Since buying the TC in 2013, Jack and I have little time to travel — unlike after he retired in 2010. We dream and talk about doing so again, and, hopefully, we’ll get that chance soon.
In the meantime, we take mini-vacations, particularly when serving on the California News Publishers Association board and/or Government Affairs Committee.
Last week, the quarterly meeting and annual Press Summit landed in Sonoma, one of the wine country areas least hit during the fires in Santa Rosa last year.
Our visit up there was so short (Thursday to Sunday), we never made it into the fire-ravaged areas.
Traveling took up most of Thursday, from waking at 4 a.m. to getting to the Ontario airport before the plane lifted at 8:25 a.m.: the one-and-a-half-hour drive, the parking, the shuttle, checking bags, security — you know the routine, if you fly at all.
Lots of hurry up and wait. Lines waiting for your turn to get on the plane. Lots of other people — people you don’t talk to or look at, so you may never see them again. People doing what you’re doing — trying to patiently wait in line. Some are dressed for business; some for pleasure. They mostly read their phones, avoiding eye contact unless necessary.
We flew to Oakland, waited to get off the plane in a line, waited for our bags, waited in line for a shuttle and got in a line for a rental car. We followed the line to leave the rental lot, got in a line for the freeway and left on highways for Sonoma — reading the map on the phone, following the lines.
I live an impatient life, one of newspaper deadlines and a toe-tapping spouse. To deal with my impatience, I knit. I knit in the car, I knit on the plane, and I knit in line. Socks are easy to pack and easy to whip out when you’re in line. My tolerance level rises greatly as I watch another row grow beneath my needles and feel that I’m not wasting my time.
One of my greatest pleasures is the occasional time I can “sleep in,” which often just means staying in bed in the morning, reading or doing crosswords, and getting up at my leisure. That’s typically a weekend morning.
Because of the expense at the lodge and all the other motels in Sonoma, Jack and I stayed in an Airbnb — a guest home owned by a wonderful host couple. After the heavy traveling, an intense Thursday-afternoon board meeting and an equally intense day of sessions Friday that included deadline with an issue back at the paper, we welcomed the brief vacation weekend in Sonoma following no lines. We “slept in,” piddled around, stopped at the Sonoma Market for a picnic lunch, and avoided downtown Sonoma, heading south into the country to a winery where we shared a tasting, bought a bottle and enjoyed our little picnic over a beautiful scenery of vineyards. I knitted and took a small hike around the vines. We relaxed. No lines.
The following day, we “slept in” again, then checked out to enjoy some time in Sonoma before heading back. After lunch, we reversed — driving the rental car back into the waiting lines as we traveled south to reach home. It was a short but sweet mini-vacation.
Becky Clark, Editor