When it's time to get the hell out of Dodge, Reno seems as good a bet (pardon the pun) as any. Bob is constantly receiving offers from the Siena hotel for free stays. The beds are as comfortable as the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco and, as Bob likes to say, "It's out of town." Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and traditionally I cook a 22-pound turkey. (That's it, pictured at left, about ten years ago..and the lighting is wretched--the bird wasn't that dark. But I was that slender. Do you think I look psycho? You try holding a 22-pound bird while someone sets up their camera. "Take the picture! Take the picture!" Audrey Hepburn fans unite.)
This year, we just wanted to escape.
The drive through the San Joaquin valley was beautiful. The November sky was moody and grey, and we passed dozens of vineyards that held golden-green leaves on their vines. One pretty little farm, on the banks of the Mokelumne River, just outside the Sacramento County line, caught my eye: orchards, rice paddies, beautiful trees grown up around the farm house...I've been Googling for hours, trying to find out more about it. I wonder if this could be the place.