Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
We woke up before our alarm - again - and began the day with a long walk. On our way back, we stopped at a Jack in the Box for breakfast and coffees. We showered and prepared for our wine tour - it was also included in our hotel package! This day was an absolute blast! For once we both were able to look out the window on the way to the vineyards!
We saw Firestone Vineyard from the bus window, but we did not have a chance to taste there: (
Our first stop was Koehler Winery first. Check out Nick's technique!!!
While driving during our tour, our guide also pointed out the Raegan's ranch, Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, the Hidden Valley Ranch (where they invented ranch dressing!), and the fire damage from the fires a few weeks before our visit!
(We found out our hotel had been evacuated!)
Monday, June 22, 2009
sea lions - LOVE them!!
They were EVERYWHERE! We could see them/hear them the whole time!
sunset = beautiful
dolphins - Do you see them? Two of them are just to the right of the second vertical post from the left side of the picture. We saw about 20 of them!
coastline at sunset
reentering the harbor
The cruise was from 6-8, and then we went to an AWESOME dinner! We had Hitching Post's Pinot Noir 2004 while we enjoyed dinner at Aldo's. SO good! We sat outside (almost all of our meals in Santa Barbara were outside!) and truly soaked in the atmosphere.
We woke up early on Wednesday, and Nick was feeling much better - YAY! I went for a run around town - SO beautiful! I wish I could run somewhere like that every day! Most of the run I could see the mountains, and the air was so dry compared to the KS humidity! After breakfast (OJ, egg/tomato/artichoke omelets, fruit, cinnimon rolls - YUM!), we packed up and drove the mile or so to our hotel - The Best Western Pepper Tree Inn. We decided to take a quick trip back up to the Solvang area. Nick missed the beautiful drive (we drove back a different way than we drove there) the day before because he was sickly and sleeping in the passenger seat. We retraced our steps and stopped along the way. After stopping for some lunchables (ha!), we reached Kalyra for our first tasting of day.
Our next stop was Blackjack Ranch. Is it obvious that everything was GORGEOUS!?! Blackjack had some tasty wines, and some of them were a little bit pricier! We ended up buying a bottle of the Double-Down Syrah 2005 and a bottle of the Chardonnay Wilkening Reserve 2006. This picture outside of the tasting room is one of my favorites!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
We woke up before our alarm, so I quickly showered in order to start our day as early as possible. Our food arrived, and it was delicious! We had mixed fruit, egg/zucchini/mushroom casserole, and crescent rolls filled with jelly, and they were delivered to us in a basket! We ate them out on our private porch.
While we prepared for our day, we watched Sideways. Nick brought it with us because the area we were visiting included the wineries in the movie.
We snapped a quick photo before heading to Solvang, CA. Our first stop in Solvang was the vistors' center, and he helped point us in the right direction. We went to Lucas &Lewellen's tasting room first. We spent some time chatting with the graper grower's wife as she poured our tasting, and the grape grower himself came came from the vineyard. He chatted with us for a few minutes as well, and it was interesting for me to hear Nick "talk wine" with other knowledgable people. (Later in the week we bought a bottle of their Lucas & Lewellen 2007 Rose of Pinot Noir.
When we were done, we walked down to their other tasting room, Mandolina, to try the Italian varietals. Yummy! We enjoyed the wines here, and the ladies were nice and helpful! We also saw this book - So cute! I wish Callie could be a wine dog!
Nick really wanted to visit the Sideways vineyards, so we went to grab a bite to eat at a recommended restaurant - The Los Olivos Cafe - a restaurant from the movie! Nick and I enjoyed our caesar salad...little did we know it would change our day! It turns out that Nick is allergic to pine nuts - a fact we did not know until he had devoured them from atop his salad! I walked around the small town of Los Olivos, and Nick tried to overcome his reaction. His reaction was getting worse, so we decided to leave. I drove back to Santa Barbara, and Nick struggled in the car. We probably should have visited a doctor, but the benadryl helped enough to eventually help him overcome the symptoms.
While Nick was sleeping, I went for a walk. This is a picture of our B & B. Beautiful gardens!! Our room was around the left side. It had a private entrance, porch with table, chairs, and hot tub, and a great big room with a private bathroom.
I walked around State Street as well. It was a beautiful evening, but it was not much fun without my new hubby: (
When I returned from my walk, Nick woke up. We talked about dinner, and we decided I would go to a local deli. We also had the brilliant idea to look for a redbox, so that I could watch a movie while Nick recovered. The best part about redbox is that I did not need a local account, and it only costs $1/day! I rented...
...and when the local deli was closed, I was able to find us (expensive!) sandwiches at live culture downtown. We ate our sandwiches and began the movie...but I fell asleep a few minutes into it: (
Lauren Wilkinson Adams
The lady even shredded my card that read "Lauren Marie Wilkinson!" Goodbye, Marie. It was nice knowing you. I enjoyed how loopy you were when I wrote my full name, and I can promise I will still doodle you from time-to-time. Losing you is worth gaining Adams, moving to the head of the alphabet, and keeping Wilkinson.
(This post was inspired by my coversation with Julia:
Me - "We should have a party to celebrate me losing my middle name."
Julia - "We did. It was called your wedding."
Ha! I was just looking for another reason to have everyone together! Love you, J!)
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Nick and I spent ALL afternoon (after a nice pizza party with a few family members) on Sunday preparing for our trip, so we did not have to wake up TOO early on Monday. Judy and Butch picked us up (thank you!) about 8:15am, and we made our way to the Kansas City airport... We didn't have too much trouble making our way to Santa Barbara, CA by way of Denver, and we arrived in LA around 2pm to see our first palm tree...
We drove up the Pacific Coast Highway. It is not the most direct route from LA to Santa Barbara, but it is one of the most beautiful drives in the country. I could not imagine living there and driving by this every day...
(Not the greatest pictures,
but it is literally the ocean on one side and mountain on the other!)
One of my students recommended Neptune's Net, so we stopped there for lunch...
We checked into our bed and breakfast - The White Jasmine Inn - around 5:30, and then we made our way down State St. to check out the scene. I think we must have walked 5-6 miles! The view was beautiful!
We also wandered down to Santa Barbara's famous Stearn's Wharf. SO pretty...
We ate dinner at Left at Albuquerque. It was SO good! For dessert, we sipped margaritas - one grape and one mango!
We had only been in Santa Barbara for a few hours, but we knew the rest of the trip would be a blast! We returned to our B & B, hopped into our hot tub for a few minutes to share some wine (after a return trip to the store for a corkscrew!), and then fell asleep without setting an alarm!