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(Practically) Perfect Mother’s Day

Napa, California: Happy Mother's Day to all my Dear Sweet Readers! Such a lovely holiday (thank you, Hallmark!) that we Mom's get ONE DAY out of 365 to be celebrated. Seems to me we should be celebrated the other 364 too... but what do I know? This is my first Mother's Day without my Mom. Bittersweet, but as I told my siblings: I saw Mom this morning when I looked in the mirror.

My Only Child (whom I birthed... without medications of any kind... in a third world country... if anyone is keeping score) phoned me from Mexico where she is attending a wedding. My Darling Girl has also sent a gift to our home, which I will open... if we ever get around to actually going home.


My Driver knows how to make me happy on Mother's Day. He drove me to Berkeley to the Pac-10 Multi-Event Championship. You may be more familiar with the other name of this event - the Decathlon (men) and the Heptathlon (women).

This is the first time I have ever been to a decathlon-exclusive event. Usually these multi-sport competitions are held in conjunction with a regular track meet. I was shocked that less than 100 fans were in the stands, and probably 80 of them were related to athletes.

Freaky, eh? I am not one to brag (LOL) but if the Pac-10 held this event in Eugene, the stands would be absolutely bursting.

Just saying.

If you are tired of seeing photos of Duck Ashton Eaton on this website, it is best you just go back to playing Solitaire, because I just adore this Oregonian (from Bend, Oregon) and have taken 3,412 photos of him. The kid is simply amazing. Did I mention (about 139 times) that he is the WORLD RECORD HOLDER in the Indoor Heptathlon? Well, he is.

Plus, besides being practically perfect in every way, he is just a really nice guy.

Ashton won the Pac-10 decathlon today. Eaton won seven of the ten events (100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m, 110m high hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, 1500m).

Oregon Junior Brianne Theisen (from Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Canada) won the women's heptathlon event -100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin and 800m.

It was a great day for the Duck women. Erin Funkhouser (leading in this photo of the 800 meters) finished fifth overall. Oregon women have 14 points going into the Pac-10 championships next weekend!

And it was also a great day for the men, as native Oregonian Marshall Ackley finished third overall. Ashton earned 10 points for first place, and Marshall earned 6 points for third - 16 points for the Ducks.

This is huge.

If you are a Duck fan.

And who isn't?

I love My Ducks!

It was a wonderful day at Berkeley until - during the last event - a Cal official came up to me and asked if I had a press pass. I did not. I am not press. He told me my camera lens was too big and the Pac-10 "owned the rights" to the event, so if I continued to take photographs he would confiscate my camera.


Did you all notice the size of the crowd at the meet today? There wasn't even a ticket required to enter the meet. No charge. Free. No one to take your ticket or inspect your bags. No concessions. It was a free-for-all. I was so disturbed, Dear Reader. I have been to 3,587,907 track meets all over the world and never, ever, ever, have I been told my lens was too big.

Lens envy?

I hope you all enjoy these photos, as they are apparently in strict violation of NCAA regulations.

Please tell me you will visit me at Alcatraz.

Before my incarceration, the Best Husband EVER took me to Bottega for a special Mother's Day Dinner. Washington Street in Yountville is a very dangerous place. Several of the best restaurants in America (including the Best Restaurant in America) are within a three-block radius.

Your credit card may actually quiver if you enter this realm.

Since my "real" camera is hiding (in shame), I brought my baby camera out tonight and snapped a few "not very good" photos that I will still post on my blog tonight. (Against my better judgment, so sorry!) Bottega is just a beautiful dining space. Perfectly designed. Not too large, not too small, not too noisy. Perfect.

Perfect (to me). I just love Michael Chiarello and his NapaStyle store/catalog. Chiarello is the Jimmy Buffett of Napa - he will sell anything.

See the large block of something in this photo? It is a block of frozen salt. Pink salt. (I don't think you will find this at your local Winn-Dixie.) Served atop this block of frozen pink salt is raw halibut with mushrooms. DT ordered this dish. He enjoyed it, but for some reason, thought it was a "bit salty".

I was a bit more conservative and ordered a salad of roasted golden & Chioggia beets,Point Reyes blue cheese & pistachio vinaigrette. 

Loved it.

We shared a pasta dish of crispy Potato Gnocchi (actually fried), english pea & tallegio fonduta and early spring vegetables. This dish is usually topped with crisp ham disks of some sort which we declined.


For my main course, I ordered the Mother's Day Special "Fileto Piemontese alla Griglia" - wood grilled Piemontese Filet Mignon, local morrel mushrroms & fava beans, english pea fonduta and truffle Madeira jus. (It was steak with a bunch of savory vegetable stuff underneath.) This was - without a doubt - one of the most tender steaks I have ever eaten... and I swear on my bottle of Lipitor, I had three bites and stopped.

Lunch tomorrow.

Dave ordered the linguini and clam thing that he always orders.

Not that we needed any more food (our doggie bag collection is quite extensive considering we don't even have a dog), I ordered the "side" of Delfina Potatoes, smashed & fried with crisp garlic, parsley, lemon and flake salt. 

I mean, seriously, wouldn't anyone?

It was a lovely Mother's Day. Until my next update, I remain, your Motherly correspondent.

RV Park: 
 - Skyline Wilderness Park. This campground is operated by county. The 39 sites are cozy and on gravel. Some full hook-up 30/50-amp sites, but most sites are water and electric only. Bathhouse on-site, and a laundromat just a few blocks down the road. The park has miles of hiking and equestrian trails and actually has a path that leads one mile to the river where it joins the trails at Kennedy Park. Though very rural, this campground is just minutes to downtown Napa and would be a good choice if you are camping with kids. Dogs are allowed in the campground, but are not allowed on the trails. Strictly enforced!