While in Napa Valley, I stayed at a really cute hotel, the Sonoma Creek Inn. One of the things I really liked about this place (aside from the quaint decor and lovely bathroom) was that each of the rooms comes with its own patio. So, at the end of the day I could relax with a glass of wine on said patio and enjoy the mild weather (in February! amazing!). And also: cook dinner. I had my camp stove with me in instances where I wasn’t staying in a place with a stove (i.e. with friends or family), but it requires that you cook with it outside — you know, noxious fumes and such. Here I was able to enjoy a space of my own AND cook dinner for myself. It felt luxurious:
One night I made tacos, another, pasta. This particular night, I made asparagus with some local Sonoma sausage (and a glass of red wine, of course). It was really delicious.
It became perhaps the first time on the trip (and in my life) when I realized I truly am quite content being alone with myself. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy being in the company of friends and loved ones, for sure. I know I am a naturally social person and enjoy companionship. And I always knew I could be alone and enjoy myself. But while in Sonoma I found the place deep within myself where I felt a solid and peaceful appreciation of solitude. As though I really understood it for the first time. It felt like an awakening.