water drops

Posted on 22 Jun ’10

The day is dreary and rainy. We are headed back from Napa Valley. Karen took me up for a weekend to pre-celebrate my birthday. We stayed at the Harvest Inn for the night Saturday. A great choice, charming with nicely appointed rooms and well kept grounds, conveniently situated at the southern end of St. Helena. We walked down Main street into town for lunch after checking in and dropping of our bags. We selected Market, the starters on the menu attracted both of us. We ordered Main Lobster Rolls, Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Tartare, Dungeness Crab Cake, and the cheese plate. Karen also ordered a cup of soup but, I can’t remember what it was, maybe a corn chowder.  We each also had a glass, or two, of wine with the light meal. It was good, we both agreed; especially the tartare and the walnut bread with the cheeses.

After lunch we walked back towards the hotel and decided to go to Dean and Deluca to pick up some cold meats, cheeses, and bread to have in the room for snacking. Our dinner reservation at ad hoc was not until 9PM. We were both very excited about the dinner and didn’t want to over eat rendering ourselves incapable of enjoying the upcoming feast. But…snacking is always a possibility and may be in order so, better to be prepared. After shopping and an espresso at D&L we headed back to the hotel to relax and get ready for dinner. We still had a few hours before dinner so preparation progressed at a nice leisurely pace.

I could go on and on extolling the virtues of the meal we had and of ad hoc itself but, I simply suggest that you must experience it yourself and leave you with two pieces of advice. One, if the day you are going has duck involved, you’re in for a treat. Two, order a bottle of wine, it gets rather spendy when consumed ala carte by the glass. Regardless, you’re in for a wonderful experience; the food at ad hoc is amazing! We plan on going again soon with friends, our collective goal is Fried Chicken! Try the recipe for fried chicken in the ad hoc cookbook and you’ll understand. After dinner we took a stroll around the grounds at the inn. When we returned to the room we decided we’d enjoy a little fire since we don’t have a fireplace at home.

It was a wonderful weekend, a very special time. We woke early on Sunday, we were uncontrollably compelled to take advantage of the breakfast provided with the room. After, we took some photographs of the tulips with rain on them. They were blowing around quite a bit but, some of the images came out quite nicely given the environmental forces at work. Because of the cloudy, rainy conditions we headed straight for Woodhouse Chocolate. Apparently, there’s some law or other which states one must go purchase chocolate from Woodhouse if one is within a billion miles or something… We walked around Main street a bit after Woodhouse and ended up taking second breakfast, er coffee, at The Model Bakery. We both required rest, rejuvenation and sustenance after our shopping extravaganza. The rain increased as we sipped our drinks so we agreed we’d just head out of town after we finished.

Karen had driven, it was a special occasion, if the weather had been nice – her car being a convertible would have been more enjoyable. As we traveled on the winding roads leading us back to the coast I busied myself by taking pictures of things as we zoomed by them. At one point I became engrossed in the rhythm of the windshield wipers contrasting the random splatters of the rain on the windshield. I took several photographs and liked this one best. I’ve turned it upside down because I like the way it reads better in this perspective. It is black and white because what little color there was contributed nothing to the photograph. I like the shape of the water, fluid and random next to the sweeping arc the wiper has left in the wake of another vain attempt to complete its sisyphean task.

Click here to download the full size image to use as a desktop background wallpaper.