So I turned 29 a few weeks ago, which means I’m now thisclose to 30 and that has prompted something of a miniature nervous breakdown. Nah, that’s the wrong word. Rather, it’s just caused a whole wealth of self-reflection as I obsess over whether or not I am where I wanted to be when I was this age (I’m not) and whether maybe, just maybe, that’s okay. Maybe the place I thought I wanted to be isn’t the place I’m meant to be or perhaps it never even existed to begin with. There’s little point to focusing on that so instead I’m trying to put the emphasis on evaluating my current contentment level instead. The jury may still be out on that one. There are aspects of my life as it is that I am very happy with but there are plenty of others that could use some tweaking. And so on and so forth.
All of this self-reflection combined with birthday celebrations and work-related stuff has left no time for blogging. I am now behind on two Santa Cruz Alcohol Appreciation posts and have barely even been remembering to keep track of the best stuff I’ve been consuming. So what have I been doing these past few weeks?
I started the day with a wonderful beachside picnic with two of my favorite people and of course, my favorite four-legged companion.
Later Brian took me out to dinner at Shadowbrook, this rather quintessential spot in Capitola that has a gorgeous view and a cable car-type elevator that brings you down to the dining room, but the food is glorified banquet style at best. That said, they do have a gluten-free menu and the trio of homemade ice creams — salted caramel, sweet corn and nutella – were amazing. My tuna nicoise salad was decent too.
We went with some friends to go explore a pair of wineries in the Summit area. First we had a picnic at the Burrell School, which Brian is now a member of, and then we discovered the soon-to-be-private winery next door, Regale, which has an amazing courtyard with fruit trees galore and a bocci court.
We finished a wonderful day with a ride on the totally bizarre and quintessentially Santa Cruz Boardwalk ride, the Cave Train.
Once my week of birthday celebrations were over, things have been basically back to normal. I’ve been jamming and canning as always, including making some fig jam with the figs I picked from our friend Johann’s tree.
Oh and I scored a pair of tickets to Gourmet Grazing on the Green through my job, which was a pretty awesome event. Great wine, good food and a wonderful cause.
The day after that, my wine club, Bonny Doon, had a release party at their restaurant, Le Cigare Volant, for the latest shipment which featured some absolutely delicious nibbles, including a duck mole I am still thinking about weeks later.
Now it’s Oct. 2 and we are having some sort of crazy heat wave, in which the mercury reached 100 in Santa Cruz yesterday, which is totally not normal here. Makes it difficult for me to transition into fall when I was able to run home from work yesterday and jump in the ocean. I guess I can’t complain about missing Hudson Valley autumn too much, eh?