If you want to drive to California from St. Louis, Missouri, all you have to do is head west to Denver. Drive from Denver into the Rockies, and suddenly, there you are - in California!
As I've written before, there are really two cultures in the United States - the culture of Families and the culture of Sterility.
As a general rule, the former is Red State culture and the latter is Blue State culture. But it's more than just politics.
Our murder mystery dinner theater shows, which we've been producing for over 20 years for Upstage Productions, are very funny. Our regular audiences are normal Mid-Westerners who come to see us at the dozen or so rural wineries where we perform regularly in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas.
We were the first mystery company that I know of that ever performed at a winery, and back when we started Colorado only had six or eight wineries. Now they have maybe 150 wineries, most of which are not in the high plains east of Denver, but in the high mountains west of Denver.
Now our regular wineries are big on entertainment. They offer bands in the summer and murder mysteries in the winter, and charge between $35 and $50 per ticket for dinner and a show.
By contrast, one winery in the Rockies charges $65 for dinner alone. Another charges $75 for dinner alone. Another is charging $100 per ticket for a dinner - a wine-pairing dinner (but no dancing girls or juggling midgets) - and they're sold out!
This, my friends, is what we find in California - snooty wineries whose wine may or may not be better than Mid-Western wine (it usually is), and who appeal to a certain demographic - the childless (who, because they're childless - and pretentious narcissists - have a lot more disposable income).
Meanwhile, for a lot less money you could have a lot more fun at our murder mystery (Lifeless in Seattle) tonight at Hill Prairie Winery in Oakford, Illinois, or tomorrow at Pheasant Hollow Winery in Whittington, Illinois, or at any of the many fun wineries where we perform regularly - all of them east of California.