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41July 7, 2013

We went out of town for my birthday.


We stayed at the Albion River Inn, which is much too fancy for people like us. I first went there years ago, with a girlfriend who had more expensive taste than I did, and I never forgot it. Lala and I went there for our first wedding anniversary (six years ago!). This year, I used my birthday as an excuse. 

I can't remember a more relaxing trip, ever. 


We did nothing. Yesterday, true, we made the grueling five mile drive to Mendocino to see the craft fair (shades of hemp soap and spoon windchimes) and to eat fudge while sitting in front of the excellent Gallery Bookshop. I found yarn (Lala found it, actually -- the Mendocino Yarn Shop has moved, and is still worth seeking out). That was the extent of our out-of-hotel adventures. 

Beyond that? We moved from table to tub and back again. Y'see, in some of the rooms at this inn, the spa-tub is IN THE WINDOW (in front of private land where no one but you will walk) and you can lie in the tub and watch the ocean. (Room 17 is stunning.) 

View from tub. 

I read a lot. (While in the tub, mostly.)

Lala drew. 


I knitted a little.

But mostly, I sat in the tub. I sat in the tub in the morning. I sat in the tub at midnight. I sat in the tub before dinner and got our breakfast coffee in to-go cups so I could get back in the water. Yesterday afternoon, I stayed in the tub for three hours, after which I stumbled to the bed for an afternoon nap (which I don't actually remember doing. I wasn't drinking -- it just felt like I was). Last night, we lit the fire and got in the tub. We got out to do grown-up things (taxes, of course) and then while Lala slept, I got back in and listened to the waves break in the dark. 

Today, we left the hotel, sorrow in our hearts. We made it up to ourselves by wine-tasting in the Anderson Valley as we drove through it. Now, you have to know that Lala and I both enjoy four-dollar wine. Livin' high for us is wine on sale at Safeway (true! You can get a fourteen-dollar bottle of wine on sale there for seven!). We don't know what's good or what's bad, and we don't know how to taste. And neither of us have ever been financially able to go to a winery and put our noses in the air and say, "Whyyy, yes, darling, this DOES hint of palest sorrowful rose and alabaster mint grown on the steppes of inner-east temperate Yugoslavia." 

But today, we went to a few wineries on the way home, because buying a bottle or two won't break the bank (luckily). We were honest at Husch Winery, and we told Susan, "We have NO idea what we're doing." We found a few bottles we liked and brought them home, and this is a conversation we just had (word for word), a few minutes ago on the porch while our salmon cooked on the grill and while we sipped our incredible bottle of Breggo Chardonnay Reserve. 

Lala: The nose of this is...

Rachael: Nosey! 

[Falling over laughing.]

A moment later, while tasting it Very Seriously: 

Rachael: This tastes like...

Lala: Things we can't afford to eat! 

Takeaway: We are not adult enough to drink wine. 

Speaking of adults, this is how Clementine looked when we left: 


And today:


Things are good at Chez Hehu. I like 41 WAY better than 40. 

And apropos of nothing but I think this is lovely and I adore Dustin Hoffman more than I ever did before (which was a lot)--please watch this about how he found out he'd been brainwashed (it's worth your time):


Why didn't I know it was your birthday? HAPPY BIRTHDAY! *hug!* *mwah!* Glad you had such a wonderful time. :)

You are the prettiest schmoo EVAR and I am so glad you had such a wonderful time. That sounds like the best vacation ever <3

Now I want to stay at that hotel and spend the entire time in the tub! At our old house, we had a hot tub on the deck and I spent HOURS in it....and I miss it, terribly.
Happy birthday...I am glad you had such a wonderful soul-enriching time.

Happy Birthday Rachael!!!! Looks like a beautiful place. I love Mendocino..

Happy belated birthday. I love hearing your stories! Thanks for posting the Dustin Hoffman video. Very meaningful. I love that guy!

Thanks for sharing that interview clip. I'm a big fan of his, and Tootsie is a favorite movie of mine. I particularly love how he can't talk about it his "epiphany" without getting choked up.

Also, belated happy birthday! I liked 41 better than 40' too, and 42 was even better. You go!

it sounds like an awesome time!! Love that area!! hope to see you soon!

Happy Birthday, Rachael! Sounds like you had a wonderful time...if you and Lala ever want to do a Napa wine tasting trip, my husband and I would love to host you...He's the real wine snob, but he knows a lot of great vineyards to go to...We could bring Beckie and Brian too!

Happy, Happy Birthday!! What a perfect way to celebrate!

The 40s are awesome!

That Inn looks wonderful.

What a phenomenal interview with Hoffman!

Happy belated birthday!

Looks like a beautiful weekend. I love lazy getaways like that.

Happy... no, wait, I'm writing you a letter.

Happy belated Birthday, Rachael. How did I not know it was yesterday? I think I just figured it out - didn't have computer on and phone sucks on FB. Sounds like you had an awesome B'day and I can''t believe you two have been married for 6 years already! Hope you have a fantastic year!

Happy Birthday, beautiful!

Wow. Dustin Hoffman interview was amazing. Thank you!

I have good news for you - I'm 54 and love it even more than my 40's! Happy birthday Rachel - enjoy every year as they come! Also, thanks for the interview - Hoffman is wonderful.

Happy belated birthday!! Sounds devine, and you both look beautiful & so happy! XO

sorry I missed your birthday; glad it was a good one.
I was 50 in May.
Loving it so far.

Happy birthday! We were in Mendocino right after this (July 7-12). Maybe it was you who cleared the Mendocino yarn shop of all the locally produced spinning fiber! :P

I missed a birthday!

Happy Happy Birthday a few weeks late!

It's going to be a great year.

Firstly, thank you for being so smart and posting that interview with D.H......
and blessing to you for you birthday....you bring many useful things to the world.....hope you had cake!

I love that clip! I just teared up. I've always loved him but now it's beyond that! I walked past him once, seriously, in the street. It was the most random, obscure thing ever, being that I live in Perth, Western Australia - the remotest city in the world. No one noticed him and I did a 'stop in my tracks double take.' He winked and kept walking. The fact I was even in the city on a school day was also totally random because I had been to a training meeting and was in a rush to get back to school. Missed your birthday, you looked smashing. Love the red retro dress.

thank you so very much for sharing that clip of dustin hoffman - i shared it w/family & friends - even more now he is someone i would like to know - catherine

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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