only time would tell what would ever come of our dependent swollen egos and flawless style. After another fantastic dinner, a bottle of wine, and over exaggerated laughter, Sebastian pulled around his car, attempting to lure me back to the winery with promises of vintage wines and rare cheeses. He didn’t need those bells and whistles to lure me back there, and that is exactly why I coquettishly declined the offer.

Different rules apply with different kinds of men. You never give up too much with guys like Sebastian. Men like Seb always got what they wanted, and you must be the one to be that exception to the rule.

A very persistent boy, Sebastian would not let up, so I kissed him on the cheek, gave him a lingering hug and a smile as I wistfully glided away. I knew he couldn’t keep his eyes off my bare back. My dress choice was very strategic. I didn’t have to see to know it was working.

It wouldn’t be long before my iPhone screen would light up, and Sebastians name would appear. I smiled. This time it wasn’t coquettish or seductive. It was a genuine feeling of happiness. This wasn’t your average game between man and woman. We were each other’s puzzle. We already knew what the whole thing looked like, but it was fun to mess with the pieces.

There is a huge difference between ‘playing the game’ for the sake of the game, and ‘playing the game’ with an equally matched competitor. Playing the game for the sake of the game is an internal battle that you have with yourself when you have managed to completely exhaust your brain by analyzing things that are just simply not there. I chose to engage in games like these quite frequently. My competitive nature influenced my propensity towards these menial mind games.

Playing the game with your perfect match is something completely different. There are no mind games here. It’s so much more fun, because you know the other person is playing right alongside you.

 

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