The Good Life

I must confess that I am a snob about fine living. I love the good life and appreciate the effort and subtleties that you encounter with fine living.

I like fine wine, fine dining and a private country club golf experience over a municipal golf course.

I can appreciate great resorts like the Montage or the St. Regis or Four Seasons any day. I love good service even if you pay a premium for it.

Give me linen table cloths, doilies, crumb scrapers, high count cotton sheets, fresh flowers, a nice spa, oriental rugs, a well stocked bar, oil paintings, stemware, candles, the symphony, formal gardens, good olive oil, San Francisco sour dough bread, real butter and maple syrup, godiva chocolate, an after dinner French roast coffee, ripe fresh fruit out of season, the million dollar view, and valet parking any day.

I remember great meals and sipping $600 bottles of Harlan wine while at The Prime Steakhouse in Bellagios in Las Vegas or sharing a magnum of 1993 Opus at the Palm in Charlotte. That was one damn good bottle of wine.

Fine living doesn’t always have to be expensive. I know places here in Charlotte you can get the finest southern cooking that money can buy. The meal will cost you less than $10.

I can take you to places that are free but the view is priceless.

Fine living used to make me uncomfortable because I wasn’t brought up this way. We were a happy and practical middle class family. Fine living used to make me feel uncomfortable and guilty. Now I enjoy fine living as it should be enjoyed.

My wife is a great cook and a wonderful wife and friend. I love the effort she puts into setting a good table and picking only the finest ingredients for her meals. That is fine living in my book. And I feel the love.

Unfortunately I can’t afford or sustain fine living at the rate I desire. Many of my fine experiences have been complementary and I am grateful for the experience (the $600 bottle of wine).

I guess my pinnacle of personal fine living is my annual winter trip to St. Croix. The views are wonderful, the friends are great, the weather is perfect and the food is fine. I can’t recall a more consistently relaxing place for me to be.

We always spend more money than we should in St Croix, and we treat ourselves more than the norm on the fun things money can buy, but the memories are priceless.