Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stop the World

It's no secret that I love my friends, and my friends, they love me. Every once in a great while I am blessed with a visit from someone especially oldschool, and I stop everything. When my homegirl from Brooklyn emailed to ask if I'd have time on One Day Only for her and her man to visit, there was no need to check my schedule or muse about work or childcare or the weather. There was only "fuck to the yes, how long do I get you?"

With less than 24 hours with which to impress my people, I didn't mess around. Here is my guide for impressing people from big cities when they come to your land (if your land happens to be freaking gorgeous like mine. If not, you're on your own, suckers!)

1. Serve them a super boring salad, some flatbread from Trader Joe's and, needless to say, some sparkling wine immediately upon their arrival. They'll be really excited about it and will preface everything they compliment with 'California'. "Whoa, this California Salad is perfect! It's amazing!" You see, people who live in big cities with cold climates don't have access to the amount of edible greenery that we do here.

2. Take them to a winery. Make sure the wine is one of their favorite brands of all time. Call ahead and ask nonchalantly for the tasting room manager, who you happen to know and used to work with, at that exact winery.  Feel like a total rock star for desperately hanging on to this connection for the last nine years.

3. Once you arrive, act normal when you are told that you get to taste anything and everything you want, for free, including the most expensive wine they have. (Okay, we went to Ridge. They let us taste the Monte Bello, oh yes they did!) Continue to act normal when someone from the cellar comes out to say hello, and you miraculously remember the names of both his wife and his son. The fact that you do not, in fact, remember his name will be lost on him, thankfully. He will be so delighted that he will give you and your guests an after-hours private tour of the winery, along with tank and barrel tastings of upcoming vintages. This will make Mr. Brooklyn nearly weep with joy.

The Brooklyns can't believe this is real
4. After leaving the winery, arrange for California Cows to meander peacefully on the hills. Mrs. Brooklyn will be beside herself with adoration of these stupid animals.

5. Before dinner, go to the funky wine-country biker bar you've always wanted to go to, but have never had a reason. Make it seem like you're suggesting it solely for the benefit of their experience. THEY WILL FREAK OUT when they see this dusty crazy little bar. They will freak out EVEN MORE when they realize they can sit in adirondack chairs on the porch and watch the California Sun set over the California Vineyard across the street. Big points are scored here.

6. Go to a hipster bar in Healdsburg for some prosecco, and to compare and contrast the two bars. Run into some local wine people there, Jake and Laura Hawkes, to be exact. Really good people. Begin to lose track of the evening.

7. Eat dinner at Bistro Ralph, an old standby and another place at which you used to work. Decide it's a good idea to chat up Ralph when he comes in. He will not only remember you but will remember very random details about you, which he will share with your guests. Proceed to eat 10,000 Fries.

8. Get home safely, thanks to your boyfriend who volunteered early in the day to be the designated driver. Sleep.

9. In the morning, drag yourself out of your child's bunk bed, where you slept fitfully all night so that your guests could have your super fluffy cushie bed. When you go into the kitchen, find them awake, smiling, and in running gear. Remember promise from the night before to take them jogging around Spring Lake. Be immensely grateful when they don't hold you to that.

10. Make breakfast. Eat. Serve prosecco. Say goodbye. Maybe cry a little, but just a little. Because this visit stopped the world and made you so happy, and your life is really fucking great right now.

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