Scarlett’s Letter August 10, 2013

I slept like crap. In a literal sense, I don’t think crap sleeps. And neither did I, so, I slept like crap. But, when my alarm went off at 4:30 AM, I got up, according to plan, drove to Sacramento and ran with my running club. Actually, I got there about an hour early. I plan for road construction, traffic, cops and stupid drivers. There weren’t any cops so I beat the traffic, sped through the construction zones and passed the stupid drivers. With my hour, I listened to music and wrote in my journal; everything I’m grateful for today. A whole page of tiny, tiny print. Good for me.

I ran five fast miles with my pace group in the coolness of the early morning. It was sunny and bright and many fitness enthusiasts were out on the American River Parkway. It was immensely enjoyable. After the run, and some stretching, I ran into a good friend, not ran into, bumped into, no, not bumped into, saw. I saw a good friend of mine and went over to chat. When speaking of runners, one must be careful with the selection of words or the visual is more graphic than it should be. We chatted for a while and caught up some before I drove back to Napa. The trip home was not nearly as quick. Lots of traffic. All stupid people. I’m convinced there must be a large convention of tap dancers this weekend, somewhere in the Bay Area and I think everyone westbound on Interstate 80 was a participant, and they were practicing, tapping their brakes for absolutely, positively no other reason than for the sheer, twisted pleasure they derive from it.

I’d planned on taking Mom to a different tasting room in Downtown Napa today, she seemed eager last night, but had an excuse handy today. I got cleaned up after my run and decided I’d go anyway. By myself. After my shower, I wrote for a bit and was working on that whole “now” and “grumpy” thing from yesterday and earlier this week. I felt I was making progress. Then the mail came.

A Department of Motor Vehicles registration notice for my car, due July 20, 2013. Hello? It’s August. I changed my address with the DMV when I moved several months ago, and have even received my new drivers license at my “new” address. Which is, actually, my (very) old address, but I’m probably the only one that keeps track of my movings about. Apparently, with all the fees and fines we pay to Department of Motor Vehicles, their system isn’t sophisticated enough to match registered drivers with registered vehicles and at least make an inquiry if there’s a difference. So, I paid a $50 penalty for not figuring out the nuances of their inefficient and ineffective system. And to top it al off, I needed a smog certificate, too, another $62. That DMV notice should have arrived in May or June, thank you U.S. Postal Service, I do have a current and valid forwarding order in place. Whatever. I could’ve hand carried it from the post office at my old address to my new one several times over in that period of time. Crawling. With one hand tied behind my back. Blindfolded.

I paid my DMV fees and changed Meep’s (my Civic’s) address online. I went to the smog check place, and, at first, thought it would be a fab idea if they offered wine flights while you wait. Then, I had an even better idea and this may be my million-dollar idea; How about a tasting room, with high quality snacks, free Wi-Fi, gourmet coffee and a lending library. Come in, sit down, hand us your keys and tell us what your car needs. We’ll send it out to be serviced, wherever you want, and when it’s done, we’ll drive you home, tipsy, in your own car, all fixed up just the way you want it. Whad’ya think?

Meep passed smog, and I was worried. Though Meep is a “newer” car, we have 89,000 miles now, and the five cars ahead of us didn’t pass. To celebrate Meep’s accomplishments, I parked, for free, in the Clay Street Parking Garage, in Downtown Napa, and went to Ceja Vineyard’s Downtown Tasting Room. They offer wine by the glass, wine flights, light snacks and, although I was tempted, I actually didn’t indulge in the wine and chocolate pairing. Next time. They also have a standard wine tasting for ten dollars consisting of four tastings. For Napa Neighbors, this is free. So I had four generous tastes, a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir, their “House” Red, and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Because I’m cute, or talkative, or both, I got two bonus tastings, a Merlot, which I bought a bottle of, and the dessert wine. Generally, I loathe and despise sweet dessert wines, but I totally enjoyed theirs, either because it was the last tasting, or because it was genuinely good. The tasting room was completely full, standing room only. So I stood. I’d been sitting all day; in the car driving to and from Sacramento, and at the smog-testing place, so I welcomed standing.  Besides, the seating was all occupied with young women with strollers and fussy babies. Which I think should be outlawed, or, at the very least, there should be an additional charge for, which should then be reimbursed to the rest of the customers. I received a very high compliment from some tourists from Austin, Texas as they left.  On my pink Steve Madden flats specifically, and how they just made my entire outfit. Big grin. Cheers!

I’ve been to the Ceja Winery property in the Carneros District during “April in Carneros” a couple of years ago, which I highly recommend. It’s a lovely property and I enjoyed some wine, vineyard-side, with some of my very dear, longtime friends. They feature a couple of Bocce ball courts and host many events that I also intend to follow up on, at some point, soon. If I remember correctly, there is salsa dancing. Big grin. Cheers!

As I have quite a sleep deficit going for the past several nights, and last night in particular, and I got up early, ate a light breakfast, drove, ran and drove and ate only a half of a peanut butter sandwich and a nectarine “for lunch”, in traffic, those six “little” tastes of wine were more potent than they should’ve been. Luckily, for me, Downtown Napa, the “west end”, where Ceja’s tasting room is, is on First Street, which is pretty much a straight shot at a consistent thirty-five miles per hour, from home. Just in case, I always keep Trident Whitening Gum in my car; for two reasons, to freshen the breath (subliminally meaning, disguise the wine odor) and whiten the teeth (subliminally meaning, disguise the red wine stains). I did see a CHP, but made a point to follow him, rather than him, me.

So, not so surprisingly, I had an excellent day and I don’t even remember what I was grumpy about earlier this week! Combine endorphins from running with “therapy” (driving really fast on the Interstate with really loud music), getting stuff done (car registration and smog certificate) and wine tasting (in a tasting room and not my bedroom) and you have certain happiness! Big grin. Cheers!


Lovely wines at the Ceja Vineyard Tasting Room on First Street in Downtown Napa.
Lovely wines at the Ceja Vineyard Tasting Room on First Street in Downtown Napa.


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