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Birthday Weekend

I'm back from my long weekend! Actually, I've been back since Sunday evening, I just haven't had a chance to sit and be a schlub until now, because when I returned home I had work piled up waiting for me (okay it's still piled up).

Due to the untimely demise of my beloved Subaru wagon a few years ago, and the fact that I drive a Miata convertible now, I decided to forego the Tahoe trip and just head straight for Calistoga. Actually, my father insisted I drive his Pilot this weekend, but it's front wheel drive only and he doesn't have chains for it, so I couldn't have headed up to the mountains anyway. I took it just to make him happy, although I'm a menace in that oversized crackerbox!

I headed up late Friday morning. On the way, I received calls from my niece, sister and boss. Actually, I received one call from my niece, four from my boss on Friday, and four from my sister over the weekend. The four from my boss were all to sing Happy Birthday, each time with a different person -- the owner of the coffee shop we frequent, our patent counsel, our COO, and the other owner of the coffee shop. Oh, wait a minute, my boss also called to ask me where something was, so that would be five from him.

I checked into the Mount View Hotel, an early 1900's Mission revival style building, at about 1:45. Like other buildings of its era, it sports a lot of wonderful detail, but the climate control left something to be desired. The hallway to the room was COLD!!! The room was small, but clean, tastefully appointed and quiet. They bring fruit, pastry, juice and coffee to your room in the morning, and I have to admit it's nice not to have to dress for breakfast other than to throw on a robe to answer the door.

After checking into the hotel, I ran down the street for my appointment at the Lincoln Avenue Spa, where I did the body masque/facial/massage package. I had a mud bath several years ago, and did not enjoy it one bit, so I really wanted something different this time. With the body masque, you smear the mud all over your body and lie down on a steam table, rather than sitting in a tub of mud that countless others sat in before. The massage therapist, Lily, really laid into the monster knots under my shoulder blades and along my neck, and made a valiant effort to make them go away. I didn't have the heart to tell her that they're always there.

I have a new friend who joined me in Calistoga, and we visited a couple of wineries and a geyser. There were baby goats on the property around the geyser, and a couple were so young, their umbilical cords were still attached! You can see the red "string" hanging from underneath the little guy.

I headed back down toward home on Sunday afternoon, with a stop in Petaluma on the way to visit Fuller. He and another of his exes celebrated my birthday with me and we watched the Super Bowl together, as well. I have to admit I was a bit rude and did some work during the game. I don't have much opportunity to do prep work for the classes I teach during the week because of my day job, so I have to take advantage of small chunks of time here and there when I can.

This was one of my quietest birthdays, and one of the most enjoyable. I seem to appreciate the simple things much more these days.