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many people have asked me how the heck did you get to st. helena, CA? and i have some friends who are just figuring out that i now have dual citizenship in ohio and in california.
so it began this week last year. i'd just finished the "warmth in winter" conference in nashville and driven back to cincy in 10 inches of snow.
that was sunday.
early monday morning rob and i hopped on a plane and headed west to celebrate our anniversary with second honeymoon...it was the big 25th anniversary (which is impossible since i'm only 26! ) anyway, we chose to go to the sonoma coast and rented an amazing little house on the bodega bay harbor called "birdwatch." we planned to take some day trips up the coast and into the sonoma and napa valleys and do a little wine tasting along the way. rob said the only "un- romantic " thing he wanted to do during the week was tour the CIA...the culinary institute of america...better known to foodies as greystone. since i'm not a foodie and since i'm not addicted to the cooking channel or food network, i didn't really "get" the CIA.
i just said "sure' let's go.
Little did I know that the tour of the CIA would begin this new chapter of adventure in our lives. Rob took the tour with another guy and his friend and they were like little kids in a candy store…you could just tell they were meant to be there!.
and if you are a foodie and love to cook..you couldn’t resist a brand new Viking kitchen on one end of the building, and an entire floor of viking everything on another, and a room for just making chocolate !
CIA greystone reminds me of Hogwarts, with it’s thick stone walls and tower…it used to be a Franciscan winery.
So when we got back to Cincinnati, I encouraged him to apply…thinking in my head we’d head west fall of 2011 after Hudson graduated from high school…
Rob had been in culinary school in Cincinnati for the past year and a half. (“Having dated cooking for 20 years he decide to give her a ring” rob) but CIA is the Harvard of cooking schools …
Since my business card reads” a pilgrimage of discovery and creativity” …and we aren’t getting any younger (according to rob) we did a world wind update of our house and planned the adventure to begin in august of 2010 instead. Sadly our house is still waiting for the perfect people to move in, but we did find an amazing guest cottage to rent (thanks to craig’s list) here in napa valley.
We are really enjoying being close to San Francisco and being on the west coast again. Rob is working his tail off in class and I’ve continued to speak and write and travel back and forth to ohio and wherever else I get invited to go! i'm working part time at the napa valley toy company...a great place to meet people and learn what's cool in toyland!
It really is a pilgrimage…and the joy is in the journey…even when you least expect it and don’t have a clue how it all will work out in the end…
For me, it’s great to be in a place of vista and beauty and I love the fact that people think “local” and sustainable without the need of definition! I’m learning about living in a small town and in a rural setting again and realizing that it takes time to build relationships…and it takes work not to gain weight in the land of food!
So that’s chapter 1 in the saga…