Avoiding Whine Country

Business takes Rich to California fairly frequently, which I put in the category of “Hey, that’s not fair!”

He’s there now. Most of the time he’s working, sure, but these trips land him one town over from where we used to live. He can have dinner with our friends! He can enjoy the superior weather! He can dine at our favorite restaurants! While I stay in NJ. Fair?  I think not.

As if all of that weren’t torturous enough, this time he stayed an extra day. To go to Wine Country. Without me. While it might be true that he asked first and I gave him permission, I’m still jealous that he’s there and I’m not. We got married there. We want to retire there. We love it that much.

So last night I had to take matters into my own hands before I ended up in Whine Country, which holds even less appeal than being left behind in NJ.

First, I decided to use my imagination and creative play skills to bring Wine Country to NJ. I started by opening a bottle of our favorite Dry Creek zin, Rafanelli. The velvety fruity wine did not disappoint. But it didn’t really work the way I’d hoped – I mean, I was drinking awesome wine but it was still dark and cold outside, with no view of rolling hills covered in vineyards. So, I aborted my plan to transform my family room into Wine Country.

Instead, I decided that maybe I’d garner a little sympathy.


Clearly, that didn’t work either.

The only sympathy I got at all came from Buster, whose big brown eyes looked at me, knowingly. So I put on his IV bag boot, and took him out to do his business.

My ungloved hands got so cold that they physically hurt. After that, there was no second attempt at pretending to be in Wine Country.

Only fantasizing, with my sympathetic dog at my feet.

But while Rich sits on a plane for six hours tonight, exposed to viruses and airline grime and who knows what else, I’ll curl up on our couch, in our nice house, and sip some fine wine – not plane wine. And that’s not fair either.

Life never is.


Left alone in NJ, I’m hooking up with Dude Write, where the cool Dudes hang out, so to speak. Only this week, it’s for Dudettes! Check it out!

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72 Responses to “Avoiding Whine Country”

  1. Emma @Your Doctor's WifeJanuary 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    OMGosh on so many different levels!!!!
    How DARE he go to wine country without you!!! 🙁
    Love Healdsburg! Had a great time there with Doc H once upon a time. They have wonderful restaurants! I thought we were on the *only* ones who knew about that town. 😉 On that vacation we discovered Navarro Wines. Check them out. If I remember correctly, it’s a bit of a drive, but it’s lovely and there are many other wineries along the way!

    • StacieJanuary 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

      We usually stay in Healdsburg when we go! Also, Rich was drinking Navarro last night (that was another text…). It’s in the Anderson Valley, so yeah–out there, but beautiful. We love their wines. There are so many new ones to discover too!

  2. Carinn @welcometothemotherhoodJanuary 18, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    You need to start planning now so next time you can go with him! And some of our best friends are moving to St. Helena tomorrow – it’s Napa not Sonoma but wine country still. So jealous.

    • StacieJanuary 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      I know – it’s just super hard when the kids are in school. St Helena is nice! Hopefully you can visit your friends!

  3. Samantha Brinn MerelJanuary 18, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    I think a trip for you guys together out there is definitely in order. Maybe his punishment for going out there without you is that he’s coming back to NJ just in time for a week of temps in the 20s 😉

    • StacieJanuary 18, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

      Haha! The only problem is that I have to suffer the 20 degree temps too. That pushes me over the edge. I can handle 30s, but 20s – not so much.

  4. DianeJanuary 18, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    SO.NOT.FAIR!!!!! And sending pics? That’s…that’s…well that’s just really, really mean! I know. I sound so threatening. ;P

    At least you know your wine tonight is going to taste that much better knowing he is “chocking” down that airplane swill. Off to look for a bottle of your Rafanelli (although they probably don’t sell it here).

    • StacieJanuary 18, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

      It’s a small winery, so hard to find in stores but I’ve sometimes seen it on restaurant wine lists. We are in their wine club 🙂

  5. AmeenaJanuary 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    The clueless texting reminds me a bit of my husband…talk about rubbing it in!

    So sorry it’s in the 20s again! It was that cold when I was there a few weeks ago and that was COLD.

    • StacieJanuary 18, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

      Haha! Yes, it’s WAY too cold for me when it gets like this. I will definitely be complaining.

  6. Jared KarolJanuary 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    He’s not having THAT great a time. . . w/ out you, right?

    My wife’s aunt and uncle own a place up in Santa Rosa that we frequent often (we live in Oakland). They make their own wine too. It is nice. I hope you get to come back out again sometime soon.

    • StacieJanuary 18, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

      You are right. He’s having a terrible time. He did at least tell me he wished I was there – I’ll give him that!

      Nice you get to go to Santa Rosa often! I am a native CA gal and Rich had lived there for 23 years before we moved to NJ 2 years ago. There are nice things about here and being near NYC is fun, but we definitely miss the Bay Area!

  7. GinaJanuary 18, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    Without YOU? Did you build a fire with Buster, too? I love those kinds of evenings…in! Yes, he’s exposed. And you’re not! I wish I lived close to you 🙂

    • StacieJanuary 18, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

      Then I’d have a cool gal pal to have wine with on such occasions!

  8. BeeJanuary 18, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    He sent you pics??? Ouch! I hope he at least brought something nice back for you. Give Buster some chin scratches for me.

    • StacieJanuary 18, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

      He did. He’s on the plane now, so I’m not yet sure if I get a “reward.” But I did buy a pair of boots last week, so I’m good 😉

  9. Mod Mom Beyond IndieDomJanuary 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    I so feel your pain. My husband went to SF, Monterrey and wine country with his friends just before our 20th anniversary and left me here…in Jersey…with the kids. What is it about Jersey…and wine country…and MEN? ;). Enjoy your wine and your comfy couch!

    • StacieJanuary 18, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

      You’re in Jersey too? We should totally meet for a drink! Especially when the husbands go to CA without us!

  10. DanaJanuary 18, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    My husband’s at a work party right now, probably drinking wine. I’m home drinking seltzer water. Tell me there isn’t something wrong with this picture…

    Happy weekend!

    • StacieJanuary 19, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

      Definitely wrong! Happy weekend to you too!

  11. RoryboreJanuary 18, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    Back when there was hockey *side eye* my hubby used to have work the games (extra security so they hire police officers) so he would have to “work” at the NHL game. So not fair. I think I’ve only been to 1 NHL game since we moved here. hmpf! Although, I can sit at home in front of the HD TV and watch the game. also – Beer!
    he obviously cannot drink beer while on the job, and then gets stuck in the parking lot for an hour afterward. I guess life balances afterall.

    • StacieJanuary 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

      I’ve only been to a couple of hockey games but they are fun! Still, it’s easier to see what’s happening on TV. And, I’m not sure policing a game would be so fun if the fans get out of control!

  12. My Half Assed LifeJanuary 18, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    Turn about is fair play right?

    • StacieJanuary 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

      That’s what I though. Although, I’d rather deal with the plane and be in Wine Country!

  13. TriGirlJanuary 19, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    Oh! My husband just got back from LA and he was texting me pictures of the rooftop bar, the beach, the deck…he was “working” too. I feel your pain. I’m off to crack open a bottle of whine. Er, wine.

    • StacieJanuary 19, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

      Haha! Misery loves company.

  14. WilyGuyJanuary 19, 2013 at 1:59 am #

    Oh, that sucks. There isn’t really any comparison.

    Problem is no matter how much you complain about not being home, it always looks and sounds far more exotic than staying home. Wine country does sound too good to be true, right?

    Well, hopefully he bought and shipped cases of wonderful new wines to try?


    • StacieJanuary 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

      It’s true I never really have to worry about not having good wine around! So at least I can have some when he’s off doing something “exotic.”

  15. JackJanuary 19, 2013 at 2:38 am #

    One of my favorite memories comes from a canoe trip down the Russian River–great times.

    I have been on a lot of business trips and no matter how cool the location they aren’t the same when you are missing your other half.

    • StacieJanuary 19, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

      Aww, that’s true. Years ago, I had a job where I went to Europe a lot. It would have definitely been better with the other half!

  16. AzaraJanuary 19, 2013 at 3:54 am #

    This is how I feel a lot of the time when my husband goes to work in the morning and leaves me with the kids all day. My mat leave’s over soon though, and I’m already starting to mourn the nice parts about being at home with them all day. The grass is always greener…

    • StacieJanuary 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

      So true! For the first time, I have not been “working” for the past couple of years. It’s nice being home when kids are older. Maternity leave is tough (or at least I thought so – I felt like a zombie, felt busy all day, but accomplished very little).

  17. winopantsJanuary 19, 2013 at 4:55 am #

    It is freezing here right now, if that makes you feel any better, though possibly this is by wimpy Californian standards 😛
    Good call on the Rafanelli. Though now you have made your readers lust after a wine that is difficult to find!

    • StacieJanuary 19, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Haha – I have a new definition of freezing after living in NJ for 2.5 years! It is hard to find – that’s why we joined the wine club, which is especially nice now that we can’t just drive up there for the weekend!

  18. cathy@1970kikiprojectJanuary 19, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    not fair! not fair! but you sure did try to make your situation better! i don’t think anything can combat NJ in the winter (sounds like ontario)…except more winedrinking on the couche!
    hope rich’s travel goes smoothly!

    • StacieJanuary 19, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

      Well, I bet Canada is even colder. And the midwest. And Alaska. I’m at my limit here though 😉 He got back around 2am, ugh!

  19. Michelle LongoJanuary 19, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    Kris will send me pics of San Diego when he’s there without me and it makes my blood boil. I know exactly what you mean. I hope you get to retire soon and be where you want to – although it’ll make our meet ups harder to plan.

    • StacieJanuary 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      Yes, but it will give you a good excuse to come to CA 😉

  20. KianwiJanuary 19, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    Ha ha, I love Rich. He didn’t even bat an eye! It’s funny, because wine country always exists, but it’s not until someone you know is actually there that you feel bereft that you’re not there. This happened to me recently when my friend went to Hawaii. Instant craving for Hawaii and not-so-nice thoughts about my friend 😉

    • StacieJanuary 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      My sister just left for Hawaii! I wish I were there too. I think it’s especially true for me in the winter. I just don’t like being cold so when someone goes someplace warmer, I’m jealous!

  21. Roz@weightingfor50January 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Awww…not fair indeed! Hopefully Rich is home safe and sound, with wine in hand. (well, in suitcase!) And Hope Mr. Buster’s foot is doing better. Cheers to a great weekend Stacie!!!

    • StacieJanuary 20, 2013 at 9:31 am #

      Thanks Roz. Hope you have a great weekend too!

  22. RuthiJanuary 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    Hi Stacie
    Glad you gave the link to Rafanelli. Rick has been crazy about Russian River Wine for awhile . Glad I saw it was available only at the winery before I sent him on a wild goose chase. Hoping we can find it on a restaurant wine list. Now that it’s “chilly” here, 72 degrees today, it’s zin season! Hope all’s well.
    Maybe 49ers and Pats?

    • StacieJanuary 20, 2013 at 9:32 am #

      Ha! I dream of thinking 72 is chilly…

  23. kalliJanuary 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    ha ha that text conversation is so man versus woman…..no clue you needed to hear something else 🙂 can you ever go with him?

    • StacieJanuary 20, 2013 at 9:33 am #

      I know 🙂

      We went in June. It’s hard during the school year!

  24. LilyJanuary 19, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    That’s so not fair, hubby sending you pictures.
    “Honey, I wish you were here,” would have been more preferable than “sitting in a totally cool wine lounge…” 🙂

    • StacieJanuary 20, 2013 at 9:34 am #

      I know, right? He did tell me that over the phone later.

  25. Kate HallJanuary 20, 2013 at 2:35 am #

    Ouch, that’s painful. My husband will sometimes get to visit close to my hometown, and it makes me a little nostalgic, but there really isn’t even anyone left there since most of my family moved away, so that doesn’t even come close to what you’re experiencing! Great post! Great writing!

    • StacieJanuary 20, 2013 at 9:34 am #

      Thanks Kate, I appreciate your nice comment!

  26. JulesJanuary 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    That sucks, I would have beat him! Can you not go with him?

    • StacieJanuary 22, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

      Kids had school 🙂

  27. MichaelJanuary 20, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    It’s too bad you couldn’t have gone with him. I hate the cold. When I become rich and famous I’m totally going to move our family to a tropical island! Fun post. Welcome to Dude Write!

    • StacieJanuary 22, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

      Tropical islands are awesome!

  28. Ashley AustrewJanuary 21, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    Ahh wine country. I’m pretty jealous, too. And don’t worry: you can give him permission to do things and then still be jealous and whiny. It’s in the rule book somewhere. I think. ;p

    • StacieJanuary 22, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

      OK, good!!

  29. BizJanuary 21, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    My MIL was telling me it was “chilly” in Florida yesterday because it was in the 60’s when she woke up. We had wind chills of -10 this morning – so that definitely is not fair!

    • StacieJanuary 22, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

      Definitely not fair. Whenever I complain about NJ, I’m also glad I’m not in Canada, the Midwest, or Alaska!

  30. bill dameronJanuary 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    I feel for you Stacie! I love, love wine country, although I frequently visit whine country too. (love that quote, I am totally borrowing it) Let’s lift a glass: Here’s to wine country!

    • StacieJanuary 22, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

      Cheers Bill! Maybe one day we’ll meet in the same wine bar – one never knows!

  31. Angie UncoveredJanuary 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    I sort of live in whine country. It doesn’t matter what I’m drinking. Still, it hurts a little more when there’s a place you love to visit and your significant other gets to go WITHOUT you! On a positive note, you can take solace in the fact that he probably didn’t really enjoy it. How could he? You weren’t there!

    • StacieJanuary 22, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

      That’s right, I’m sure it was terrible 😉

  32. ZoJanuary 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    I have to admit, when it’s cold outside, I get into hibernation mode..the idea of getting myself together to take a trip, even somewhere warm(ish), doesn’t appeal as much as staying under the covers. I know the other week when we were having a warm spell, I spoke to my mountain view living mom who said it was “freezing” there…52 degrees! I said, “really, it’s warm here…52..!”

    • StacieJanuary 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

      Love that! I think I used to think 52 was cold. Now I’m tempted to put shorts on during the rare day in winter that it’s that warm.

  33. KenJanuary 21, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    Hi Stacie, welcome to Dude Write.

    I’m stuck in the frozen Canadian North, so anyplace else is looking like a heavenly paradise for me right about now. But I think that wine country would do very nicely. And you are right, a glass of wine in the cold and dark doesn’t quite work. I’m thinking that I might try to start a mojito Monday? And maybe carry it on to the rest of the week, if I can come up with a drink that works with each day, and see where that leads.

    Nice post. 🙂

    • StacieJanuary 22, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Thanks! Canadian North? I don’t think I’d survive. My California blood is at it’s limit here in NJ. Mojito Monday sounds like a good idea 😉

  34. BridgetJanuary 22, 2013 at 2:54 am #

    It isn’t fair. Just think though, he might be sick for days after that flight. Then you will both be in the cold, but you’ll be the only one who can drink wine.

    • StacieJanuary 22, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Oooh, good point!

  35. Youngman BrownJanuary 22, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    It is just too bad that he has to turn off his phone while on the plane, or else you could totally get him back.

    • StacieJanuary 22, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Haha! That would have been fun.

  36. SashaJanuary 24, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    Oooo. He’s shameless!!! Maybe we’ll just have to bring a couple of nice bottles of Pride reserve or Jacob Franklin Hoffman Lane cab while they’re in New Orleans and you can tell him about the wonderful wine he’s missing in Jersey… : )

    • StacieJanuary 25, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

      Ok! Somehow I think he’d still choose the Superbowl…

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