A vintage cabin in the redwoods, straight out of a Ralph Lauren catalog, a delicacy of a vacation home. Rustic luxury. Time machine. Splintered feet. Mosquito bites. Record player. Nigerian funk. Dance parties. Game nights. Dolls and books. Barbecue. Popsicles. Bedtime battles.
Then, a small place in the hills of Sebastopol, surrounded by rolling vineyards, fecund apple orchards, fairytale houses. Rusted tractors turned to sculpture. Rich food and vivid wine. Abundance of everything. Unexpected art. Blackberry trails. Purple tongues and teeth. Gravensteins. Apple fair. Deep fried fritters.
Unlike our previous trips of the summer, we didn’t do much. We hardly got into the Russian River. I thought I would run every day. I ran once. We ate out in exceptional restaurants, but more often, we cooked. We passed the time reading and playing. And when it was time to come home, we were ready and rested for a new school year, for fast mornings and short weekends, for deadlines and extracurriculars and routine.