Monday, June 8, 2015

We went to the Sunset Magazine Celebration Weekend and the rich people did not skin us and eat us

In fact, everyone was so delightful!

The Sunset Magazine Celebration Weekend: two days on the Sunset Magazine campus with West-coast wine, beer, camping, gardening, food, and cooking.

If you're not familiar with Sunset Magazine, boy are you missing out. My mom had a subscription when I was growing up (in Seattle), and I'd pour over the pages with the kind of fascination most girls have for Cosmo.

Side note: this probably explains a lot about my personality and value system. I care way less about "50 Ways to Decide He's Cheating on You" than I do about "12 Most Splendid Vistas." I mean, for chrissakes, they have a National Parks Pinterest board! Swoon!

So when I got the email notice that THE MECCA OF NATURE AND TRAVEL IN THE WEST was holding some weird "free-for-all" invitation to run all over their campus, drink (out in the open!), and watch shows like a cooking demonstration by Martin Yan of Yan Can Cook, I was all "SERIOUSLY? SIGN ME UP!" CHA-CHING.

And then I realized: this is a trap. Clearly, these ridiculously rich people were luring hapless victims back to their nest in order to eat us... probably all under the gleeful gaze of some blood-thirsty Republican like RICK SANTORUM... or even the KINGPIN OF THEM ALL: MITT ROMNEY.

I was all in, though. I had already paid the $25 (PER PERSON) admission. I used to pay that much to go to clubs... and now here I am throwing down the Jacksons for the privilege of being eaten by Capitalists.


I don't wear 'em. But rich people do. Espadrilles and capri pants... and WOW. It was like a uniform.

As we drove up to the event location, droves of people were walking down the street. We could immediately pick them out as Sunset Magazine people, because every single one of them had pretty hair, capri pants, and espadrilles. Usually in some white or peach colors. 

We parked and took the incredibly long walk to the event, me in my solid-soled cowboy boots and Russ in his black sneakers. There was not a single other person who looked like us.

I wish I had taken a photo of everyone in the crowd, but here's one of the back of everyone's heads as they watch Martin Yan's demonstration:
1. Natural hair colors
2. Short, practical hair cuts
3. Universal cross-body purses

The universal "upper middle class" look.

On arrival, we got a tote bag...

What is it with tote bags? Am I the only person with a thousand tote bags? What do people do with these tote bags? They're not functional as grocery bags, and they're not functional as a purse.

No one searched us for weapons or smuggled booze, which was the first indication they weren't among our regular crowd.

And then we picked up our tasting glasses, drink tickets, and assorted other schwag.

This all came with extra free stuff, like a free chicken sandwich (which we picked up at another booth) and several free tastings, in
A free chicken sandwich and taste of wine
addition to the tasting tickets we got. Plus, there was live classic country music. 

Basically, it was everything I had hoped and nothing I feared.

Throughout the day, we met many nice people, starting with Diane Norton, the vacation promoter for Idaho. She was so nice! She told me lots about their wine region, and I tried two wines from their Snake Valley region. Russ was just talking the other day about how we should visit Idaho, so she told us all about how wonderful Idaho is.

Turns out, she lives just down the street from one of our customers (for my handmade soap business Outlaw Soaps), Rediscovered Books. What a small world!

HOORAY! So far, we're having FUN!

We were a little hungry, even after our tiny chicken sandwich, so we moseyed through the vendor stalls and made our way toward the food trucks.

Along the way, we stopped at Maui and got a shell necklace. Wow, so far, we had cleaned up on free stuff.

We tasted many other great wines, but by FAR the winner of the whole thing (in my opinion) was the Willamette Valley Vineyards booth... I loved their Pinot Noir so much we're going to visit their winery at the invitation of their very wonderful Wine Ambassador, Kaeli.

Yes, people have INVITED us to come to their cellars when we drive through Turner on our road trip in Sepember! What fun! (I love wine cellars... they smell fantastic)

Overall, it was a tremendously wonderful event

Free cupcakes? YES PLEASE!
Total strangers asked me if I wanted to have their shady seats (it was hot as the dickens), people complimented me on my boots, my skirt, and my hair (not all just one person, either!), and we got free avocado cupcakes courtesy of the Avocado Commission!

How could I have been intimidated or afraid of these people?! I can't say they're "just like you and me," because OMG THEY AREN'T (I think they're a different species), but they're charming and friendly and considerate.

Next year, it's going to be closer to our home... Sunset HQ is moving to Jack London Square in Oakland, and I guess the next one is going to be up closer to us... heck, maybe we'll even be vendors there!

The moral of the story: rich people have enough free food to eat that they do not need to eat the flesh of the bitter proletariate. Nor did they ever intend to.

Here are some other photos: