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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Forever Friends

~Tuesday, December 14, 2021~

Day 548

Our last day in Napa was met with trying to pack in as much as possible. We definitely learned a lesson that 2 weeks is way too short, so we’ll be doubling the amount next year. I hate feeling rushed. After getting some advice from my dear friend Karin a few months back, we made a promise to see each other on our visit to Napa. So we made it happen….today! It had been years since our last visit in person, but felt like just yesterday that we’d seen each other. That’s just how some friendships are, right? Like Karena, Karin and I met back in our kid’s preschool days. Not only was she a good friend, but became the school’s fearless leader taking on the task of President and helping establish positive, lasting changes with the school. I completely admire her as an amazing woman, mom, wife, attorney and friend. We met, per her suggestion, at The Barnhouse coffee shop in downtown Napa. And what a cool place it was. They’ve only been open 2 months but have one dialed in business. It’s one of those settings that you could hang out all day with a great book or good friend with their inviting leather couches, 2 fireplaces and always flowing beverages. Once again, it was way too short of a visit, since Karin had to get to work. But I’m glad I got what I did. We hope to see eachother again soon since she and Alan have plans to tour some of the U.S. in the near future. Would be great to share some adventures together for sure!

Jeff was eager to get back to finishing Shane’s shelf project for the portable storage shed. And since we both needed a vehicle for the day, Jeff had to borrow Shane’s truck to pick up parts to finish his task. After I dropped him off, I headed over to the River Trail to meet Michele and walk the dogs. With my delays, we didn’t have as much time as we would have liked, but managed to take in the crisp, cold, beautiful morning anyway.

Poor Sadie had a late lunch before we headed over to see my dear friend, Angie, her husband Dave and their son Nicholas. Like most of my dearest friends, Angie and I have known each other for years. I will never forget her annual wreath making parties and our lovely days walking near her amazing property in Carneros. They are the “do anything for anybody type of families” and the hardest working people I’ve ever met as they manage their lovely property and grape growing business. I also taught their son Nicholas piano for many years, so of course it begged the question, “are you still playing?”, to which his reply was that it’s taken a back seat since college began. Angie had ordered an amazing lunch of beet salad, focaccia bread and minestrone soup from the Food Shed. How will I have room for dinner? Their black lab Stormy and Sadie had a great time too

as we walked the property a bit and visited Dave and Nicholas in their “mancave” barn. They were building a pen for their 35 baby chicks, which are currently in a 100-degree “incubator” for the next 3 weeks. Sadie also got to meet the adult egg-laying chickens

in their luxurious new coup that Angie and Dave built recently. No coyote would dare disturb them now. It must be so nice to have fresh eggs everyday….something I would like to have down the road, at our future abode. Sadly, Angie and Dave along with other property owners lost their battle a few years back with the development of a new 100-acre resort I had taken a video of a few days ago on a walk with Sadie (see Day 544 post). All so sad, but in true Troppy fashion, are letting the developers have it with their weekly dumping of cow and horse manure along their easement Ha, ha!!! Great payback! After plenty of running (mainly by Sadie), Stormy had to be picked up by her “chariot”, Nicholas’ new ATV. Pretty funny.🤣 It was so nice of Angie to carve out her whole afternoon for our visit. Will really miss her, but plan on keeping in touch and seeing each other on our next visit “home”.

Next, a quick stop at Karena’s to drop off the cheese I bought her a few days ago. Luca was so excited to have a visitor and Karena and I were able to get in some more catch up time over a cup of tea. I’m so glad I got to see her one more time before leaving tomorrow.

Since Jeff was still not done with his project and had Shane’s truck, I had to pick up Shane after work to bring him home. Originally the plan was to meet Michele, Sylvia and Jerry for cocktails before Jeff’s and my date night at our favorite tapas restaurant, ZuZu’s. But Michele texted me that ZuZu’s was closed (I guess due to staffing shortages). So Plan B. Enter Angele, a fabulous French country restaurant in Napa. Though I was happy that Shane and Jeff had some good quality father/son time, sadly Jeff never was able to meet up with us. In the end, after Sylvia and Jerry left, it was just me and my bestie. And our meals were delicious….Michele ordered a half chicken, me a risotto dish and we split an order of brussel sprouts. Yum!! While we were finishing up our dinner, an acquaintance of Michele’s stopped at our table to ask if she was a former teacher and that maybe she had substituted in his high school class years ago. The answer was “yes”. Blake, now 38 and a talented artist and single father of 1, shared photos of his work and invited Michele to join him for a glass of wine this Friday. With Michele’s timeless beauty and charm, the guys young and older are coming out of the woodwork since she’s put out the dating vibes. We gave each other a lasting hug and said our goodbyes until next time (hopefully not too far away).

Beating Jeff back to the trailer, I dreaded arriving back to freezing temperatures. The trailer was 47 degrees inside. Jeff had left a few windows open during the day to air out the trailer, which it needs on occasion. Thankfully, with a small space, things heat up quickly. Full blast fireplace, full blast space heater. After things got up to a suitable temperature, I managed to finish cleaning out the remainder of the cabinets and storage under the couch that we’d like to bring to the storage unit. Why carry the extra weight of things that we’re not using?? I think I must have pulled out about 150-200 pounds worth of stuff with my gauge always being a case of wine (40 lbs.) Not too long after I got back, Jeff and Shane showed up. At least I got to see our son one more time before leaving Napa. So happy that he’ll be joining us for Christmas!!

Whew, what a day. Time for some much needed rest with a lot ahead of us tomorrow.

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