So here is the deal-o. I am use to having life’s little necessities around and open when I need them. Since moving to St. Helena a week and a half ago, I have quickly realized why the city has maintained it’s cute and quaint charm. There is freakin’ NOTHING open, with the exception of Safeway, after 7:00pm around here. This became really evident today when I had a dinner crisis.
Going to a culinary school, every meal is an elaborate presentation of proteins, vegetables in various sauces and carbs that are covered in some type of fat. Don’t get me wrong…it’s always delicious and plentiful. But sometimes, you just want a salad. Fresh greens topped with crunchy vegetables and finished with a light dressing. Maybe a bit of chicken or an egg on the side. Nothing fancy. Nothing big. But fresh and filling. Surprisingly, you can not find this in the town of St. Helena. So what is a boy to do?
You drive. To be precise, you drive about 20 miles to Napa and go to their Whole Foods grocery store. 20 freakin’ miles to get a salad. In my younger days, I wouldn’t have traveled 20 miles for guaranteed nookie, but today, I traveled that far for a $10 salad. And it was good.
Fortunately, the shopping plaza that houses the Whole Foods also has Trader Joes, Starbucks, Cost Plus World Market and Target. Since I made the trek out to outer Mongolia, I figured I should make the best of it and do a bit of snack food shopping. Even though I am in culinary school, I have a voracious sweet tooth and have a mild obsession with gummy candies. So first stop was Target to fill-up on Sour Patch Kids and Gummy Life Savers. Next stop was to Trader Joes for all their snack food deliciousness…..nothing gets me through 300 pages of reading like their Yogurt Covered Pretzels or Baked Cheese Crunchies. I know it’s not sophisticated, but let’s see you snack on some prime rib next time you need to plow through 30 problems in your culinary math set due tomorrow and it’s 10pm.
The only good thing about driving was that the Silverado Trail is a BEAUTIFUL drive during sunset. It literally was almost worth the drive to simply be on that road. Next time, I need to bring my camera and take some shots of the rolling hills that are lined with grapevines and dotted with beautiful homes and wineries. But it was nice to get out of the dorms for dinner even if it was by myself and to Whole Foods.
When I got back to the dorm, some of the lovely ladies of my dorm were getting ready for dates. And when I say getting ready, I mean there were curling irons plugged in, make-ups opened and a hair spray cloud the size of a toddler in our dorm’s common room. It was pretty awesome. I sat down for a bit and offered my sage wisdom on dating boys, outfits and bikini waxing. Well Mari, the Brazilian vixen, offered up commentary on the last point, but I put a fine point to it with my grimacing and general fidgeting when she started to venture into waxing horror stories. Then for some odd reason, I decided to do hula and a rockin’ lip sync to Journey.
I don’t know why, but this evening was fun. Maybe it was the fact that I got out of St. Helena during mid-week, but I would like to think it was because of the salad.
See……another reason why you should eat your vegetables.