By Mary Young
in Ecuador two years ago, my husband and I got acquainted with four sisters from
Texas. Every year, they told us, they take a trip using the profits from their
inheritance, a small family farm. If the crop is good, they might go to China;
in a less productive year they stay closer to home. It was obvious these ladies
have fun wherever they go.
the eldest of five sisters, I had been trying to coordinate a trip with my own
siblings. Finally this summer, with children growing up and careers relatively
stable, four of us managed to get away for a few days together. On a Wednesday
afternoon, we left homes in New York, Minneapolis, Omaha, and Honolulu and flew
into San Francisco. We rented a car and drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to
our destination: northern California wine country.
first morning, we went to the visitor’s center in Sonoma. The “I Love
Sonoma” stickers we got there were our ticket to discounts and free tastings
for the rest of the week.
of us knew much about wine, but we were eager to learn. We dutifully read the
winery’s description of each one, admired its color, swirled the glass,
inhaled and tasted. We compared notes, trying to detect nuances like chocolate,
licorice root, leather, or, in one case, canned pears.
tasting wasn’t the whole point of the trip, of course. Each morning, we
visited in our room for an hour or so before venturing out for breakfast. We
commiserated about the difficulties of raising teenagers. Older sisters gave
skin care advice to a younger one. In the evenings, we discussed the day’s
adventures and lingered over supper at a favorite Mexican restaurant. One night,
we all lined up on the sofa bed, bags of snacks strewn across our laps, and
watched “Sideways”. There were occasional phone calls home, but no need or
desire to get to a computer to check e-mail. Too soon it was Sunday, and time to
didn’t travel to China, and we didn’t spend a lot of money. We just wanted
to be sisters again for a little while. Simple pleasures: they really are the
Mary Young is the Associate Editor of the Oahu Island News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.