Monday, June 11, 2012

Minor Key with Straw Hat

I am not and never have been a weather wimp.

So, despite a forecast of sunny and 90 degrees, I found a willing partner to go to King Family Winery for a polo match on Sunday afternoon.

Although we arrived after the match had begun, we found an ideal spot under the shade of a large tree not far from the stables.

Yes, there was a trio already in place under the tree, but they gave us permission to join.

With a view of the action, the shade of the tree, the breeze across the field and a picnic, we were almost all set.

A detour to the tasting room yielded a bottle of Crose, a refreshing rose tasting of grapefruit and cranberry in an ice-filled bucket, and finally we wanted for nothing.

With the satisfying sound of horse hooves on the field, we opened our picnic and immediately had a guest.

The winery's corgi showed up the second I unwrapped a baguette with soprasetta on it.

And not just showed up, but sat so close that its hair tickled my bare legs.

Soon a couple with a beagle walked by and the girl called, "Love your dog!" as if this rogue corgi was mine.

I told her I was just going to say how much I liked her beagle.

Later a guy walked over to pet "my" corgi and I had to correct him, too.

I'm a beagle person, not a corgi person, just for the record. Can't you tell just by looking at me?

Polo has a certain thrilling aspect because of the presence of large animals galloping towards the edge of the field where small people sit.

But it's also because of the sense of history that comes with polo playing, as I'd been reminded more than once at the "Maharaja" exhibit yesterday.

I'm just happy somebody's playing polo regularly so I can watch the pageantry. Who wins is of no real interest to me.

Oh, this is a competition and not just spectacle?

Once the match ended, the field was fair game for the visitors so soccer balls and kites came out.

I'll take kite-flying at the beach over kite-flying anywhere else, but I have to admit they were pretty in the sky against the nearby mountains.

Many people bolted the moment the match ended, but we were not among them.

Our picnic lunch took some time to eat and who wants to rush through a bottle of rose, even when it is ridiculously quaffable on a warm day?

Once it got to be close to winery-closing time, though, we finally packed up and headed east for music.

Tonight was the first of the Fan's Meadow Park concerts (I try to make them every year), so we arrived early enough to secure a partially shaded bench for the show, no easy feat given the setting sun and the park's western orientation.

But there is a distinct pleasure to early evening summer sun. A little sweat should be par for the course in mid-June.

The park was especially pretty tonight because of the presence of dozens of paper cranes, origami-folded constructs of various pastel colors, hanging from trees and in bushes.

Young families with children were everywhere and Susan Greenbaum was playing a mix of covers and originals.

Beginning with Paul Simon, she then did a song called "Fireworks," her own "Everything But You" and even some Norah Jones.

"As long as I'm playing songs in minor keys," she said before doing a fine cover of  Sting's "Fragile," and satisfying us minor key lovers.

Greenbaum reminded us from the stage that there was free ice cream courtesy of the Fan District Association and she only had to tell us once before we high-tailed it over to score some.

I chose a cone of chocolate royale and my companion got strawberry which we enjoyed back on our bench.

When we finally went to leave, we heard our names being called.

Going in to Garnett's was a friend and her beau, so we crossed the street to join them on the colorful park chairs outside the restaurant.

We heard stories of kayaking, temper tantrums (no, they don't have kids) and scalpings before he started dropping hints about pie.

Once his words sunk in and we all agreed that wine and pie were just through the nearby blue door, we got up to get some.

"I made that happen," he said under his breath, in a most satisfied tone.

And he had.

Companion and I had just had ice cream, so we weren't particularly thinking of pie then, but within moments, there was a bottle of Gabriele Rausse Vin de Gris on the table and pear with mixed berry pie and coconut cream pie followed in short order.

Pie and wine put us all in mind of a future time when we don't have to do anything we don't want to do.

Someone mentioned running a bed and breakfast because of the amount of free time that would allow for pie at any given moment.

Call me lucky, but I'm pretty open to pie (and wine) just about any time already.

And if they present themselves on a sunny day with the dust of the polo field and the sweat of a warm picnic already on me, all the better.

Only a weather wimp would hold that against me.

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