MyHusbandTheEngineer volunteered to help organize the 2013 Austin Healey Club Rally at Lake Tahoe, and what kind of wife would I be not to attend the interim outings and show my support (and kibitz with the “significant others”)? My magnanimity lands me on the road to the Sonoma Wine, Cheese, and Champagne Tour.
I am not complaining. (MHTE couldn’t hear me over the din of the motor, anyway.) But doggone! My hair is blowing all over the place, and my senses have detected a new irritant—exhaust odor.
Me: “Why didn’t you put the windows in?”
MHTE: “You were too hot last time. I brought your jacket.”
Me: “I’m not nagging, but my box of Kleenex just flew away, and my nose is dripping all over your upholstery.”
MHTE: “Why didn’t you say so in the first place?” And he quickly pulls off the road to install the windows, the wind force abating enough that I can put my jacket on. On the road again.
MHTE: “Are you enjoying the scenery?”
Me: “You planned this route to avoid the scenery with stores in it, didn’t you?”
MHTE, in collusion with the engine, tunes me out.
“Look!” he says, “We’re passing San Quentin.”
Me: “And all the women who weren’t as nice as I am about riding in their husbands’ English sports cars.”
MHTE: “The women’s prison is in Chowchilla.”
Me: “So you’d have to drive farther to visit me. Would you?”
MHTE: “It’d be worth it; I’d take the Healey.”
We arrive at our first stop, the Tiburon Starbucks. There is no mirror on the visor (no visor, either, for that matter) for me to repair the damage the ride has wrought on my hair and makeup. And I can’t find my lipstick.
“Don’t worry about it,” MHTE says. “No one looks at the women.”
Head count: Ten Healeys, two tow vehicles non-British cars.
The leader cautions us: “Keep it tight so no Detroit metal gets in our line-up; see you at the first stop.” God willing.
We caravan along Lucas Valley Road where we pass six bicyclists on a blind curve with double yellow lines, and MHTE impresses me with how well the Healey handles in oncoming traffic.
We arrive at the Marin Cheese Factory. The wine and cheese are fabulous but can’t compete with the high Healey owners get from exhaust fumes, so we press on to our next stop, which Amy and Fred made on time because Fred knows how to change a tire in seven minutes flat. Comes with owning a Healey practice.
The next spot, Viansa Winery and Marketplace, was represented as having great shopping, but climbing back into the Healeys took precedence. (I’m just sayin’ …)
The event concluded at Rams Gate. Delightful champagne and chocolates. And another Healey breakdown.
Time to wrap it up (or tow it away). I bid my support group adieu. MHTE and I drive across the parking lot, he glowing from all the compliments on his green car, an admirer photographing us, thumbs up. MHTE catches a break in traffic, guns the engine, and the Healey dies. I had to suck in my cheeks.