I'm in a strange new season of goodbye-ing. No, I'm not saying good by to you, but rather suddenly now to my hometown of so many years. I hardly have had time to process the fact that I probably did my last C. elegans experiment a couple weeks ago, that I'm actually nearly done with my dissertation, and that I'll be graduating into the realm of doctor-hood in a matter of a week. And now on top of this, things are looking more as if, for the next season of life, I will be leaving my home and moving to a new city and to the world beyond.
In the midst of the craziness of work and negotiating logistics, I've been so grateful to savor the peaceful moments, getting to connect with dear friends and enjoy Santa Barbara. I've been going out for walks and runs up in the foothills whenever I can manage to squeeze it in, breathing in the fresh air scented with the fragrance of the chaparral, soaking in the sunshine and the views of the city and ocean spread out below. I've been meeting up with friends for delicious meals and heart-to-heart conversations. And last weekend I had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite vineyards in Santa Barbara wine country, Gainey Vineyard in Santa Ynez.
On a special insider's tour of the winery (thank you thank you to my professor and his friend Dan Gainey!), I and a fun group of people let our scientific and wine-loving selves out and experimented with various blends of Gainey merlot, cabernet franc, and cabernet sauvignon. After mixing and tasting, we were gifted a bottle of our own personal blend, and then headed over to the vineyard's picnic area for a delicious lunch under the oaks. The weather, the view, and the peacefulness of the place could not be beat.