Free-Floating Hostility

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Hooky for Sophisticates

Among the things Ellen wanted to do while she was in Northern California was visit a restaurant and bakery she saw featured on a public-television cooking series. She remembered the name of the chef and that the city started with an "E." The obligatory Google search yielded the fact that said chef lived in "St. Helena, California."

"Oh, I know that place," I said. Fritz, Queenie, Trixie and Ricardo had taken us there for an unsatifactory lunch on the way to massages and wine tasting on the day after Christmas.

"That's not right," Ellen said. "It starts with an 'E.' "

"You know," Anna said this morning when informed of the dilemma, "that it's pronounced Saint El-EENA, don't you?"

"No," I admitted sheepishly.

So after an emergency stop for eggs and cheese on a bagel, we hit the road. We also didn't have a map, so I was convinced that we would end up somewhere in Ukiah, out of gas and without cell phone service, left to fend for ourselves among the type of people who hate "Fer-in-ners." And yes, I dropped Ukiah in there because it's a piece of California geography that I don't expect any of you to know. And no, I don't know for sure that it's a wholly intolerant place. The ride is along Highway 128, which winds around a couple of lakes. It's scenic, but it also makes me a little sick.

Somehow I managed not to get lost and we arrived at half past 10, parking near the vendor of that unsatisfactory lunch from late 2004. St. Helena is really beautiful when its not raining. The architecture downtown looks like it was plucked out of the 1940s and some of the shops are actually too cute for words. Ellen purchased FFH a new cutting board, herself used books to go with a $6 Ann Taylor dress from a thrift store, and the two of us a delicious meal at Tra De Vigne, the restaurant she saw on the cooking show. We also checked out the housing prices in the area, learning that just about everything in town costs multiple millions. So much for Napa Valley fantasy hour.

Then we beat a hasty retreat to Davis because I actually had to go into the office to do some work.

3 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at August 02, 2005 7:27 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Excellent blog! I give it an A+ with a Gold Star!! I'll be creating a blog on nintendo revolution soon, in the meantime if you want to review my website on nintendo revolution uncensored, i'd really appreciate it!

  •   Posted by Blogger BrooklynDodger at August 03, 2005 4:25 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • I believe Holly Near came from Ukiah. One song is about swimming in a irrigation ditch on her father's farm.

  •   Posted by Blogger BrooklynDodger at August 03, 2005 4:21 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Fritz also notes that the "unsatisfactory lunch" included some pretty decent Mexican food and a few microbrews, for those who appreciate beer. It was in a bar - open at the time of arrival in the rain. And, had we read the guidebook - which we didn't - we would have found it listed.

    Vegetarian no fish and low carb are sometimes hard to reconcile; don't look for Atkins in a Mexican restaurant.

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