Monday, August 6, 2007

Road Tripping

This past weekend, the GBF & I took a little getaway trip to the Santa Barbara wine country. Saint Babs is only about 2 hours north of Long Beach, so it's a real shame that I don't head up the coast more often. As soon as you're out of L.A. county, it feels like you're in the country. The flora (or is that fauna?) changes rapidly. Driving up the coast, I was snapping pics like crazy, but so many came out blurry....I really need to read up on how to snap pics whilst driving a fast moving vehicle.

After a quick lunch in Los Olivios, we hit up around 5 wineries....my favorite was Melville.

Here's a couple of wine tasting tips:
  • when you walk up to the wine tasting bar, look for the oldest, shakiest server, as they have a difficult time ending the pour, and you end up with a little more wine in your glass.
  • you can choose to split the wine tasting with your friend, so that you can visit more wineries (less wasted) and get to sample more wine than you normally would.
  • if you get a little hungry in between winery visits, feel free to snack on the vineyard grapes...We thought they'd be bitter, but in fact they're sweeter than table grapes.

We saw all kinds of animals on farms and in the wild: cows, horses, ostriches (ostrich farm that sold eggs & I'm guessing ostrich meat) , deer, hawks (lots of huge dark ones), and a farm that raised Shetland ponies...so cute...well, except for the one with the gigantic wang that looked like it'd been dragged along rough cement (seriously, it was about as long as its legs)...and don't talk smack, you know y'all would've been checking it out too!

We drove through Solvang, which is a replica of a Danish village (read: tourist trap)....lots of cutsie Swiss shops here, but the real treat is the bakery...De-lish!

We spent the night at the Embassy Suites in Lompoc...neither of us knew anything about this city, but it was pretty close to the wineries & had available rooms. There was a fireman's convention going on, so the hotel had a few hot fireman strolling around. I sat next to one in the lounge area who looked a lot like Colin Farrell....the interesting thing about this guy is that I noticed that he had SIX toes....the baby toe had a baby that was born prematurely. Now, I don't know 'bout you, but if I have a sixth toe, my ass would not be wearing flip flops anywhere outside of my house...I don't care how hot it is (or how hot I look).

The upside of this hotel stay is that they have a social hour (more like 3 hours) where you could get complimentary snacks & drinks....as in beer, wine, or cocktails....for FREE....so after 2 whiskey sours and a rum & coke (for each of us) on top of all the wine swimming around in our tummys, we needed to take a disco nap....we slept from 7 until 9pm and woke up hungry...

So we threw ourselves together & went out to see what Lompoc's restaurants had to offer. Well, what we found out about Lompoc's restaurants is that they all close at 9 pm....(on a Saturday??!!).....WTF!!!....we drove around for miles looking for somewhere to eat, but the only places that were open were McDonalds, Taco Bell, etc ......so we ended up eating Little Caesar's pizza....so delicious (not really).

It was a great weekend that went by WAY too fast....I'm already making tentative plans for a return visit in the fall.....hope y'all had a good weekend!

6 comments:

Lewis said...

I think what you boys need to do this fall is come to the beautiful Oregon and/or Washington wineries. We've got tons. My honey's brother lives in San Luis Obispo.....did you go up that far?

Jeffrey Zacko-Smith said...

There's nothing like a little road trip to lift the spirits! I love wine country too - I spent 5 days in Napa/Sonoma last Spring and loved it. Lewis is right, WA and OR have some GREAT wineries, too - I especially love Oregon Pinot Noir - the best in the world.

Junk Thief said...

Good tips on winery visits. I've noted that for my next Sonoma County trip. (I try to avoid Napa.)

Solvang is sort of tacky but fun, sort of a Disneyesque take on Copenhagen in the middle of wineries and horse ranches.

Did you make it as far north as the Madonna Inn San Luis Obispo? You're not a real man until you can say you've taken a leak in the water fall in the boys room there.

Silly Billy said...

Nice, Nice. That sounds like so much fun. I saw Solvang on Kathy Griffen's show. I went to a simlar place in the Georgia mountains, but the town was all German. I felt really odd there actually.

Oohhh, and thanks for the tips. Anything that will allow me to sample more wines is a HUGE plus.

Christopher said...

Lewis: didn't make it up that far, but we talked about it for next time out...and I've heard lots of good things about WA & OR wines...you're on my 'must-do' list...oops, I mean "those states are".

Jeffrey: word up!

JT: I've wanted to visit (stay at) the Madonna Inn for ages, but my traveling buddy thinks it's tacky...well, yes it may be, but I'm still wanting to check it out...and pee in the waterfall.

Billy: yeah, I felt out of place in Solvang too...it's just not my bag baby...btw, there's a great wine tasting shop in Soho (or maybe it was the Cast Iron Dist)...but the name escapes me...it's not Bottlerocket...

Anyhoo, I'd like to check them out again (if they're still around) in Oct.

D-Man said...

You should've asked him if he had an extra testicle, or at least you should've made a tasteless "hose" joke.