With my new motto of “you don’t have to go away to get away,” I bid farewell, at least for a while, to the mandatory three hour pre-departure chaos of the Bay Area’s airports which includes anxiously zigzagging between endless lanes in the hopes of finding a parking spot at the long-term parking area. The tedious and time consuming travelogue saga is extended for an additional thirty minutes of constant stops as I rattle along on the complimentary airport shuttle’s route to finally reach my designated International Terminal (and why on earth would they call an airport building a Terminal? That’s morbid). Well, the soap opera continues as I submit myself to the lengthy security checkpoints, schlep around my oversized carry-on luggage ( for which I hear airlines may now start charging us) as I finally reach my seat on the packed plane. Phew!
But with my new decision to travel locally, this is all behind me now. California, here I come! I am free as a bird! This is leisure and casual time on my traveling agenda! Dressed in my comfy sweats and Nike’s high heel-less sport shoes, sans my heavy mascara, shiny lipstick, and my usual perfectly coiffured ‘do, I jump into my sporty red Beamer, turn on the radio’s dial to my favorite country music station, and head to my soon-to-be discovered (and hopefully enjoyable) Golden State destination: the picturesque Regale Winery in the hills of Los Gatos, located only a short twenty five minutes’ drive from my home.
The sprawling grounds of Regale Winery embody the tranquil Tuscan-style architecture, from its guest house with the second floor dining room which features a vaulted travertine ceiling, Italian fresco paintings, ornate fireplace and a heated, open-air terrace with breathtaking views of the coastal range to the winery’s open gardens, featuring three varieties of olive trees with hand-picked and pressed olives to produce the estate’s olive oil. The landscaped grassy area for picnics or a scenic wedding ceremony, vineyards, the Bocce ball court, beautiful fountains, heirloom roses, cascading flowers, singing humming birds (and did I mention their award wining wines and deliciously catered gourmet cuisine?) all blend harmoniously with the stunning views of the surrounding Santa Cruz Mountains.
Regale has been an English verb since at least 1656; It was adapted from the French régaler, which has the same meaning as regale. The French verb goes back to Middle French galer, which means “to have a good time,” and to Old French gale, meaning “pleasure.”
Regale Winery and Vineyards definitely live up to the original meaning of the word regale. Its comparison to one of Italy’s most popular and lovely destination of Tuscany is perfect, with one important exception: it is located right in my almost backyard.
This was a wonderful debut to my exploration of California. Dora the Explorer would have been proud of me, for sure.
On my inaugural journey of discovering the Golden State, I think I did achieve my aim. Next time, join me on my travels north via Highways 101 to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery & Museum in Geyserville in Sonoma County and down south to the Pacific Coastal’s Cambria, the jewel on the Moonstone Beach in San Luis Obispo County.
Lina Broydo immigrated from Russia, then the Soviet Union, to Israel where she was educated and got married. After working at the University in Birmingham, England, she and her husband immigrated to the United States. She lives in Los Altos Hills, CA and writes about travel, art, style, entertainment, and sports. She hardly cooks or bakes, with no borsch or piroshky on her home cooking menu. Therefore, she makes reservations and enjoys dining out, mostly sushi.