This weekend is Slow Bowl. Yes, I wrote Slow Bowl, not super bowl. Now most of you reading this have no idea what Slow Bowl is but I'm going to tell you. Slow Bowl, is an event started three years ago, coordinated and orchestrated by my friend Shannon, at which many of my SlowTrav friends gather, in Paso Robles CA, for a weekend of good food, good wine, oh and maybe some super bowl watching. We missed the first Slow Bowl but went to the second last year and had been looking forward to this year's with the giddiness of kids looking forward to summer break.
You all know what happened though.
We had to cancel because of my diagnosis. The doctor just didn't think it would be smart traveling across the country, during chemo week, exposed to the recycled air in those germ factories we call airplanes.
This week though I received one of many incredible gifts (I will write about the others later - hey I need a post for each day in February). This one though from our Slow Bowl friends ... an entire case of wine, from the wineries they will be visiting and tasting at over the course of this weekend. To be thought of by them at this point in my life, in really such an appropriate way, touched both Chris and I.
So to all the Slow Bowlers, thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and caring. I've said it many times and will continue to say it, the support, love and prayers of all of you has awed and inspired me and helped make this difficult time extremely bearable.
Nevertheless though, while video conferencing yesterday morning, via Skype, with the party house (where we were lucky enough to stay last year), while fun, also saddened me. Great seeing and talking to everyone, but I have to admit, the pity me party began. So I dug into the big brown couch, and prepared for a day of mindless television watching, and waiting for my Big Love CD to arrive in the mail.
I guess Chris new this might happen because he and Becky had planned a surprise for me ever since the wine arrived. Chris snuck off to Whole Foods yesterday, telling me he was surprising me with dinner (a fearful thought all on its own), and banning me from the fridge. Then apparently Becky got to work researching the wines (which I discovered but to what end I had no idea).
So, after both Chris and Becky suggesting I shower because I smell, and spending many hours on the couch (with growing suspicions something was going on), I spied our good friends, Stephanie and Rick walking up to our front door. Still in my PJs, I high-tailed it upstairs as Chris explained that he arranged a surprise wine-tasting with our friends here, since I couldn't be in California tasting wines with my friends there.
After a few minutes of pity crying on my bed, I pulled out of it, hopped in the shower and returned downstairs to my friends and a spread of cheese and bread (Steph even brought over her famous baked brie), and wine. Then as first Becky educated us to the wine, followed by Steph and Rick's daughter, Allison, when Beck left to babysit, we sat for several hours sipping wine, talking and laughing.
The Wine Tasting Spread
We enjoyed tasting three wines yesterday, Midnight Cellars Aurora White Wine, which I found a flowery, sweet nose but found it much crisper than I expected based on the nose, Adelaida Pinot Noir, which was light in the mouth, but I thought had more guts than many Pinots (as in, I don't think I'd have any qualms pairing this with some hefty meat; it was quite dry), and Jada's Jersey Girl, a Syrah - which to me tastes like a great, smokey winter wine to have with some serious meat.
Becky Describes our Wine
Allison Takes Her Turn
NJ Slow Bowlers - Rick, Chris, Stephanie and Kim
Then with a nudge by me, Chris hit he kitchen where he prepared grilled NY strip steaks, Asparagus with Parmegiana and Potatoes Delfina (from the famed restaurant outside Florence). With this we enjoyed my favorite of the three wines we had tried earlier, the Jada Jersey Girl (come on - who could resist the name). For dessert, a chocolate layer cake. It was a great night - so thanks so much to you, Chris, Becky, Stephanie, Rick and Allison for creating a special day for me.
I finished the night with one more video chat with my friends on the West Coast. It was a good one, getting to see more of the Slow Bowlers this time than in the morning and participating in their fun, even for just a short time.
I didn't feel so sad either. Instead, I remembered and butchered a line from Passover, "Next year in Paso Robles."