For my birthday in 2011, I was in Egypt. Last year, I had a huge party. This year, I wanted something more quiet.
On the eve of my birthday, we drove late into the night to arrive in the first few minutes of my birthday at Benton Hot Springs Bed and Breakfast in eastern California near the Nevada border. Appropriately, we stayed in the “Cowgirl Room”!
In the morning, we soaked in an outdoor hot springs fed pool, enjoyed a delicious breakfast, packed up and put on our ski clothes, and drove 45 minutes to Mammoth Mountain in the Sierra Nevada where, at lunch, we met up with Tony Fletcher, a dear friend of ours from Burning Man, a fellow wine enthusiast and music buff who was in California on tour for his book about the Smiths and who joined us for a weekend of skiing. Tony even bought me a birthday beer of the local Mammoth brewing IPA which went perfectly with my pulled pork sandwich at the Mill Cafe on the mountain. (Read about Tony’s epic powder day at Mammoth the day before–possibly the best day of skiing in his LIFE!)
Because of a reservation mix-up, for our accommodations the rest of the weekend, Tamarack Lodge upgraded us to a luxury two bedroom cabin where this exquisite bottle of Roederer Champagne waited, chilled, which we enjoyed with oysters I brought from the Jolly Oyster in Ventura plus some rosemary crackers and goat cheese. It was worth every penny (and since it was room service, I’m sure that was a pretty penny!)
That night, we had dinner at the Lakeside Restaurant (review to follow!). While they have a nice list, I had brought something even better, a Marilyn Remark 2003 syrah that fellow wine blogger David Rodriguez (aka @zensolo on twitter) had given me in November (review to follow!) All in all, it was a perfectly incredible day!
On Saturday we skied all day and we cooked dinner in: arugula salad with portabellas cooked in a 30 year tawny port and fresh manila clams from the Jolly Oyster with an amazing chardonnay from Ojai Vineyards (review to follow!). For dessert, we had the 30 year tawny and salted chocolate almonds.
Sunday morning as we were packing up, I realized there was one glass remaining of the Roederer. I’d never tried the spoon trick before–imagine my pleasure to discover that it works perfectly and the Champagne paired delightfully with my bagel and lox!
Thanks to Mammoth, Tamarack, The Lakeside, The Mill, Zensolo, Tony, Benton, and my family for such a wonderful birthday weekend!
PS Do you like the daffodils? Believe it or not, I brought them from home!