Vacationing In Wine Country

Posted: July 21, 2011 in Love and Marriage
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My wife and I are currently vacationing in California wine country.  I will make every effort not to miss a day with the blog (it ends August 6th), but the posts may be shorter and less direct over the next several over days.

It’s been a dream of mine to take my wife to wine country for a few years now.  She’s never been to California, while I’ve been many, many times.  As a kid who grew up in Phoenix, California was always just a few hours away, and it was almost always Southern California that my family visited.

As an adult, it has been northern California, and specifically Napa and Sonoma counties that have caught most of my attention.   I’ve been a wine writer as well as a teacher since the early 2000’s, so in recent years, I’ve had the opportunity to take press trips to wine country, not only in California, but overseas as well.  My wife has never been able to accompany me on any of these trips, and that has led to some of the dichotomy of feelings that both of us experienced during the time leading up to, and including, our separation.

What I mean is this.  When I wasn’t completely sure that I wanted to continue to be married, I still cared about my wife very much.  She had been my best friend and partner for many years, and I valued her company.  When I would spend time away from her on these trips, I always wished she could be there.  I wanted her to be meeting the people I was meeting, tasting the food and wine that I was tasting, and experiencing the lifestyle that I was living.  As great as these trips could be, something was always missing, and that something was her.

On the other hand, there was a part of me that wondered what it would be like if we didn’t stay together.  A part of me thought that maybe I would be able to move to another part of the country and live a whole new life on my own, and these trips also had the effect of reinforcing that notion.  When I was traveling with other writers, I was known to them only as myself, not as one half of a couple, and this part of my life seemed totally separate from the part that had a wife and family and a full-time teaching career.

I was never unfaithful to my wife while I travelled, although I know she worried at times.  What I mostly wanted was for her to be there.  Nevertheless, my life had two contradictory parts competing, and only one could win out.  When my wife was exploring the idea of making a new life without me, she was experiencing many of these same emotions and thought patterns.  She was testing out a future that would require her to leave her current life behind, but still clinging to the wish that it would be me that she would experience true love and companionship with.

Now that we are well on our way to happily ever after, I got the chance to share this part fo my life with her.  My parents bought us plane tickets to California so we could spend some time with my brother and his family.  Since we were coming to the state anyway, I set up some winery tours and visits through some of the people I have worked with.  We are spending the first few days in Sonoma County and the Napa Valley, and my wife is having a wonderful time, as am I.  It’s another little dream coming true for us, and I couldn’t be more proud to introduce her to everyone and have her share this time with me.

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