Do You Feel Welcome?

June 5th, 2009

Like silver and gold. Those were the words that were used to describe friendships, love and celebration of a birthday among friends local to St. Helena. To the end of the night at Cheers! St. Helena, I stumbled upon Rory who invited me to join him at Cook, a restaurant up the street. There, I met and hung out with some of the most fabulous and sincere people in the world. In mere minutes, we were debating spiritualism, life and death – something which had taken me ages to develop at home.

I am continually amazed by the sincerity of the locals, welcoming everyone with open arms and non-judgement. I feel as if this is the place that I have been asking for over the last few years. In comparison, it has taken me 10 years in Los Angeles to develop friendships that took me 5 minutes to make here in Calistoga. Call it a tourist town, but there’s really something different about it. People don’t ask me what I do, they ask me who I am – who is the true Sonya Lee?

And you know, the answer to that is that I am in love with being where I am at the moment. I love being “here”. I don’t mean here as in a physical location, but here as a moment in time. I love being “here”.

The rest of the day will be considered a wash. I spent $250 to attend Auction Napa Valley and tasted some of the finest (in barrel) wines in the world. It was unfortunate to have ended that event with a proposition as bold as “Hey, do you want to make out”, mimic in slurred speech. Needless to say, I left very quickly.

But to be honest, there’s something real about the people here in Napa. Call it bold, brave, honest and truthful, but I feel like I am able to truly be who I am. Yes, you can create yourself anywhere as long as you are honest to yourself. But, it always gets easier when you are readily accepted and welcomed.

I feel welcome here in Napa. Do you?

Sonya Lee

Since a child, Sonya has been traveling from the corners of Canada to the far east Asia. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, she led a normal family life with her brother, mother and dad. A well received job opportunity in Hong Kong for her father put the compass in action from a young age. Sonya loves good food, and I mean GOOD simple food. She loves an occasional drink, be merry and enjoy the good times. Having recently healed herself from a large ruptured cyst, her favorite foods include fresh carrot juice, grilled vegetables, sauteed portabello mushrooms and truffle french fries. Her philosophy? Healthy food makes a healthy body. Read more on the Editor page. When she's not fretting over WAFT, she runs a small design agency called mowie media and shares the good times with her dog, Monster and 3 cats Sabi, Kaeli & Misty.

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