Arriving in Healdsburg
I was in a complete state of exhaustion (I slept a lot the first couple of days here) by the time I reached my friends’ Healdsburg house. I had spent the morning in L.A. running around trying to donate last minutes items, packing things I had overlooked, and cleaning out the fridges before I hit the highway in the early afternoon.
By the time I reached the Highway 5/580 split, I decided to take 5 straight up to Highway 12 (which goes briefly though Sacramento and Solano counties before reaching eastern Sonoma County) rather than brave the 580 rush hour traffic through Hayward, Oakland and Berkeley. Unfortunately, I missed my intended exit – the 116- off the 12, which is the quickest route to the 101 and then up through Sonoma County. Instead, I took the scenic route to the 101, through the town of Sonoma, and the Carneros Highway – beautiful, when you’re not in a hurry, but in this summer tourist season, there are tons of “looky loo” drivers, not to mention a couple of road closures due to repairs, and being stuck behind an Escalade along most of the Carneros Highway, driving about 20-25 miles per hour, in a zone that varied between a 40 and 55 mile speed limit. I’m guessing he was compensating for being a little tipsy from wine tasting.
I arrived just as the light was going, but there was still enough for me to see Kirk standing in front of the steps leading up to the house – 3 flights of steps. It feels like a tree house, which is lovely, but a little tough for me (and my blind pooch, Rapunzel) to navigate a few times a day. The good part is, I am surrounded by all sorts of trees- bay, oak, pine, bougainvillea – and awake to the sight of the tree tops outside my bedroom window each morning.
I’m up and down the steps because there is no Internet access at the house – or TV for that matter, only a small radio with spotty reception. So I am “roughing” it, and have been sitting in front of the local Starbucks down in central Healdsburg for the Wi Fi.
Saturday morning I made my way to the farmers’ market. I am so spoiled by almost 2 decades of shopping at the Santa Monica, and other L. A. area farmers markets, with their vast selection. I did buy some local peaches, though, and a couple of heads of baby gem lettuce. I’ve been so preoccupied with my move, I had forgotten we are in peach season (yikes!). They made a light lunch served alongside a few slices of prosciutto. And I had to chuckle at the lettuce. I had spoken with my friend, Betty, the day before. When mulling over where we’d like to meet for dinner, she launched into a mini-rant about the ubiquitous term “farm to table”. Yeah, I hear ya’, Betty. She continued “you know, we buy from a CSA – local, seasonal, organic, but we’re buying the same things as all the restaurants. The farmers sell at the farmers’ markets, to the restaurants, and to us – it’s all the same. So we see the same things eating out that we eat at home.” It’s true. I had a salad at Pizzando (which, btw, also has free WiFi, thankfully) the night before I went to the farmers’ market that used the same little lettuces I bought. Oh well – that’s just part of what eating seasonal and local means.