22 May 2012

A season of goodbye-ing

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.

Thinking about the future and all the new changes that will be happening so soon for me, my friend Karen and I mixed up our own special blend and named it "à l'avenir."  The future, filled with unknowns and adventures, is certain to hold many challenges, yet at the same time I look forward and see a future of beauty and promise.  So with both bitter and sweet feelings, I am starting to say good-bye to this chapter of my life and am looking ahead with excitement to all that is to come!

The Chinese readers among you will probably have noticed that I've added an upside-down 福 to my wine label.  Yes, yes, you can say it...你的福倒了... and indeed I believe it has!


Susan Lindquist said...

What a wonderful place to kick back and celebrate the culmination of all your hard work! Looks like it is indeed time to look to the future ... best of luck making the transition in this next life stage, Erica! Congratulations!

the Junkie book said...

Wow what a refreshing post. We feel relieved with you on this. Is that you on my right in the photo?

congratulations and good luck with greener pastures!

erica said...

Thanks Susan and Thoma! Yes, that is me on the right (wearing the blue top. So grateful for moments like these in the midst of the busy-ness! Hope you both are doing well. :)

Anonymous said...

Where are you going??? Glad that you're not saying good-bye to us though.

erica said...

Hi Soyon! I'll be moving to San Francisco for a new job, and then based from there will be doing a lot of traveling to places such as Seoul, Busan, Taipei, and Hong Kong for work! Feeling very very blessed by this new opportunity. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sounds perfect for you! May I ask if it's related to your degree or in the food/cooking/blogging field?

erica said...

It's related to my degree (it's a job in clinical science, so a little more applied science than I've been doing the past number of years), but I am really excited for the ways my travel opportunities will enrich my world food perspective! I think it's going to mean great things for Apricosa too! :)

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