Rob & Elan went with us to the Mastermind Conference this year. We were challenged, entertained, and inspired. Each of us left with ideas and plans we want to impliment when we get home. Even our entertainment was inspiring. I'm not a fan of opera, but I could listen to Paul Potts sing it because his love for it comes through when he sings. Another inspirational performer was Patrick Hughes. He's blind from birth and in a wheelchair, but he plays piano and trumpet. He has ambitions to be an ambassador to a Spanish speaking country.
The day after the conference we headed out to the wine country of Temecula valley. The first 2 wineries had good wines, and we sat outside and had cheese and crackers with a bottle of white wine. Someone at the second winery gave Rob a discount card for a tasting at a new winery a few miles away. We had just enough time to get there before they closed. Their wines were amazingly bad. We were given 6 tastes for $10, and we had a 2 for 1 special because of the "generosity" of the man at the other winery. Rob and I kept tasting in the vain hope that the next wine might have some redeeming qualities. But their best wines only rose to the level of "not as bad as all the others". The Merlot tasted as if it had been infused with extract of oak wood. Brenda and Rob said they had the bad taste of the wine still on their tongues the next morning.
We drove up to Laguna Beach on both Thursday and Friday. Laguna Beach is town of artists and galleries. The Sawdust Art Festival is on the edge of town. It featured art of various media--painting, pottery, glass, metal--as well as live music. We bought a Raku ceramic pot. We then went down the street to another art festival. This one had an elitist feel and the works were much pricier. We noticed that much of the art also leaned to the bizarre and weird. We couldn't see ever wanting to hang some of these "far out" pieces on our walls. The following day we went to the only public winery in Orange County. The wines were good, but there was no place to sit and savor a bottle. We spent the afternoon exploring the galleries and shops. We had dinner at a place called The Beach House. We ate on the open-air deck 50 yards from the ocean. The breeze was cold, but the view was amazing.
The combination of good food, good wine, and walking in the surf is a sure way to restore your soul. It will be hard to wait a full year before going back.