“The happiest lot on earth is to be born a Scotchman. You must pay for it in many ways, as for all other advantages on earth… You generally take to drink; your youth, as far as I can find out, is a time of louder war against society, of more outcry and tears and turmoil, than if you had been born, for instance, in England.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
Last Friday afternoon, after quitting technology journalism, I packed a small suitcase and headed North up the 101 towards Napa.
An hour and a half later, stopping only for chicken and rice in Vallejo, Sarah and I arrived in Calistoga. Our plan: A weekend of cycling, hiking, fine dining and – first among equals – wallowing up to our necks in geothermic hot springs.
We’ve made the trip to Calistoga a dozen times or more – the little town in wine country has become our sanctuary from the city – but this particular escape seemed especially symbolic. A farewell to Silicon Valley – to Facebook, Google, Twitter and most of all to Uber – and a hello to Napa Valley whose riches still come almost entirely from the soil.
Of course, once you start looking for symbolism, you see it everywhere.