Thursday, September 6, 2012

Vacation Diary Part 2~~~

Well Darklings,

Let me fill you in on what I’ve done so far.

Currently I’ve had a very wonderful indulgent stay at the White House Inn, a very upscale Bed and Breakfast with Spa, for the last 4 nights, I leave tomorrow morning for my next destination in my little trip
Previously I had a lovely stay at the Best Western In At The Vines, they are pet friendly and child friendly and not only recreational oriented but business oriented as well. I’m recommending it to several business friends of mine.

I arrived early last Thursday the previous week, so I had a chance to settle in and do some shopping in down town historic Napa. There are so many shops to choose from, but having arrived early for check in I made sure that my reservation was set, left my luggage with the concierge and decided on a lunch on the Napa River.

This led me to the Napa General Store where they offer river front dinning
I purchased things at the Napa General Store, one would think they sell old-fashioned things but it’s not like any general store I’ve come across. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as box lunches (must be ordered in advance) wine tasting as well as an assortment of décor items.

I fell in love with and purchased a pair of antique tile and wrought iron candle scones that I’m planning on putting into my greenhouse in the future. For now I’ll keep them stored and labeled.

I had the pleasure of indulging in their wine tasting a few days later. There were other shops I went to after lunch and the walk did me good, it is important to have good street walking shoes that don’t look like tennis shoes and will hold up to all kinds of street wear. I’ll switch to tennis shoes if I know I’m going to be doing something rough, but if you are into serious hiking then shoes specific for the terrain is very important.
I discovered another nice little place to stay called the River Terrace Inn right on the Napa River, and from the reviews I’ve read it seems to be a wonderful place to stay. So I’ll put that on my list as well for future trips.

For dinner that evening I did plain budget dinning at the Denny’s restaurant near the Best Western Hotel, while not an overly extravagant Hotel it was a very nice stay.

The only problem that I had that first night, was a small child that was having fun in running up and down the hall for over 10 minutes, which is fine except that it was 10:30 at night. When I stuck my head out to find out why this munchkin was running, a parent came out saw me, apologized, and said her child had ADD or ADS (attention deficient syndrome) but taking a look at him with his freckles and red hair I figured it was more like a case of serious mischievousness, although one should not judge, there are children with that problem, but I do suspect that some that have been diagnosed with that really are not and it just becomes a convenient label. If that sounds judgmental, I will not apologize; I’ve been around enough children and their parents to know the difference.

And considering it was 10:30 p.m. a time when all good 6 year olds are in bed, the mother was a bit discomforted when she saw me in my black silk nightgown and robe ala 1930’s and although I’m in my 60’s my face has not fallen in or wrinkled (good genes and good care) and I was wearing my black satin mules which gave me a little height. So after she apologized I looked at her and smiled showing my perfect teeth (also well maintained and brightened) and said (and I love this line) “I love children too, usually medium rare with a good Chianti and a side of fava beans.”

I loved seeing the mother’s face and then I said “It is time for all good little people to be in bed, but he is so cute I could just eat him up.” And still smiling I said “Goodnight” and closed the door.

Needless to say the child did not run in the hall after that evening or any other time while I stayed there. When the parents saw me the next day they pulled their child very close to them after I looked at them, nodded and smiled.

That next evening I had the most wonderful experience on the Napa Valley Wine Train with their Moonlight Dinner special. I managed to get a seat in the Vista Dome car as one party had only 3 people, their 4th was unable to come on the trip with them. They were pleasurable companions; one even remarked that I reminded him of a movie actress from long ago, especially since I was in evening dress, I told him that I love the styles of the early to mid 20th century as it had class, which flip-flops, saggy jeans and exposed muffin waists have destroyed. And although I maybe overdressed I felt I should indulge in glamour since there is so precious little of it in this world today. He and his companions nodded and agreed.

I had suggested that we not talk politics as everything on the political front was see-sawing and it seems they were very happy with that suggestion so we talked about wine, and history, places to stay, places to see. I gained a lot of information for future trips, as well as suggestions for my current trip.
They told me about the Wine Train’s mystery tour which they’ve booked tickets to and were bringing some friends, unfortunately I could not get on that one in time.

All too soon the trip was over, and I drove back to my Hotel. I found myself restless, so still dressed in my evening gown I walked about the pool and lounge area, of course some of the staff were a bit puzzled by my appearance there, but a charming gentleman came out and asked if I would like to share a pot of coffee or tea, I said yes, he brought out two cups and a small tea pot with sugar, cream and lemons on a tray, I had no idea who he was but he was younger than me but older than the desk staff, I suspected at first he might have been a night manager, he said he wasn’t but a frequent business guest although he seemed to have some sort of pull with the staff.

We sat and relaxed drinking our tea looking at what star light there was with some noises from a guest or a passing vehicle. We talked about things, he asked what I---a woman alone was doing, and I said “Traveling, enjoying things, being me.” He said that he had seen me check in the other day, and was surprised to see that I was using vintage Samosonite Luggage, I told him of my interest in vintage things but that my work required me to be in the here and now.

We talked of film noir, vintage cars, wine, and romance. When the conversation turned towards romance I looked at him with an upraised eyebrow and asked “And this is leading to?” He looked embarrassed, admitted to me that he was smitten by me, inwardly I laughed, a younger man smitten by me? I thought at first he was ‘playing me’ but I could see that he was earnest.

I said to him “Darkling, I think you are smitten by the ideal of something long past and you wonder how can you gain it back” which was true. So I suggested some things to him suspecting that he is married, and told him that life must always be a balance of work and of love or family, if you have children then within that portion there must be a balance between being the father and being the lover.

I suggested that he and his wife look into finding a very reliable sitter especially for the upcoming months and around the holidays. “There can be fun family things, but intersperse that with romantic things, don’t allow your work to overwhelm your private life otherwise you will have no life.”

He said that he felt that some things were taking some of fun out of life and was making life for him and his wife a bit of a drudge. He said that he and his wife love vintage things but wondered how to incorporate it, with two active boys, his daughter loved old things but that wasn’t a problem with the daughter because she was in harmony with her parents; it was mostly his and his wife’s interest and dealing with the boys, I said “Start with rebuilding a vintage car, have your boys learn all about restoration. Show off the car in parades, join a vintage car society, then get involved with an Art Deco Society, tame the boys and teach them etiquette, get them away from video games and really into life.” He thought about it.

I had the pleasure of seeing his face brighten, he had an answer, and he knew what to do, He became so excited about the idea that he gave me an enthusiastic kiss, and then began to apologize for it, but we laughed and I said that I did enjoy it and was glad to have given him some creative ideas. I said my good nights to him and walked slowly back to the elevator and to my room without looking back.

I did not turn on the lights in my room, but instead sat in a chair looking out the window at the moonlight, and finding myself smiling. I can still invoke something in a man even at my age. I knew I wasn’t being played, the look on his face told me that.

Did I feel disloyal to Doyle? No, because I was meant to meet this man, to give him advice, to be, for a fleeting moment a romantic (I hope) dream and then to disappear from him forever. Kismet some would say. Fate others would say. Inevitable I say.

I did not see him for the remainder of my stay, which was all to the good. In the matter of a couple of days I had a lovely little adventure.

I’ve been at the Whitehouse Inn for a few days taking in other wineries and a few adventures and at the moment relaxing and feeling very hedonistic. As soon as I can I’ll post further what I’ve been doing once I’m settled at my next location. I hope to be able to tell you of some of the wineries I’ve been to.

Later Darklings.

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