May 26, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Back at the Rancho

Despite a particularly unpleasant attack of hay fever, I spent yet another fabulous weekend at the parents' heavenly Rancho del Cielo on the Central Coast. This time, I took a friend along, so I got to vicariously experience it anew. True to form, the wild turkeys were there to greet us as we arrived. Grey squirrels and stellar jays performed every morning, and curious deer watched us as we drove by to feed the neighbors' cows. The rolling hills did not glow emerald green like they did earlier in the year, but the golden waves of grass had a beauty all their own.

The hospitality, too, was as generous as always. Chuck entertained with winemaking stories while Peggy cooked up her customary magic in the kitchen. The guest room bed enveloped me like a feathery womb. And the Strickland Cellars "Patriots" vintage viognier has come a long way since I last tried it.

This was a research trip of sorts for me. We visited Pine Mountain Club (a tiny mountain hamlet above Frazier Park) and Solvang, in addition to exploring the caves of Eberle and Robert Hall wineries in Paso Robles. I took copious notes, and plan to distill most of them down into a travel article or two that I can hopefully sell to a magazine or newspaper. Working vacation though it may have been, it felt like all play and no work. Jack was definitely not a dull boy.

Now it's time to get back into the daily grind of scuba diving and swimming with dolphins. Talk about all work and no play.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year, I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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5/23: Pale Blue Dot
5/22: Underwater
5/21: Writing Again
5/20: Go Spend Money
5/18: Couch
5/17: Armed Forces Day
5/16: Reload
5/15: Temporary Defeat
5/12: What, Me Write?
5/11: Rockin' Out
5/10: Van Halen at the Tokyo Dome
5/9: Your Tax Dollars at Work
5/8: Yes, I Am a Nerd
5/7: Still Writing
5/6: A Different World?
5/5: Sponge
5/4: MacGyver
5/3: Mike's Sky Ranch
5/2: Baja Bound
5/1: Ice Moon
Previous months in The Archive

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