Wine make good pet. / by vanessa

Dre's best friend was in from NY this weekend. We went to the wineries like in Sideways. Have you ever been on a tasting tour? They're not for the faint of heart. I'm gonna throw couth to the wind here and just say it: I got drunk. It is unavoidable. I know because I tried. To avoid it, that is.
We started off at Firestone where the Bachelor really does work. Dre and Christine got their picture with him. He seems a nice chap. Anyway so you pay 10 bucks at 11 in the morning and they pour 6 different wines for you. It's a one ounce pour for each wine. Since I know that it takes very little for me, I took one or two sips of each one and then poured out the rest. Each pourer at the three different wineries we visited assumed that I didn't like the wines. It wasn't that (okay sometimes it was), I just don't like getting loopy, much less in the middle of the day.
We went from Firestone to their sister winery, Curtis, where we tasted for free b/c they have a two for one policy. While at Curtis, we met a couple of Brits with whom we ended up spending the rest of the afternoon. Good times. We all moved to Fess Parker -- us first, the Brits second -- where our wine mistress, Emalou, spared no restraint in her pours. (That crafty woman knew exactly what she was doing; more on that in a second.) And still I took a sip of each and poured the rest out, to the repeated shock and dismay of our British friends. Despite my deliberate attempt to maintain sobriety, the third winery sent me over the edge. I called Renee a wino and yet I was the one who bought a $35 syrah reserve because I NEVER drink wine. Makes perfect sense. Truth be told I wasn't like drunk drunk but I was silly and felt icky. Whatever.

Anyway the five of us headed to Los Olivos Cafe for our first real meal of the day. Mmmm...brie... Dre and Christine wanted to hit another winery before heading back to LA, but thankfully, the last tastings are at 4:45 so we couldn't. It never occurred to me that I could have abstained. A long three-hour drive later and we were home where I blew off seeing the Elected b/c I was totally spent.

This morning I slept in, and went for a run in the afternoon before meeting Ann Marie and her boyfriend Bill (who are in town from Sacramento) for some yoga and dinner. A couple of things before I get to Ann Marie and Bill. First, on my run today I was looking at the ocean and realizing that what I love about the ocean is similar to what I love about life or God or Spirit: I love it for the way it reflects light, its depth and expansiveness, its strength and softness, and its capacity for destruction and creation all at once. It is both a force and forgiving; fluid yet firm. I think I'm going to marry the Pacific. Invites to follow.

Second, I do this thing where I always feel I have to qualify my feelings about something as in: Well, this is *my* experience, or I don't know, but this how I see x. I do this because I want to be sensitive to the fact that everyone has different experiences and I don't want to be prescriptive but for real, it's falsely humble and well, boring. I want to say to myself (and now I will): Holy shit Vanessa will you please just take some chances in life? Aren't you tired of apologizing for your opinions? And then I would answer to myself: Well, yes, I am. And then I would keep doing it til one day I finally stopped.

Okay so Ann Marie is a teacher I know from a couple of bootcamps and her boyfriend Bill I'd actually met before at a bootcamp last year in Menla. Omgosh it was so good practicing with them and then catching dinner afterwards. We talked about yoga for almost four hours straight. Yep, it's possible. Anyway our great conversation reminds me that I have made some amazing friends through this yoga path. It's hard to believe it started as a way to lose weight and heal from a running injury almost five years ago. We did this exercise at the last Level 2 in which Baron asked us all to write down the ways our lives have changed as a result of going to our first Level 1. Life looks nothing like what I could have thought it would and as a bonus I have met supercool friends who show up exactly when I need it most.

Oh my gosh did I mention how lucky I am?