What a great week we had. It was just what I needed - peace, warmth, good company and an outstanding location.
I had time to think, dream, imagine - and do nothing, too! The time allowed me to step back a bit and put things in perspective which has been so hard to do, up there in the cold and gray and isolation.
Of course, Betsy and I had a lot of fun, too! We always do! Most days we went for great walks in the reserve. The last day was very hot and we made the mistake of going later than usual but even then, it felt good. A bit sweaty, but good! There is an enormous variety of bird life out there and I was sad not to have my binoculars and bird book. Even so, it was such a pleasure to watch them around the water holes and the hummingbirds were everywhere.
In the courtyard area, the milkweed had gone to seed, so no Monarch butterflies, but apparently they do come through there. I might have to plan another trip during their season!
In the evenings, we lounged around in the living room with our gin or wine. Our one fellow visitor, a young Spanish post graduate professor left on Thursday so most of the time we had the place to ourselves. We ate well! The kitchen is functional and has everything we needed and we had brought just the right amount of food so hardly had to pack any when we left.
Friday, our next to last day there, we went wine tasting in Los Olivos, a very cute little town that has numerous tasting rooms along the main street. As Betsy knows the area well, and is a complete wine fundi, she led the way. I was totally impressed! The first winery, Consilience & Tre Anelli, I think had my favorite wines, Italian blends that are just phenomenal. I normally don't buy wines like that but I splurged and bought two bottles, the 2010 Verdelho and the 2010 Centellinare. I generally prefer white wines, so was surprised that I liked the red Centellinare so much.
We went to a couple more - well, actually it was more than a couple. But we did share tastings so kept the buzz under control. I bought two more bottles at Carhartt, the Grenache Blanc and the Sauvignon Blanc, both decidedly delicious. This winery is owned by the same family that makes the heavy duty Carhhartt clothes! Rather an odd pairing.
Along the tasting way, a gentleman named Donny joined us and we ended up having dinner with him! All in all, it was a fun evening and a fitting end to our delightful stay out at Sedgwick.
It was interesting packing up. Part of the deal is you clean up after yourself before you leave. Not a big deal at all but... this is an ecological reserve and the house is on a septic system. I was blown away by the fact that all the cleaning products they have in the house are nasty, chlorine chemically stuff! I don't use things like that normally and after I had cleaned my bathroom with it, ten minutes later I was light headed and nauseous! I thought I was going to pass out and throw up! The only thing I can contribute that little "spell" to, is the chemicals! Nasty!
Betsy and I said our goodbyes - she heading back to Sunstone Winery (where she used to work and our first stop when we arrived in Santa Ynez) to pick up a case of wine and me heading over San Marcos Pass south back to Ryan's via Jane.
I was barely half a mile up the road when Betsy texted me that she had my drivers license! How could that be? Apparently, on our visit to Sunstone, it must have fallen out of my bag and the manager there found it! He knew Betsy was coming back soon and hung onto the license for her. When she got there, he rushed over to her, with the card, asking "Is this your friend?"
Wow, how lucky was that? Imagine - I had been blissfully unaware, driving around and would have most likely made it all the way to New Zealand before realizing I had lost it!
So Betsy kindly made a drive-by Jane's in Carpinteria, handed the card to me, hugs all round and off she went again!
My next step is onto a plane on Friday, heading south, way south via Tahiti! Unfortunately it is just a couple of hours, but at least I can get off the plane and smell the plumeria-scented air. Then eight more hours to Auckland and Zoze and family.