Bunk Bed Wino







I signed up for a retreat at Pigeon Point. There’s a defunct lighthouse there that I’ve driven by hundreds of times. Hundreds! Starting in 1970 on the way to the Shadowbrook restaurant in Capitola. Driving the coast of Northern California is always a treat. I loved it as a tourist and now I love it as a local. Route one is my “go-to” road when traveling to and from San Francisco.

Rarely do I stop anywhere. If I do stop it’s usually with another person. The day I went with my neighbor to the city to deliver some furniture he suggested we stop for “Happy Hour” at the Moss Beach Distillery. Not only was the place a blast, it is haunted by a ghost! A lady in a blue dress, hence the blue martini specialty drink in her honor. I had to try that one! All the while I was scanning the place for the lady in blue. She did not appear, meaning I would have to come back again. And again. So far, I’ve been to a dozen Happy Hours and not once have I seen her. I’m guessing she comes out later when it’s dark. I will just have to go for dinner.

On the way home from Happy Hour with my neighbor he asked me if I ever went to the Lighthouse.

“What lighthouse?”

“The one we just passed. Right out there on Pigeon Point.”

“No. Have you?”


And that was the end of that.

I didn’t give it another thought until I attended a meeting of Romance Writers of America where Rachael Herron, best-selling author, was speaking. At the end of her presentation, she announced that she was holding a seminar in Venice the following Spring. Venice, Italy, not Venice Beach L A. I looked online to check it out. As much as I wanted to go, and as well-priced as it was, it was beyond my budget. But I did see that for a fraction of the price I could attend a four-day writer’s retreat at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse with her and Toby Neal, a USA TODAY best-selling author. Two for the price of one! Who doesn’t love a bargain? Plus, it was just a hop, skip and a jump from my home in Capitola.

Once I arrived at the hostel, oh yeah, it’s a hostel with bunk beds, I was escorted to the room by two guests who had arrived before me. There were three bunk beds with two bottom units already taken. Rachael appeared smiling, and she said, “You have a choice of the remaining bottom unit or any of the top three.”

I tossed my bag up to the bed with a view of the ocean, “I always like to be on top!” And Rachael giggled as she left the room.

Because the facility is a youth hostel, alcohol is not permitted. Well! What about wine? That’s just fermented grape juice, after all. It’s part of the fruit group and heaven knows I need my fruit fix. A little birdie told me that if one were to be discreet, a little red wine could be hidden in one’s luggage so that it would not be discovered on the nightly fridge check by the Park Ranger. 

I loaded up on Cabernet Sauvignon and left the stash in the trunk of my car, only bringing in one bottle at a time, not wanting to get busted for bottles clanking together on the first day. Sunset rolled around and I asked a few of my fellow retreaters if they wanted a little red. No takers. Okay, fine. I’ll drink alone. I pulled out my special Wild Child wine glass—you know, the one with the wiggly zebra stripes and the red feather boa around the base—and I thought, Hmmmm…too much? We’re supposed to be discreet. Too much.

I went to the kitchen and grabbed a coffee mug. I tip-toed down the hall to open the wine in the privacy of my room. Wait a minute, this wasn’t exactly MY room. But the top bunk WAS my private space. Perfect. Up the ladder I went with the bottle of red tucked under my arm, corkscrew in one hand, coffee mug in the other. I sat cross-legged on the bunk and poured myself a drink. Uh oh. How am I gonna get down the ladder without spilling it?

I balanced it on the solid wooden support in the corner of the bed frame and started to wiggle around to get in position to descend the ladder. Oh boy, in my mind’s eye I could see that coffee mug inching toward the edge and the last thing I wanted was for it to spill on someone’s bedding. I snatched it off the post and eyed it. It was pretty full so I took a big sip. Yum, this was the good stuff. No two-buck-chuck here, which by the way, is now three bucks. Nope, not wasting this. Better take another sip and think out the problem.

I didn’t know my roomies very well yet so I didn’t feel comfortable yelling out for someone to come into the room so I could hand them the cup of wine. I wasn’t sure I wanted them to know about this illegal act. If only Rachael were within earshot. She would help me.

I whispered, “Rachael.” 


A little stronger, “Rachael!”


There was only one thing left to do. Chug the wine. I didn’t wanna miss sunset. It was gonna be an over-the-water sunset with the possibility of a green flash!

I downed it, scurried to the edge of the bed, descended the ladder bottle in hand, filled the cup and raced outside to join the others for a spectacular sunset and warm bonding experience with my new writer friends.

From now on, I will openly open my vino and damn the torpedoes. Cheers!



8 thoughts on “Bunk Bed Wino

  1. Another adventure, but this time on a bedbunk.
    You are funny. Enjoyed the read. See youbon the 28th and looking forward to our venture.


  2. Next time get a screw top..that is why God invented it! Are you able to come over this month,,?




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