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TRAPPIST MONASTERY,BED AND BREAKFAST WEEKEND GETAWAY
Our weekend started with an impromptu getaway totally unplanned.It is through the samaritan act of my dear sister who often times drive me crazy. She volunteered and offered to take care of our 89 year old mother for the weekend.This is my sister who I love very much but has a quirky habit of terrorizing me with her incredible antics every once in a while. I am beginning to believe she is the cloned sister of the infamous brother of the world , Bin (as in Ossama Bin Laden ). My heart leaped like a frog .I did not think twice in accepting her offer immediately. These days,opportunity like this weighs a ton of gold and a God send. I have absolutely no plans to refuse this much coveted offer.Since 4 months ago,my mom moved in with us. Between taking care of my mom and working at the same time, it is almost like my life has rotated unexpectedly to a 360 degree turn. I no longer have the luxury to be able to go anywhere at a whim as everything has to be planned including my retail therapy trips and our out of the blue out of town escapades.Afraid of losing this offer and letting it get away, I immediately surfed the net and found this romantic French bed and breakfast inn about 70 miles away from home and near a Trappist monastery. I thought ,well this is it. No turning back.My dearly beloved husband, you're gonna have the time of your life this weekend and I promise you, you won't be disappointed .Unfortunately, honey dearest of my life ,something 's got to give. You will foot the bill on top of also footing the bill for my trip to Asia next week. Oh brother, the cost of paying for a wife that is half wacky and half sane.It's surreal.In today's economy, this is absolutely insane .It's a wonder my dear husband have not gone nuts as of yet.Or maybe ,he already have and that I still have to find out. Lol!
We have previously visited this monastery before and have attended sunday masses but have not stayed the weekend.We always thought this was a special place with the serenity and calmness of its vineyards and the 800 year old sacred stones that were disassembled from a Spanish monastery and bought by William Randolph Hearst, the flamboyant magazine mogul and brought back to Calfornia. The unusual chattyness and friendliness of Father Thomas makes the visit to the monastery a little unique .He is a tiny little monk and a favorite priest of the local parishioners who attends Sunday mass. Eh Voila!,without consulting my husband and without regard for the possible wrath I might invoke in him for this fly by the seat of my pants weekend trip , I quickly booked Saturday night .Under no circumstances my grand plans to escape is going to be thwarted by giving him the opportunity to say no.Right away ,I packed the weekend suitcase, filled it with our personal travel paraphernalia, called him up at work and as soon as he got home, we are heading north.That,my friends is called logistics at its very core. Goodness, gracious!... God, I am good!... I pulled this vacay in no time and the shortest planning.
Our room at the bed and breakfast inn is awesome.Soft fluffy bed and down feather comforters and pillows , walls painted in chrome yellow tone stencilled with flowers.It even came with an old boombox like we would be churning 80's disco music to no end.It was really a dream room.It was hard to leave. Breakfast was a treat and a feast. Scones, croissants , home made bread,jams of different kinds ,omelets made to your specification,orange juice that seemed to be freshly squeezed from the grove, cold cuts and cheeses that can rival even the most exotic cheeses from a country that reveres cheese as God.That country is called France.Sure,the voracious HENRY THE VIII will definitely not be disappointed if he was alive today and savor this decadent fare of a feast. The crowning glory of the breakfast was PEET'S COFFEE . These days, I consider Peet's coffee as the creme de la creme of all coffees, and not for the faint hearted ,for its strength.It is believed to be the only coffee preferred and drank by the University of California Berkeley intelligensia while hatching their radical plan to rule and overturn the world.Wecome to Sather Gate,Move over Starbucks! You are too mainstream for my eclectic taste . LOL! For those unfamiliar with Sather gate,It is the EIFFEL TOWER of the University of California,Berkeley known for their radical stands on social activism and the seat of the Berkeley Intelligensia think tank..
We toured the grounds of the bed and breakfast inn, which is absolutely stunning with the trees in radiant bright colors.The cloistered monastery grounds is so calm and quiet.Silence is deafening only to be occasionally interrupted by the chirping of the birds.We attended Sunday mass at 1030 in the morning and surely Father Thomas was the officiating priest.Somehow , I noticed that Father Thomas has aged a little bit.He looked a little hunchbacked and his sermon was less enthusiastic and sounded very scripted.After the mass, we stayed awhile to talk with Father Thomas. My suspicion once again served me.He is not feeling too well and he is struggling with cold. I felt sorry for the poor little monk. We promised to come back again to the monastery onother time.
We again visited and touched the sacred stones hoping that some miraculous thing will happen.No miracles happened but somehow, there seems to be an energy that evokes just by touching them.I hope I was not hallucinating but that was really what I felt.
We ended out weekend with a dinner at a local restaurant.I did not skimp on the food but ordered a mountain of salad with marinated artichokes which is my favorite.Overall, this weekend is worth it and I would not hesitate to do it again onother time.
Hard as it is , but everything has an end. Time to come home .Feeling a little tired after a long drive home ,nevertheless, I feel refreshed and I am ready to face the world again whatever it brings.