It was a quick and full trip to Texas Hill Country. We flew in the night before my classes started, arriving in time to eat and head to bed. Waking early the next morning I began the long days of filling my head with information on wine analysis, sensory evaluation for wine traits, and chemistry for both wet labs and using automated equipment.  There was a lot of info to pack into my head.

I was grateful that on the last day we got out of class a few hours early. We decided to fully enjoy the “found time” by packing as much into it as possible. I set the goal to visit as many meaderies as I could, and also get some shopping done. In retrospect I probably should have arranged the order of these two activities a bit better.

We drove to several meaderies and tasted numerous meads in an impressive and alarmingly short period of time. Then it was time to go shopping. Immediately after we parked on Main Street and as I was climbing out of the car, I glanced into a small alley and saw a set of amazing benches. I dragged Fred down the alley to admire them.

“Look at these! Aren’t they amazing? We need these for the meadery.” I exuberantly decided.

Fred tried interjecting some reality into the moment, “Did you really look at them? There’s some damage…and how would we get them home?”

“That’s patina! It makes it more authentic. As for getting them home, that’s what shipping is for!”

I’m sure he thought he was relatively safe since the benches were located in what appeared to be a vacant and neglected alley between two empty storefronts, however I was determined. I located the business that was previously in the building beside the alley and looked up their new address. Fueled by alcohol and determination I set off down the street searching for the address. I was on a mission.

Finding the relocated business I purposefully marched into the store and approached the sales person. “Hi, I’m interested in purchasing the benches in the alley next to where your store used to be located. Do you know who owns them?”  Fred, catching up to me, was looking slightly concerned at this point.

The sales person explained that the business indeed owned the benches and proceeded to call the owner to get a price and shipping quote. Fred transitioned from slightly concerned to mildly alarmed at the swiftness of the transaction but I was in my glory, feeling all warm and fuzzy as I discussed logistics and negotiated price (ok, in all honesty the warm fuzzies probably had more to do with the alcohol than the business deal).

 In the end, when discussing that shipping was going to more than double the cost of the benches, I had to grudgingly agree with Fred and concede defeat. I’ve never been a particularly graceful loser and this time was not the exception. I was downright peeved that I couldn’t find a way to pack the benches into my carry on.

So let this experience demonstrate why you do your shopping first, and then begin your day drinking. Also, I still think the benches would have looked amazing at the meadery.