Shopping at my nearby Trader Joe's this week, I rounded the corner of the last aisle and came upon this:
I had to photograph it as evidence that California knows how to party. How do I know this? Because I've been living in SW Washington State for the past two years and you will never see this selection in a Trader Joe's or any other store other than one sanctioned by the government if you go there.
They make you work hard for your liquor in Washington. And when you go to the government-sanctioned liquor store, you better have some valid I.D. because even if you're in your 70s, like my dad trying to get his allotment of high-end vodka, they STILL card you. It makes no sense but I suppose with the weather being what it is and the abundance of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), plus winding mountain roads, cliff-sides and gorges, perhaps an attempt to curtail the sale of liquor makes some sense.
There's also no doubt some old religious, moral laws from pioneer days affecting the sale of alcohol in Washington. Obviously not enough Catholics settled in the Northwest back in the day. Disclosure: I was raised Catholic and imbibing the occasional glass of wine (or gin or whatever) is not looked down upon by Catholics and can even represent the blood of Christ on occasion. Overall, the Catholic religion puts the spiritual in spirits.
Of course these archaic laws don't stop a drinker from drinking. They just make it harder to get the drinks without going to a bar. So when I turned that corner in Trader Joe's and saw all the lovely, expensive, imported booze, my heart sang. Not because I'm a big drinker or even have a home bar stocked for visitors (you're getting beer, wine and probably vodka at my house at all times and that's about it), but because if I ever DO need to obtain some tequila, scotch, grappa, or schnapps, I know EXACTLY where to go and I couldn't say the same at my old house. Just one more reason to feel at home in California, where the ouzo flows like wine.