And this past weekend, my not-boyfriend and I took a little road trip, to see Mr Waits play a live benefit concert in northern California. And it’s sort of impossible for me to even begin to express the significance of this event – of Tom Waits. Of Tom Waits in my life. I actually started writing a story about it last year, about the way that Tom Waits and his music have been this constant thread in my life, all interconnected and synergistic, and all the giddy tiptoe kisses and all the gutwrench broken hearts. And that story is already 17 pages long, not even close to completion, so I do hope you’ll understand that there’s no way for me to explain the contextual significance of this weekend in any real or meaningful detail.
We hit the road pretty early, fueled by veggie juice and black tea and wanderlust. Which took us to about mid-morning. Luckily I’d packed snacks!
That held us over until the afternoon. There was also a latte pit stop at some point in there, and then on the last leg of our drive we snacked on these fantastic RAW barbecue zucchini chips that we’d made on a whim very very late a few nights earlier, while wee Waits Rebhal was asleep (we had some serious zucchini overflow going on). “The couple that sits cross-legged on the living room floor in the middle of the night slicing mountains of zucchini together, stays together”, I think is how that old saying goes? Right?
We reached San Francisco in the late afternoon/early evening, and headed straight for our hotel. The Hotel California. The hotel that houses Millennium restaurant!
We had later-night reservations for dinner at Millennium, so after checking in, relaxing a bit, and freshening up, we headed out for a bit of pre-dinner exploring. What we ended up finding was a bookstore-turned-bar, and some incredible seasonal cocktails.
These were some seriously fantastic cocktails, so elegantly crafted and seasonally spot-on. Perfect to combat the cold and windy weather outside!
I happen to think that drinks and great conversation should always be promptly followed by a knock-your-socks-off meal, don’t you?
And when it was finally all said and done?
As we were getting ready to depart, I glanced across the room to the end of the bar, and . . . did a little double take! Whoa! I said to my not-boyfriend, that couple is a pair of dopplegangers for Whitney and Jason!
My not-boyfriend turned around, looked at the couple, looked back at me, and said Nope, that’s totally Whitney and Jason.
If you’re not familiar, Whitney Lauritsen – aka Eco-Vegan Gal – is an LA-based super sweet and totally kick-ass (also, absolutely stunning) vegan media maven who has taken YouTube by storm! And Jason Wrobel is an LA-based educator, chef, and host of the first ever vegan cooking show on TV, “How To Live To 100″. And together, they just so happen to be the cutest damn couple south of King City, California.
As we were getting ready to make our way over to say hi, Whitney and Jason began chatting all excitedly with another couple a bit further down the bar. And when the bartender moved out of the way, who did I see sitting there but freakin’ Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (she needs no explanation, right?) and her husband (who has the best hair, ever. period).
So of course we went over to say hi, because hello?! Serendipity! And it was like suddenly a giant bomb of vegan awesomeness exploded down at the end of the bar at Millennium. I’d met Whitney before at the last Vida Vegan Con, and Colleen I’d met at the first Vida Vegan Con, but I’d never met Jason or Colleen’s husband David, and of course, my not-boyfriend hadn’t met any of them. So handshakes were flying and hugs were hugging and then all of a sudden, to top it all off, a Bonzai reader and her man came up to say hi! (Hi guys!) Oh my god! So crazy.
From there it was time for us to retire, and if I’m being honest I’ll also admit that we MAY have taken a Chocolate Almond Midnight (almond cashew crust, mocha chocolate filling, raspberry sauce, white chocolate mousse) to go, and eaten it in bed later that night.
So, I was going to post this whole big trip in one shebang, but this is already so picture-heavy that I think I’ll save the second day for a separate post. Coming soon!
Thank you so much to all the people who helped make it possible for us to eat/sleep/stay/explore the way we did on this trip. We couldn’t have done it without your generosity, so THANK YOU! You know who you are.