How it is already mid-July I do not know. I am not sure the moment that life starting playing in fast forward motion, but it hasn't stopped.
May took us to Philadelphia where I had my ass handed to me. I'm laughing as I say it. May was terrible other than the fact that I turned 23. I sat for my WSET exam in Philadelphia with high hopes for success. I had studied anywhere from three to six hours a day since January 1st for this exam. I made my first mistake by booking a red eye out of Myrtle Beach on the day of my exam.
Get there and get back. That was my motto.
Mitchell and I, still not living in our house, as it underwent two months of heavy duty renovations, packed a suitcase out of our suitcase and left around 3AM as we drove to Myrtle Beach. We were the very first people in line. We boarded our flight just into the 5AM hour and touched down in Charlotte (maybe) for a quick transfer.
In Philadelphia it was pouring. Not an easy mist, but like pouring. Mitchell is nauseous from the flight and we are jogging through downtown Philly.
We visit historical landmarks; the Liberty Bell, the United States Mint, Reading Terminal Market.
And then Mitchell saw the Air BnB I had haphazardly booked. I think our Uber driver was afraid to take us there. A rusted gate lead us to the walkway of a tattered house with grimy locks. The door creaks open. It was only twenty five dollars, but it got five star reviews. Mitchell looks far from assured. Random people mingle throughout the house. A man in a green van sit outside and hollers at us while puffing on a cigarette. I hope.
I finally get to my exam. Current time? 7:30PM. I would sit there for the next three hours racing the clock. Writing like my life depended on it. The WSET 3 exam is broken into two sections. The first is a blind tasting exam. You have to identify two wines blind. They poured the wines. Purely from the color I know neither have I ever tasted before. I look at the girl beside me. She looks frazzled. I nail both wines. Sauternes and Beaujolais Nouveau. Thank God my theory is sharp.
Part two begins. Fifty multiple choice and five essays. We're five minutes in. Oh shit.
It is the girl beside me. I laugh, because I at least know I am doing better than her. Oh shit. This continues for the next two hours.
I am mind boggled. I have studied no less than five hundred hours for this exam. I could tell you the soil types of Bordeaux, each of chateaus from each of the five growths. I can tell you about the geography of Champagne, the soil characteristics, the history of major producers. Hell, I read about these things for fun. And here I am staring at a twenty five point essay question on Tokaji. Tokaji, and this is a gross generalization, is a sweet wine, made from the noble rot, botrytis. It can be made from six grapes, none of which I can pronounce, let alone spell, located on a plot the compromises only 13,000 acres. Bordeaux compromises almost three hundred thousand acres in comparison.
I laugh. I am failing this exam along with the girl beside me.
Today marks eight weeks from sitting my exam, and I am still four weeks out from receiving my results. Some days I am confident I failed, other days I get a little hopeful that I might have passed.
The eight weeks in between have consisted of the highest highs and lowest lows.
We boarded the flight home from Philadelphia and received the call the my sweet buddy Guinness had passed away tragically. I want you all to know that Guinness was my child. I raised him from two weeks old when he was found in a box, left to die on the side of the road. My world has pretty much been on hold since then. I have never grieved more in my entire life, and could probably write a book on it. I have some very hard days. I am most isolated in this time because I need to process this alone.
We finally moved into our new home.
Then we were out of A/C for four weeks in the ninety four degree weather.
We had the vacation of a lifetime with my family in Bahamas. Talk about an adventure.
And then we got Zoe. My eleven week old full breed Maine Coon. I have always been one for rescues, but Zoe just stole our heart. We never planned to get another cat. Mitchell wanted a dog if anything. So instead he got the cat version of a dog. If there is any such thing as reincarnation, which I am thinking there might be, Zoe has a little piece of Guinness inside of her. She is wild.
So now I sit patiently as I wait for the results, weighing the idea of switching schools from Philadelphia to the Napa Valley Wine Academy, and trying to muster up the strength to push through the next four weeks without losing my mind.
You'll hear from me soon.