We had a fulfilling, albeit exhausting, weekend down at my parent’s house this weekend. On Saturday we held a memorial ceremony for grandpa, and about 60 people gathered in our backyard and shared stories. The highlight for me was hearing his memoirs read aloud. Although I had read them several years ago, I hadn’t remembered every detail. Learning something new about someone after they’re gone always gives me a sense of perspective: obviously he was so much more than I knew. Even after he’s gone, he’ll continue to inspire me. I guess that’s no surprise though.
My mom asked if we could share my tribute, and a good childhood friend of mine was gracious enough to read it aloud for me. Perhaps I could have made it through the reading without falling apart, but it was really nice to be able to sit back and enjoy it, and not have to worry. Anyhow, the whole day was so nice, not too somber at all, a great tribute to a great man.
Everyone was, of course, interested in our New Zealand plans, and it struck me how many folks took this opportunity to also say farewell to us. Whenever asked, we always tell people that we’re planning to move in December (are you listening, universe?) but I’ve said it so many times that I forget that December is six weeks away. I mean December has been our goal for MONTHS, now it’s just so close, and really, we’re quite ready… no wonder they’re all saying goodbye!
Sunday we celebrated my dad’s birthday, which had actually been the day before. We surprised him with some pretty great presents, and drove out to a local vineyard for some wine tasting. I really appreciate a vineyard that has chickens running around, where you can watch the grapes get squashed, and where no-one expects your palate to discern that smidgen of a hint of cherry tree wood smoke, or whatever. Green Valley Cellars is an absolutely lovely stop along your Suisun Valley wine tasting tour (wine tasting in Solano county- absurd right?)
After wine tasting we cruised up the road for a seriously overpriced tapas lunch at Manka’s Corner (skip it), and then up the road a bit more to Davis. We strolled around Davis, peering in windows – not much open on Sunday evenings! – and ended up finding a fantastic Irish pub for dinner. We enjoyed traditional Irish stew and fish and chips, along with a great little 5-piece Irish band getting lively a few tables down. We had to skip the whiskey tasting flight, which was unfortunate, but the Giants were on TV, which made the parents happy. (Then they lost, but that wasn’t til after we left!)
So, from here on out it’s serious business. Packing. Cleaning. Our house goes up on the rental market this Friday, and tomorrow I’m leaving for Colorado for a few days to visit a good friend. That makes today a full 12-hour cleaning day, which means I need to wrap up this post. I’m accepting all good thoughts sent up to the universe reminding her to send me a job!!! We’re ready!