I love living in San Francisco because it is to my mind one of the most beautiful, interesting and fun cities in the world. But surely one of the things I love most about it is that you can easily and quickly get out of it, and be somewhere truly different, yet at least as wonderful. We go for weekenders at least once and sometimes several times a year up on the Sonoma Coast, a place about which I've previously gushed. But we can just as easily make a day trip of it.
This morning, for example, we went up to The Fremont Diner in Sonoma, about an hour north, to meet up with a couple friends for brunch. As soon as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge, the frenzy of city living peels away in layers behind you, and before long you're surrounded by rolling hills, and then fields of grapevines currently undergoing their autumnal turn of color. We sat at a picnic table outdoors, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather -- truly, our second Indian summer so far -- and ate our chicken fried steak and shrimp 'n grits as hens sauntered around us. An hour later, we're back home, like nothing ever happened.
We went up today, a Saturday, to accommodate our friends' schedule, but for us it's become the exception to the rule. Now that we're both independent, the very concept of "weekend" becomes meaningless. In fact, half the time we don't know what day it actually is. On the one hand, it's wonderful being liberated from the rigidity of a Monday-to-Friday work week. On the other, there's nothing, no cadence to prevent us from just working all the time, every day, without stopping to take a breath.
And so we make the occasional trip to the Wine Country, sometimes on a Monday, or perhaps on a Wednesday. Because we can. And because if we don't, our hard-fought independence will ironically enslave us into quotidien drudgery.