After ten years of nonprofit work in the Florida tropics, my life took an unexpected turn – north. An opportunity came to work for a winery in beautiful Walla Walla, Washington. I would make that crazy leap, leaving behind my friends, my family, and most of my belongings.
I made my way to the beach for one final sunrise, carrying an empty wine bottle that once held a 2002 Merlot. Apropos, as 2002 was the year I moved to Vero Beach. I filled the bottle halfway with the Atlantic Ocean and replaced the cork.
I took the scenic route on the road trip of a lifetime. From Vero Beach I headed north to Huntsville, Alabama, spending a few days with my dad and nancy, my brothers and their girlfriends. Edward flew in to join me. After a bluesy night in Memphis, we turned west, traveling a route across the southwest through Dallas and Albuquerque, skirting the Nevada desert through Vegas and Reno, and climbing the mountains of Northern California to Eureka. Here we hiked among the majestic redwoods and dirtied our toes in the charcoal sands of the west coast. We hit the beach as the fog rolled in at sunset, my Merlot bottle in hand and a blanket wrapped tightly around my shoulders. I completed my bottle project with the Pacific Ocean, creating a whole new one-of-a-kind vintage. I call it the 2012 Sequoia.
The final leg of the trip took us twelve hours through Portland and edging the Columbia River Valley before arriving in Walla Walla, Washington, nine days after we took the wheel.
My teal Concorde had 149,499 miles on it when I embarked on this journey. We traveled 4500 miles through 14 states with no a/c, two pets, and my whole life packed in tight. (See my pictures on Facebook!)
I am currently headquartered in Walla Walla during harvest – one of the most exciting times of the year in the wine industry. I am learning a TON. A few friends (including my mother) have suggested I blog about all I am learning and doing. So here you go, mom :). Cheers!