In the Spring of 1997 my then boyfriend Jim Asbell, planned a romantic weekend getaway to a place I had always wanted to visit. The wine country of Napa Valley, CA. The valley was an old friend for him and he delighted in plotting all the wineries and fabulous restaurants he wanted to visit with me.
In the days before the internet and smart phones we picked a secluded B&B, sight unseen and crazy expensive, tucked in the hills. We never met the proprietress. Her minion escorted us to our suite. Every inch of the bedroom, sitting area and bathroom were covered in butterflies. OK, so maybe the toilet did not have a butterfly seat, but just about everything else was draped, festooned, or piled with butterfly trinkets. The effect was frightening, and so were the under-cooked Costco mini quiches that constituted breakfast.
While the Butterfly Palace as it came to be known, was heinous, the trip was a delightful mix of food, wine, and romance that included a mud bath for two. That spa treatment turned out to be two tubs filled with hot water, gritty sand, and excessive aroma therapy. We laughed our heads off.
Two years later we were back in that same valley to get married at Storybook Mountain Vineyards so I guess the whole weekend turned out to be something very special.
Today, on my 56th birthday, James surprised me with this beautiful necklace. He commissioned our very talented friend, Marj Berra, to make this copper and turquoise butterfly necklace to remind me of that wonderful time in our lives together. And just for your viewing enjoyment, here is a younger version of my guy, snoozing away in the famous bedroom of the Butterfly Palace. Somehow he had accidentally bought black and white film for his camera, so your eyes will be spared the full blinding effect. Am I a lucky girl, or what?