Stole some time away with my sweetie this weekend.
We took the 2 1/2 hour drive up to the Central Coast Wine Country.
Ya know - I LOVE the Napa/Sonoma wine country -
but Los Olivos and Solvang are just too close not to do on a more regular basis!
I mean really! Have you seen the movie Sideways?
We began our own shenanigans in Los Olivos.
They had a sweet little Jazz and Olive Festival where we met up with friends for a bite and a sip.
My friend Kathleen was still proudly displaying her badge
earned marching in the Old Santa Ynez Day parade that very morning.
She's an energetic one that woman.
She's my spin (yikes) teacher.
She'd done a 25 mile bike ride, marched in a parade and was now moving onto wine tasting - and it was only 1pm when I found her in the crowd!
Los Olivos is a retail therapy dream.
Which meant my husband got to lounge a lot.
Something he NEVER does!
There's not near as many "wine dogs" as one finds in Napa.
But this one was super pet-able!
Of course there are tasting rooms galore . . .
Which meant my husband got to lounge (more)!
Life is good.
Personally I think the best part of a sleepy little wine country town are the story tellers.
Like this man, Carlos Cerecedo.
We met Carlos and his lovely wife Christine in their store Pumacasu.
Carlos is a man with passion and immense knowledge and one gorgeous accent....
Argentinian I believe.
Carlos is a true expert and collector.
I think he may know EVERYTHING about corkscrews and wine antiques.
Crazy little antiquey corkscrews . . . corkscrews with story.
"THIS is American creativity! THIS is American ingenuity,"
exclaimed Carlos with sweeping arm gestures.
We were spellbound as he spun tales of how these
ornamental corkscrews came into being and have survived the ages.
Yes THESE are corkscrews!
Carlos backed up his stories with proof from books and "bibles"
on this little known collector's passion.
You see - the thing about road trips is the gift of slowing down.
Listening with new ears.
Seeing with new eyes.
Learning about something you've never heard of!
Which only makes me want to share it all with you.
And so I have - a tiny bit anyways.
Go there some day and sit with Carlos yourself.
He'll delight and amaze you.
And his wife and her beautiful Native American influenced jewelry creations will too!
After Los Olivos, we spent the night in neighboring Solvang, a quaint Danish town.
YES there were windmills!
But oh the Danish bakeries!
Not to mention the cheeses (to go with all that wine!) and chocolate (to go with all that wine!)
If you can still walk (after all that wine!),
you can choose which vehicle suits your style.
Better have a chauffeur of course (after all that wine!)
Blue suits me fine.
OR better yet, sit a while longer.
Leaving these idyllic little towns is always kind of sad.
But the weather was beautiful and our top was down as we headed back towards the coast.
Hard to be too sad.
Eighty degrees and the bluest of skies.
But up ahead the clouds covered the mountains we'd be winding our way through.
Suddenly the temperature dropped 24 degrees!
We drove into the clouds.
It misted through our open roof, delighting us with the sudden change.
I've never giggled so much as I held onto our precious cargo!
I'll leave you with the scene that always gets me from the film "Sideways".
Virginia Madsen is at her best.
It earned her the Oscar nomination, as I recall.
No truer words have ever been said about wine.