August 25, 2009

Sometimes I just have to pinch myself, hard. I have been to three of the most magnificent California settings, and all in one week. (I guess the universe was helping to balance the ridiculous pain I was in last week from my %$#& toe injury. Much better now, thank you.)

The trifecta of gorgeous started with a turbo trip up to Healdsburg to dine at the Madrona Manor, what a stunner. The Victorian manor is such a special place: dining on the back verandah is something out of dreamy movie, and the gardens were spectacular (the talented gardener, Geno Ceccato, even has his name on the menu!). Chef Jesse Mallgren is doing such delicious and innovative cuisine—we'd be lucky to have his tasting menus in San Francisco. Plus tableside coffee, cheese, and ice cream service? Yes please.

Oh yeah, and the magical meal was followed the next day by some of the best damned pizzas I've had in California at Diavola Pizzeria in Geyserville—Dino Bugica is one hell of a pizzaiolo. (I'll be posting an update to my Healdsburg jetsetter pieces on both of these places shortly.)

Saturday I drove up to Lake Tahoe, thoroughly enjoying the trip up Highway 50. Year in, year out, the wonder of this sapphire of a lake never ceases to blow my mind. True mountain majesty. And I might add there is nothing like cruising the windy road near Emerald Bay at sunset in an Alfa with the top down and radio bumpin', I gotta confess. We were both purring. Well, until the lagging Prius driver held us up (sorry, they are the new worst drivers on the road—come on, you can at least drive the speed limit!)

After having to sequester myself for a day of book editing (no easy feat up here!), I let myself off the chain Sunday evening and scooted over to the Sierra Valley for a Dinner in the Barn event with Sierra Valley Farms and Moody's Bistro of Truckee. It was such a memorable experience that I had to write it up for you, stat. Check it out in fresh meat.

Yup, I am one lucky, lucky woman. And I'm also a tired one—when I haven't been on the road this past week, I've been parked at my computer way too much. Deadlines, deadlines. Blergh. And FYI, next week's transmission is going to be a shorty—I have to write it in advance since my lovely designer will be off to Burning Man (safe travels to all of you headin' out to the playa!). And besides, the beach at Sugar Pine Point is calling me, "Oh yooooooooo hooooooooo! You there, at the computer! Time to get outside and jump in the lake!"

In summer I trust,
~ Marcia