Monday, March 3, 2008

The Northern California Adventure Part 1 - The W (C!) Hotel

I am back from an amazing, whirlwind of a time that covered city living, country living and cabin living. There is so much to write about and not wanting to short-change the two of you who read this blog religiously ... okay you, that reads this blog occasionally ... okay, me ... all of the fun little details that make me grateful for this (sometimes!) serendipitous life of mine, I'll post about my Northern California Adventure over the next few days.

I've mentioned the "ladieth", my former college roommates Digs and Spleen, before. After 15 years, they are less like friends and more like family. If I had to pick the top 10 serendipitous moments in my life, meeting these two would rank near the top. M.F.K. Fisher said our need for food, security and love are so entwined that we can not think of one without the other. I would say my adult memories are so entwined with Digs and Spleen that I too can not think of one without the other ... and oddly enough much like M.F.K. Fisher's memories, many of ours have happened over food and wine.

It was no wonder then, that we drove direct from the airport to Dig's new place and landed promptly in the kitchen. Wine was opened, bread was sliced and drizzled with olive oil salt, pepper & parmesan and placed in the oven while cheese and salami were being arranged on a platter. And the conversation? Had anyone been eavesdropping they wouldn't have understood a word. The ladieth conversations move quickly, jump topics and are peppered with memories, inside jokes and the ability to stop mid sentence without finishing and move on with complete comprehension of what was left unsaid. I'm convinced that if we were ever taken as POW's we could formulate an escape plan in three words or less. That and we've got Digs on our side.

Digs works for Goldman Sachs in San Francisco. No one is exactly sure what she does there, except for me. I've seen Alias and I'm convinced Digs, aka "Sydney Bristow" as I now refer to her, is busy saving the planet. When I call her at the office, I know I'm really being patched through to Thailand where she's doing a roundhouse kick and laying out someone evil. But I can't keep a secret to save my life, so I don't pry.

"Sydney" just bought her first place in Walnut Creek, which immediately became referred to as the "Dub C". It is gorgeous, swank and modern. White bathroom towels are folded and placed just so next to a deep bathtub, every room is filled with large orchids in cool vases, the walls are painted a deep grayish blue color and offset with accent colors of white, espresso and brown. Her bedding came up to my chest with its down filled white pillows and brown duvet. It is impressive, especially to me as I have been in my place for over 3 years and have neither painted nor hung any photos, let alone curtains. In a mere three months Digs has not only painted, hung pictures AND curtains but managed to make her place look like a penthouse suite in a W Hotel. And what could I possibly know about a penthouse suite in a W Hotel? Well funny you should ask ...

So we were in Los Angeles a few years ago. It was Digs birthday and the three of us drove up to L.A. with a few friends to stay for an evening at the W Hotel and party it up at the local clubs. We were ghetto and had told the hotel when making the reservation that there were two people staying in the room but they NEEDED two queen beds. Of course there were 5, potentially 6 of us (I'm sure they've never seen that one before), we were stealth. Kev and Digs went in to get the keys, while our small (but fiscally savvy!) army waited outside in the car. Eventually we'd get the call to come to "PH 12."

"PH 12? What the F kind of room is that? Are we staying in some outhouse of a building that is attached to the W?" We finally figured out what the PH was when we got into the elevator, scanned the numbers up until we got to the "PH", or Penthouse level. We laughed, they were obviously playing a joke on us. "Very funny," we called them back. "What room are we really in?"

Talk about serendipity, we really were in the Penthouse suite. Someone at the front desk must have accidentally put us in the wrong room or thought Digs and Kev were famous or something. We all stared quietly at the two room penthouse complete with two bathrooms, living room, kitchen and bar and wondered if they could charge us for something we didn't ask for or if they would kick us out once they discovered we were nobody. Whatever it was, we weren't chancing it. We promptly started screaming, running back and forth between the rooms, trying on bathrobes and throwing the Bliss bath products in our bags before falling on the couch and cracking open a bottle of wine. We couldn't believe it ... which was the mantra repeated over and over again all night.

As nice as the W was, it didn't hold a candle to Digs place in the Dub C. Like our time in L.A. one night was not enough, but "Beef Camp" and Yosemite called.

And Digs, I know how we really got that upgrade, it was all of those frequent flyer miles you've earned travelling overseas for "work", wasn't it?