Once we were on the ferry, everything was pretty much perfect. It wasn’t crowded, so we had an unobstructed view off the bow and both sides of the ferry. We all had drinks: a Bud Light for Judi (don’t they call it the ‘champagne of beers?’); some sort of microbrew each for Dave and Lisa; and a glass of Chardonnay for me. You know it’s good wine when you can taste and smell all the various flavors/aromas out of a plastic cup.
The wind picked up and I was glad I’d brought a warm woolen shawl, but I spent a lot of time holding shawl and dress skirt down to avoid flashing my neighbors. Judi, Lisa, and Dave were wearing pants; this was not an issue for them. Everyone’s hair was whipping all over the place: Lisa, Judi and I looked like three happy Medusas.
If you live in the Bay Area or are visiting, I strongly encourage you to take the ferry at least once because words really can’t describe how much fun it is or how gorgeous the scenery from the ferry deck. I would also recommend a weekday to avoid the crowds of tourist and their rented bikes, unless you are very, very patient. When we reached the Sausalito ferry landing, the crowd waiting to board and head back to the City was scary. The line was longer and more convoluted than that for a popular ride at Disneyland during summer break.
John had told us the Sausalito Yacht Club was literally right next to the landing and he wasn’t exaggerating. A quick right turn after disembarking and there was the club and there was John, standing at the front door to greet us. He led us into the club to a private room at the back which overlooked the water. Fellow Wombats Ken (and his lovely wife Judy) and Brenda were already there and so was a bottle of chilled champagne and another of Chardonnay. Flutes were filled for a champagne toast. The Sausalito Wombathon had officially begun!
The alcohol flowed freely (thank you, John!) and things got silly very fast. To see HOW silly, go here to Judi’s webpage and blog for her impressions of the evening and incriminating video evidence! Our Queen entertained us with a German drinking song, yours truly gave an impromptu rendition of Wombat Love, Dave coined the term ‘wombat fancier’ for himself and Ken’s wife Judy, a chorus of Junior Birdmen (complete with ‘goggles) was sung, and…well, it was just plain fun getting to know people in person whom I’d only met onine. It was also amusing looking up now and again and see people STILL boarding our ferry an hour after we’d disembarked.
We stayed at the Yacht Club for an hour and a half befoe moving on to the Spinnaker restaurant, a five minute walk from the club. Dave ran into a group of Gaelic speaking Irishmen whom he’d met on the ferry and we paused to let him indulge in one of his favorite pasttimes: speaking Gaelic. It’s just what he does, y’see.
Our table at the Spinnaker was the best in the house. The restaurant itself is on the waterfront and our table was in the far end of the restaurant which went out over the water itself. The view was amazing and we waved at many a passing boat and its crew and passengers. The food was outstanding and the wine (Flowers Pinot Noir for us red wine drinkers) was perfect. There was also champagne, beer and Riesling for those not into the red. We talked writing (no big surprise considering everyone at the table is a writer, with the exception of Wombat Fancier Judy, who is a artist), with a celebratory toast for Judi Fennel’s recent three book deal (Yay, Judi!). We drank more wine, ordered dessert, and had more wine. Lots of wine. Too much wine for some of us who had gotten sunburned and not much sleep the night before. I’d like to say I didn’t put my head down on the table (NOT in my plate) and take a brief snooze, but I’d be lying. At least I didn’t snore. Right, Wombats? RIGHT?!!!!
I vaguely remember the walk out to the tax queue. I also have a slight recollection of Judi taking a fall in her gorgeous pink heels and taking Brenda down with her. But mostly I remember crawling into the back of the taxi, snuggling up against Dave and sleeping most of the drive from Sausalito to home.
I woke up feeling amazingly perky the next morning and with a very clear recollection of what a wonderful time I’d had with my fellow Wombats (and Fanciers) and what a superlative and considerate host John had been for our special night.
Thank you, John, and may this be the first of many Wombathons!