Over the holidays I had a chance to get cozy with my 2006 juice. Touring has kept me at a distance from it all this year. For 2004 and 2005, I was around enough to know the stuff inside and out. So on this last break, rather than turning my brain off to the sounds of 24 on a DVD box set while recovering from the road, I crawled around my barrels for a few days.
In Giza: Tummy full of butterflies. I had to pinch myself. Damn, I love my job. All the years of stinky butt/feet van tours, all the inedible food, all the sweaty gropers, the liars, lawyers, vampires, barnacles and mocking birds … All the bad weather, the delusional stalkers and the legions of voices in their heads, the underpaid and underqualified airport security staff waving wands across my bare feet looking for WMDs, the jet lag, the ambulance chasers and depositions, the neverending parade/revolving door of deaf-but-grinning record company execs … All the Spinal Tap moments that used to be funny until they happened to us, all the tantrums by/interactions with the socially and emotionally challenged, all the "Oh my god!" hotel bar and minibar bills … All of these things (and too many more to list) have been worth it since ALL of these experiences, added up, have brought me here.
And now for the shameless self-promotion portion of our program. As of Jan. 16, Eric Glomski (owner of Page Springs Cellars) and I (Caduceus Cellars/Merkin Vineyards) became the proud owners of the vineyard formerly known as Dos Cabezas (now to be called Arizona Vineyards) just south of Wilcox.
The sun had already set when we flew into Athens. As I climbed out of the taxi and looked up the street from our hotel, there it was: the Parthenon. All lit up. Actually, it seemed to glow from the inside out.
Paris: You either love it or you hate it. For years I fell into the latter category. My guess is that it's because I'm such a reactionary person. Years of condescending Parisians placing me in the same category as the thickheaded loud guy from Boise in the Bermuda shorts who orders a Coke with his crêpes.
Lyon, France: Accept no substitute. The pastry shops alone are enough to make me want to retire here. If it's true that "you are what you eat," then I'm a crêpe. A great big petit four–, custard pie–, cream puff–, espresso mousse–stuffed crèpe.
After Florence, we couldn't pass up the chance to see Venice. What a beautiful place to spend a day off. When inquiring about points of interest and must-see places, we were told to simply "follow your nose.
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