Today we were making final preparations for having some visitors. Keith and Marlene Stillman had embarked on another of their road trips touring parts of the United States by car. This time their route had taken them from their home in Virginia, across the more southerly states, through a few desserts and now they were just a relatively short distance from us at Yosemite Valley. They planned to join us in Tomales later in the afternoon and Bets had graciously said they could stay here with us.
What a wonderful plan: we’ll fly 5000 miles to California, you drive 3500 miles to California, and we can meet up for a party. Excellent! Life was made for such things.
Carol set about doing some laundry to change the bed linen so that Keith and Marlene could stay in the downstairs bedroom. We would move up the creaking spiral staircase into the roof space where there are four single beds resembling ship’s berths. They are full size beds but Keith’s a big guy and we fit better. Then it was off to good ol’ Whole Foods to invest part of our lifetime savings in some good-looking chunks of beef to feed the weary travellers.
1:30 PM. After our sunny lunch on the deck we had a phone call from our fellow party animals. They had left Yosemite and were expecting to arrive in our neck of the woods by about 4:00 PM. Great, we’ll have things ready.
3:15 PM. We had a second phone call saying that their car was having trouble. Unfortunately their route was taking them across the southern parts of the Napa Valley wine area and their car kept insisting on pulling off the road into wineries to sample the wares. “We may have some wine with us.” Perfectly understandable and good news.
4:30 PM. A strange but very clean and swish looking car pulled into our driveway. Keith and Marlene had found us. Let hugs and the reunion commence.
4:35 PM. First bottle of refreshment opened. Travellers’ stories commence.
8:00 PM. Weber fired up to the accompaniment of fourth bottle of refreshment.
9:00 PM. Steaks seared and consumed to accompaniment of fifth bottle of refreshment.
10:00 PM. Slightly slurred stories to the accompaniment of a half bottle of port.
12:00 PM. Festivities draw to a close and party animals retire.