The driver of the cab I took over to the Hertz lot at LAX regretfully mentioned that the weather has been overcast and looking like rain for 6 days. Then he sighed and said "Well, what can you do? That's why they call it the June Balloon.". When I repeated this to my son later, he told me that I had misheard and that the term is really the June Gloom. I don't care - "the June Balloon" sounds so festive and I can tell you right now that this is a phrase that just got a permanent place in my vocabulary.
A special shout out to the cab drivers of Los Angeles: stop acting up when I tell you that I am going to be paying with a credit card. This is business travel and this is how it's done. Don't you sort of expect to pick up business travelers at LAX? If you don't want to accept payment by credit card, then don't drive a cab that is plastered with signs that say Credit Cards Welcomed! with a pictorial listing of the different types of cards you are equipped to handle.
Yesterday we made a tour of some inland wineries and the potholed dirt roads that get you there. this countryside is so beautiful and the wineries are utterly charming. We first stopped at a small place perched on a hillside and did a tasting of that particular winery's offerings that turned into more of a Muscat Canelli lubrication. No complaints! Imagine yourself sitting on a breezy shaded patio at a table that has a baby grape vine as the centerpiece.
Then it was on to lunch at a much more opulent but no less charming winery on the main grape-growing drag. Highlights: fancy sandwiches, almond champagne and a very accommodating server who fulfilled my request, which was accompanied by $5, for some souvenir wine glasses with the winery logo etched into them.
The June Balloon has been a great time so far. Today: par-tay Lebanese American style in Glendale. Expect the hummus report later tonight. [Don't worry, Sami. I will never love anyone else's stuffed grape leaves but yours.]
FYI - southern California is crawling with little baby horses and cattle right now. They say there are llamas too but no evidence exists. The cutest thing I say yesterday was a tiny tiny baby burro next to a big big pothole in the dirt road.