From Healdsburg to Napa: An Adventure in the Vines

I awoke to the flock of mallards that had hijacked my iPhone and was screaming for me to get up. Coffee in hand and en route to Cousteaux bakery for a cake tasting. Only s few morning meetings and my work here would be done. I could finally commit to an evening of playtime. I wanted to head to the city to visit some friends.

All checked out and ready to go, I decided to head over to the infamous Bouchon for lunch. It was quite the risky move considering one needed to have made reservations months in advance to get in.

Many people find it quite difficult to enjoy a meal on their own. I happen to enjoy my own company, so it wasn’t an issue. Spotted. Sebastian’s car out front. I knew that car all too well. It was a BMX M5 with a license plate that read “SeaBass1”. I’m pretty sure he was the only one that thought it was hysterical. I remember one summer when we were in the South of France, jumped in the water and beamed, “You can’t teach a sea bass to swim.” He thought that was very funny.

It was in that moment, seeing his car, that I thought he was there for me. He must have known I was going to show up there. “Smooth calculations,” I giggled to myself.

I was escorted to my intimate table on the patio on the main drag. There he was, and there was that look. That look he always gave me. Again, it never got old. I gave my bisou and politely excused myself. Naturally, as expected, Sebastian insisted I join him and his guest for lunch.

“We just ordered wine. Don’t be silly. Assieds-toi.” I obliged. It’s really hard to say no to a smile like that.

The conversation immediately turned to my plans for the evening. Apparently, I had made plans to tour his vineyard and dine amongst the wine barrels this evening. I love when people make plans for me. Not too seem flattered, I acted unimpressed and bothered.

“Oh, please. You haven’t seen the new cellar and my sister is dying to see you,” Mr. SeaBass rationalized. In fact, he was right, but I wasn’t about to sit there in desperation.

“Under one condition,” I snapped back. “Im riding Bateman this afternoon.” Bateman was one of Sebastian’s ridiculously good looking and well bred warm bloods. This creature of excellence was named after Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. I wasn’t really sure why, but I liked it.

Sebastian grimaced, “you always get your way, n’est pas?”

“Don’t’ you?” I rebutted.

“Touche,” his friend remarked from across the table.

Sneakily, and without my knowing, Sebastian relieved the driver I had, and had moved my luggage into his car. What lengths men will go to. I openly teased him, but secretly loved the attention. What girl wouldn’t?

While Bateman and I would spend the afternoon together cantering in and out of the vines, Sebastian would dare to ride ahead, stimulating that playful competitiveness that charged our relationship. There is something very freeing about the way this trip was turning out. Anyone and everyone who had been occupying my mind in San Diego had been filtered out with the matching sweaters and socks and perfectly tailored jodhpurs of the day.

Just like a cliché, Sebastian and I made our way home as the sun descended upon us leaving a romantic glow. I knew his moves. I must out maneuver.

I’m a true believer in tacking and untacking your own horse. Stable boys are for middle-aged woman with nothing better to feast their eyes upon. Sebastian was feasting his eyes upon me. I could feel it. I was not there for that, although, I wanted to feast right back.

I could hear laughter in the distance. A group of incredibly handsome people were making their way down the hill to the outside patio by the vines. It was going to be one of those evenings. An evening filled with laughter, pretention and too much vino. I enjoyed a night like that every now and then. Don’t we all?

The sun had just set, and Sebastian assured me we would spend time together this evening. Apparently, so we could “catch up.” Yes, I’m sure that is just what he had in mind. Oh, boys.

After Bateman was comfortably put away in the stables, we headed to greet the others. I trailed behind Sebastian. I wasn’t his, and I wasn’t there to assume the position. We were “friends”, and that is how it was to remain for the rest of the evening.

To be continued….

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