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Fermenting a Relationship
So, our first road trip is now behind us. Although it was good overall, I will have to say it probably wasn't the fairest test of our ability to travel together since I had to work for most of the trip. Hardly a romantic getaway when I spend my days dressed like a news anchor (his description) and schmoozing while he meanders around town taking long frequent breaks to read his book in various scenic locations. Yes, I was jealous.

It wasn't until later Saturday afternoon when I could flip the switch to "weekend away together," and by then I was pretty well worn out. Nevertheless we were in wine country (the "Sideways" variety) so I managed to make the best of it.

I was a bit nervous that I would be left in the dust with the wine tasting since, well, he is called Wine Guy for a reason. I've learned to appreciate wine more since we've started dating, but I just can't get quite as excited about it as he and his friends do. But give me a kiwi infused vodka martini (which I had on Thursday night, his was jalapeno infused and spicy!) and I'm in heaven.

Anyway we were visiting one of Wine Guy's friends who's working "the harvest" at a local winery. I was prepared for lots of in-the-know wine chat and thought I'd find it interesting enough, though not my first choice of a vacation. I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed the experience -and the wine. At one of her friend's wineries, we got a private tasting and tour and even got to sip partially fermented grenache right out of the tank! Pretty cool. It's amazing how much you learn without even trying. But, then again, I suppose your tongue really is doing all the work.

Enough of the travel log. I'm sure you want to know the dirt - did we get on each other's nerves or what? The answer: Sometimes. Which is about what you should expect. But there were two outstanding realizations I had that are worth sharing with the world as they further cemented in my mind just how lucky I am to have found this person. Here they are:

1) He not only doesn't hate that I sing along loudly and poorly to cheezy music in the car, but he even sings along with me. I brought my iPod, which is full of every awful song I know every word to (I admit I am anything but a music snob). With every new song I chose, I pushed the envelope a little further to see when he would draw the line. Any second I was expecting to hear, "That's it! I refuse to allow Bon Jovi!" But he indulged me, though he did request a few of his favorites which I was unable to provide. I thought for sure I would get nixed at the Carpenters. But when "Top of the World" came on he hushed me, saying, "I love this song." We arrived at the winery in mid-duet and let the car run while we sat in the parking lot belting out the song at the top of our lungs. Our friends following behind us in another car finally walked up to our car to see what was keeping us. When they opened my door and heard the 70's extravaganza coming from inside, I heard, 'you gotta be kidding me!" followed by a slammed door. We laughed but didn't miss a word til the song reached its sappy conclusion.

2) I've told you this before: when tired and undernourished, I can be quite a handful (see Dating on an Empty Stomach if you haven't already). The word is "hangry" if you recall. This happened a couple of times over the four days we travelled together. It got to the point when I'm sure Wine Guy would have been happy to pull over to the side of road and leave me there, pouting. But he didn't. He didn't let me walk all over him either, which in hindsight I appreciate. But he also didn't lose his temper and let it spiral out of control either. He just let it ride. Perfect response. Later, when my blood sugar was back to normal and I apologized (yet again) he responded, "That's OK. I actually think it's kind of funny when you get mad." Hey, whatever gets him through it (and keeps him still wanting to be with me). God bless the fates that brought me this man.

Oh, and trust me, I put up with plenty from him too. I just vowed that this blog was not going to be a bitch session about my boyfriend since that wouldn't be all that fair now, would it? Wine Guy thinks I'm painting him as too perfect and perhaps romanticized. So feel free to project whatever annoying habits you expect from a man on to Wine Guy. I'm sure he will appreciate it :-)

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