NAPA, Calif. USA - Our friends Mary Jo and Peter - of Healdsburg, Calif, Cape Cod, Mass, & Costa Rica - met us in downtown Napa at Joe's Restaurant on the river for a lunch & catch-up on everybody's lives session Saturday.
I haven't been to Napa in probably 25 years, though it was at the Napa Register newspaper that I got my start in journalism. A good portion of the war stories I tell in class have to do with that newspaper, the wildman editor I worked for (John Shields) and what it was like to be 25 and know absolutely nothing about the business. (I graduated with a degree in English, but got an advanced education in what a reporter needed to know - in about two weeks from Shields.)
Napa Register - still in the same downtown building..
Mary Jo & Peter are packing their bags right now to head to Cape Cod to spend the winter. Yes, the winter. On Cape Cod. Yes, the same Cape Cod where thousands of tourists flock every summer to vacation.
It seems that Mary Jo & Peter have never spent a winter in the Northeast and decided it would be, well, fun.
We'll check in with them in February, when they haven't seen the sun for, oh, maybe a month, to see how the fun is going.
They still own several hundred acres of land in Costa Rica where at one time we thought we would sail Sabbatical and anchor off the beach. We even had plans of opening a sailing school right there near Domincal, until I read up that in order to import our boat into Costa Rica, we would have to pay a 100 percent duty on it. That's 100 percent of the value of the boat. Ouch.
That plan got scuttled but Mary Jo & Peter did build a nice house that they barely visit, Costa Rica being waaaaay far away from the U.S. by any mode of travel.
They were intrigued with the tale of our traveling hot tub, however and also viewed a lot of our Mexico photos. Peter has built houses on the beaches of Sanibel Island and had some advice on how deep to plant the pilings for our house - eight feet below the sand and eight feet above.
The entire Napa riverfront is being redeveloped with a riverwalk planned and large retaining walls in place to fight the flooding that hits nearly every winter. The restaurant where we ate was a first-class pub and crowded even late in the afternoon when we departed, full of amber ale and cheeseburgers.
Napa River view from Joe's upstairs deck