Hallucinations in Healdsburg

We flew the coop on May 29th and bucked headwinds from King City to Gilroy.  The trees were bent 45 degrees downward, as the wind whipped their branches discouraging any bird from landing.  Doubt those trees in the Salinas Valley have any nests.  The wind was relentless.  

Sad sights were the plastic bags/strips that had been caught in the clutches of barbed wire, behaving as though they were manically trying to get free.


Happy to announce we made it Gilroy at 3 p.m.  By 5:00 we were sitting outside on a very busy road, chomping on barbecued ribs and chicken, while Beau sat beneath the picnic table that held an umbrella that threw shade on exactly no one.  The meat was tough on the ends, the chicken was lacking that smoked flavor but we ate it and were happy to be off the road and sitting outside anyway.

As Rayman tucked me in that night, I asked how long the drive was to Healdsburg.  He reported 5 hours.  So, we devised a plan to get up and get going by 9 a.m.  And that is exactly what we did. 

While driving by the SFO airport, the phone rang and it was my dear friend, Pat, calling to wish me Happy Birthday.  What a thrill.  She lives in Walnut Creek.  Perhaps she felt my presence?  Being a world class reader, she recommended Michael Lewis’s new book, Premonition.  I promised her I would buy when we slid into Portland.   

The drive thru the City did not disappoint.  It was sunny and showing itself off to anyone that looked.  And the drive across the Golden Gate was divine.  Is there a more beautiful bridge?  We decided we would return and walk the bridge.  A bucket list dream of mine and Rayman agreed.  

We had better do it soon.  We are feeling the affects of age as witnessed by the fact that Rayman is out trying to procure a water bowl for Beau.  We left it at the lunch place.  More on that later.

As we blazed thru the Robin Williams tunnel on the other side of the Golden Gate, we saw a sign that indicated Healdsburg was not far away.  What?  How could that be?  Well, it was and we arrived here just after noon.  It was not a 5 hour drive.  How Rayman came to that conclusion was beyond me.  At this point I started worrying about our traveling skills.  

With time to enjoy (read kill), we took a drive around town, I googled a good lunch place while put us at Dry Creek General Store.  It was very busy so we knew it must be good.  And it was.  However, moi, got in trouble.  As I entered the establishment, I ran into a line and so I immediately ran to the back of the line.  And waited.  Behind a couple, man and woman.  We crawled so I had time to notice them.  All of a sudden there was a man in front me.  “Excuse me, but this is not the back of the line, it is back there.”  Well, the snit whipped around and said, “I know that.  I’ve been in line.”

Unable at this point to observe minimal cues in my environment, I said, “I’ve been in this line behind that couple.  I haven’t noticed you here.”  The snit growled, “Well, you must be hallucinating because I have been here. MAM.”  I replied, “I don’t think you were.”  He snarled, “Shall we ask them?”  Thinking I was surely calling his bluff, I said, “Sure.”  He did and they said he had been there.

At this point, “He walks back toward me and says,”You owe me an apology. MAM.”  I was drowning in his snotty demeanor. 

I apologized in disbelief.  How could that be a thing?  I did not crack a joke.  By this time the line was getting close to the bottleneck which was being caused at the cash register.  I looked left and saw another whole line at a deli counter which I had never seen.  So I asked if the people were waiting in this line to order.  “NO.  You order over there.  This line is for paying up.”

As I slithered over to the other line, I think I may have said, “Oh, shit.”  

Needless to say, I may have proved to be the laughing stock of the deli.  

And I still do not know how that even happened.  I knew who I was standing behind.  Am I prone to hallucinations?  OMG.  No.  I am not.  So how it happened I will never understand.  

After lunch we drove up to Sonoma Lake.  Or was it Lake Sonoma?  Rayman had been there with Indians Guides but it was my virgin voyage to this particular lake.  The views were outstanding…huge hills/mountains and deep valleys.  

We drove to the city park in Healdsburg.  It was bustling with folks of all kinds.  And lots of dogs.  It was hot especially because I had on long, warm pants.  People are definitely traveling again.  Our hotels have been quite full, the parks have the full.  The gas stations are full.  

At 3 p.m. we drove back to the Best Western and checked in. I did the honors.  When we arrived at our room, it was totally unacceptable.  The window looked out onto a wall with a walkway in between.  So, I marched back to the office and told them we could not abide that room.  They were kind enough to reassign us to the second floor and an end unit.  When I took the dog to go to the new room, he splayed his legs and would not budge.  He was quite a sight.  Cajoling did not work.  When I tried to drag him, the collar came off.  He stood up and walked.  He followed me all the way to the elevator, got off the elevator and walked to the room sans collar and leash.  An astonishing sight.  And astonishing display of doggie preferences.  

 Somehow, between the first and second room, I lost the keys.  Retracing my steps I found them on the ground.  Once in the room, we could not find his doggie dish.  Hence the new doggie dish.  We left it the Dry Creek General Store, apparently.  Oops.  No we didn’t.  We gave Beau water from the bowl the curried chicken salad was in after we ate it.  So, where did it go?  Another cause of concern.  

Tonight we eat at the Chalk Board.  Hope it’s good.  After all, it’s my birthday!!

Me at dinner.


p.s.  We had the doggie dish all along.  Now we have 2.  Above, please see my fabulous birthday dessert.  Whipped creme fraiche with stewed cherries, lime curd and crunches.  It hit just the right spot!!


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