Sometimes Wine with Your Girlfriends is the Best Therapy!
On most days I’m a Patron-Silver-tequila-on-the-rocks-with-a-splash-of-club-soda-garnished-with-a-freshly- squeezed-lemon kind of girl. This drink is the less sugary version of my signature cocktail, “Loopie’s Lemonade”, calls for a teaspoon of frozen lemonade, so it’s a bit sweeter of the two. Loopie’s Lemonade is the one I will usually make for my girlfriends since they don’t care about their sugar intake like I do.
I had the chance to make these a couple of years ago when Charlie, Mallory, Sydney, and I had our all-time favorite girls weekend in Santa Barbara. We stayed in the cutest beach house right on the sand, overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean. I love to cook, so we made sure our VRBO or Airbnb had a fully stocked kitchen so I could make at least one dinner during our time together. On this trip they were happy to let me do that, so in addition to the meal, I put my college bartending experience to work and mixed them a perfect Loopie’s Lemonade. My friends indulged me on that night, but when we went out to dinner some of them ordered a simple glass of wine instead. I can respect that.
My palate hasn’t always craved tequila. It has also enjoyed some great wine from time to time. For starters, Pete and I were married at Chimney Rock WInery in Napa. Wow, wow, and double wow! Our nuptials in Napa were in the most beautiful setting, on the most perfect day, with the most in-love-with-one-another couple one could have ever imagined. Those were the days of burgundy-stained lips and purple-tinted teeth. I drank a lot of red wine back then. And why not? It has some great health benefits. But I also had to eventually use Crest Whitestrips!
Although I do like my tequila, I can very much appreciate taking a trip to vineyards and wineries because there are so many facets to the experience. A girls weekend adventure to a winery can truly be a trip for the senses because there are beautiful landscapes, clean, fresh air, down-to-earth people, delicious wine, and farm-to-table meals. From my observation, wineries generally exude a calm and slower-paced vibe, giving you and your friends time to reconnect, recharge, and relax.
But today with the California wildfires, the wineries are in jeopardy. It’s heartbreaking to see how they’ve ravaged the vineyards over the last couple of years and left behind insurmountable damage. While we wait until nature helps Napa regain its beauty, there are options if you and your friends are looking for a Plan B: Oregon! How do I know? My brother Bill lives in the Willamette Valley region, and speaks so highly of their wineries and the expertise in how they grow their grapes.
I’ve been going to Oregon since I was a small child. My (half) brother Bill and my (half) sister, Linda have lived there most of their lives, so Mom and I spent many summers driving north to visit them and trying to escape the Sacramento heat. Wait. Let me backup a few years.
My mom was married before she was 18 to a man named Donny, who was Bill and Linda’s father. He was a logger in the small Oregon town of Oakridge and one day while at work, he fell off a log, hit his head and subsequently died. The kids were barely toddlers at the time, and this forced my mom Edna, to make some choices...many of which were poor ones (in my opinion). Years later Mom was remarried to my dad, Eddie. During the first five years of my life, Linda and Bill were responsible for some of my upbringing. My memories of Linda aren’t as vivid, but Bill’s are very strong. Bill took care of me most of the time while my mom was “out”, my dad was working, and my sister was “elsewhere”.
I remember Bill and I were always together. I’m sure he had much more teenage-appropriate things to do with his time, but Edna made him babysit. So, he made the best of it. We laid in the sun, wrestled in front of the TV while “Big-Time Wrestling” aired, and he diligently tried to teach me how to play baseball. Apparently, I thought I was pretty good until the day I swung a bat and hit Perry, the next-door neighbor kid, smack dab in the middle of his face. Yeah, that didn’t turn out very well!
I have always listened to Bill because he was my stand-in disciplinarian for the first five years of my life. Then, I was very impressionable. Today, not much has changed. Half, full, or otherwise, Bill is still my big brother, and I listen when he speaks. When he tells me about his love for Oregon, I pay attention. That’s why I’m certain that the mountains, the coast, the great college football games, and the wineries offer the perfect settings to relax and recharge with your besties.
Watch out Oregon! You might see us soon. I’m always in the need of some “therapy” with my girls. Although Mallory, Charlie, and Sydney may sip some wine, I may sneak in my tequila!
I love that you were with me today. See you tomorrow!