Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Breaking and Entering in the Russian River Valley

Here I was, my body half way through the small bathroom window, clad only in my plush terry cloth robe, in a Pilates bridge-like position with my feet feeling for the top of the toilet and my shoulders resting on my husband's crouching back as he knelt on the hot tub cover. 

The day began early in Philadelphia, as we left the house at 5:30am to catch a plane to San Francisco and begin a week long wine tasting marathon. The early part of this trip is a belated 25th anniversary celebration. I am the usual holiday planner, but my husband has organized this entire trip. I did nothing...and loved letting go (my friends and family may find this difficult to believe, but it's true!). With our son home watching the dog and the house, we were ready to go.

All the travel logistics came off without a hitch. By 12:30, we were in San Francisco, looking across the bay from the Ferry Terminal Building Market, where we stopped for a brief lunch of tea and dim sum before heading north to Wine Country.

Our first stop in Russian River was Copain Winery, where Dave had arranged a private tasting, sampling 5 wines: a Chardonnay, 2 Pinot Noirs, a Syrah and a bold blend. These were accompanied by tastes of cheeses, marcona almonds, dried figs and truffle salami. The wine maker had lived for a couple years in the upper Rhone Valley in France and was striving to make wines in that style: subtle flavored, lower in alcohol than the bold reds California has become known for. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience; our host was taking a break from his career in stage management and did an admirable job in guiding us through the tasting. And the views...outstanding!

From there we journeyed along River Road to Applewood Inn, our home for the next 2 nights. It's a lovely, terra cotta colored haven perched in woods near the river. After unpacking, we went to our couples, 90 minute massage...I love my husband! We came out well oiled and relaxed. We leisurely dressed for dinner and drove 15 miles to the Rivers Edge Inn in Jenner, which sits just at the mouth of Russian River, where it meets the Pacific. 

Our table had an excellent view of the sunset, where we spoiled ourselves eating local, just caught salmon, and duck from a nearby farm. We made our way back to the Inn and prepared for a dip in hot tub on the wall enclosed private patio.

And that's how I ended up with my butt hanging through the tiny bathroom window. When we were given the tour of our room, the inn keeper warned us of the locked door leading to the patio. But after satiating ourselves on a lovely dinner and wine, as Dave, clad in his towel and me in the robe stepped onto the patio, we forgot this detail until I heard the ominous click of the latch. We were locked out!

There was a small opening leading to the adjoining patio but the room was dark. There were lights on in a unit two down and on the upper level, so I called out "!" several times to no avail. Just as I was ready to scale the wall, Dave called out in triumph as he got the screen off the small window leading into the toilet room and the window, thankfully, glided open, being unlocked. Since he has back issues and broad shoulders, I volunteered to shimmy through the window. 

So thank goodness for all the Pilates and Yoga...I made it through, feet first, resting my shoulders on Dave as wiggled myself in and finally unlocked the door! We celebrated with a nice long and well deserved soak in the tub, prepared to start tomorrow fresh and ready for wine!

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