Another Long Weekend

It’s Sunday and the end of another long four-day weekend. All I can say is I think my liver is happy that it’s finally over. No weekend in France would be complete without visiting at least one cafe for un verre (a glass). But this weekend was a parade of boutielles, soirées and fêtes (bottles, night’s out and parties for the French challenged). I didn’t think it was possible but I think the French party harder than the Brits.

This weekend also brought the implementation of a new personal rule: always bring your umbrella and your sunglasses. Apparently in Bordeaux you don’t know which you are going to need. In fact at one point this weekend I needed both at the same time.

Despite my whinging, it was a great weekend. We were toured around Bordeaux by our new friend and classmate Max. A long time resident of the city, he was full of tips about great bars, cafes and restaurants. And he seems to know everyone.

But it wasn’t all just parties. I spent a little time enjoying some sun in the Jardin Public. I managed to score a ride out to IKEA. I did a little laundry and started looking for flights home for Christmas. I also cleaned the apartment and did a little cooking.  I visited the local market and perused the wines at the special event they were hosting. (And yes before you ask, of course I bought a couple bottles). I even managed to get lectured by a rather frightening older lady because I was looking at bottles produced by large enterprises and not small family estates.

Monday our real course work begins, despite another miscommunication about timing – I still haven’t manage to figure out if classes start at 8:15 or 9. So 8:15 it is. And if nothing else I can sip a coffee for 45 minutes and get a little work done.

Truthfully at this point, I’m just excited for our course work to begin. Nothing could be as challenging as the business game. I survived that – I can survive anything. At least I hope I can. But in all honestly, aside from the English class, I’m looking forward to jumping in and getting my feet wet. I’m also looking forward to working with and getting to know more of my classmates.

It’s time to say goodbye…and embark on a new adventure

Crazy, fun, hectic, a little exhausting, sometimes painful and maybe even a little embarrassing. Worth every single moment.

Today was my last day as an employee at Sones Cellars. It’s is the end of an era. I have poured, sipped, blended, savored, punched down, picked grapes. I have stood on the bottling line, behind the bar and at countless events since January 2011. It’s the longest I have ever held a single job.

And it has defined my goals, dreams and my latest course of adventure. Without the Sones Family and the Sones Cellars Family – I would have never considered applying to the Bordeaux International Wine Institute and I wouldn’t be leaving the country in 10 days.

So today – despite the nostalgia and a bit of sadness – we celebrated. With wine-glass margaritas (because what else could be better on a hot Saturday evening), chips and home made salsa and guac, good friends and a lot of laughter. Followed by a delicious dinner at my favorite Santa Cruz Italian eatery – and a Sones Cellars Team tradition – Tramonti.

To all of the friends I have made over the past 30-some-odd-months:  Thanks for sharing the journey! You will be missed.