After driving up PCH's foggy ribbon to Santa Barbara, I had the pleasure of the company of dear friends whom I knew the five years I lived in Santa Barbara. I arrived at the Sandman Motel, which turned out to be the hotel my old apt. complex put my son Ian and me in when they were doing some work. I called George and Amy, who were entertaining Amy's folks. They invited me over for a nice risotto and a yummy Rhone blend and amazing cheese and five dogs competing for attention and I had a wonderful time. Amy's parents are fun to be around, adventurous and lively. It was a quick evening, though, as I arrived later than I expected, and I needed sleep.
Monday morning I checked out and drove to Lompoc to see my friend Christopher Buckley, who'd just received a Guggenheim. We met at a wonderful Laotian/Thai restaurant, Suvann's, which serves all the usual dishes, but they make and serve a homemade pork and lemon grass sausage that's wonderful spicy and slightly sweet, like your lover's earlobe. We ate and talked Poetolitics, then went to his backyard to continue and philosophize over a delightful and inexpensive wine from Pixley, of all places. The marketing writing on the back was effusive, praising the "breath-taking central valley" (I might have used the term "choking," but then again I wouldn't have got the job) and the winery's environmentally friendly practices (When have you not thought of Pixley and environmentally friendly in the same sentence?). Not bad for a two-buck cab franc from an outlet store--a little roasted like old-style zin, but enough clove on the palate to make things interesting. Chris was great and I we talked for several hours about everything from cats to catharsis. My only regret was that Nadia, Chris' wife, was at work. Hummingbirds sipped sugar water. The sky was blue, white where the clouds smeared.
Tomorrow I'm journeying home to sweet Amy, but this trip will continue to Monday night in SB and on to Turley and Fresno and family and dear, dear Peter Everwine, when I'm finally, finally home.