sometimes you have to take a day - and just escape. even if it is only an hour or two away from your own hometown.
work had been going strong and wonderful. i'd been a calligraphy fiend for weeks - and, although i absolutely love it - the hubs and i hadn't had a day to ourselves for awhile, and i was missing spending quality time together (as opposed to the hi/bye in between the work madness!). our schedules finally aligned - and we had a whole day off together last week! which is rare treat, considering that our schedules are complete opposites.
i love living on the central coast! there is such rugged beauty in this area, from paso robles to san luis obispo to orcutt. but there is one area that i hadn't explored, and that was between los alamos and santa ynez. so instead of cuddling on the couch for a movie marathon with the hubby, we decided to go exploring south of us.
we had absolutely no agenda, not time constraints...just a general idea of the area that we wanted to explore. i posted a quick inquiry on facebook, asking what do do, where to go, what to eat - and got a ton of great responses while we were on the road! we headed down the 101 to los alamos, where two friends suggested bell street farms for an early lunch. the meatloaf sandwich was divine, and i washed it down with a terrific glass of their house rose! this little place is adorable, and i literally wanted everything on the menu - can't wait to go back.
afterwards, we strolled the small strip of downtown los alamos - perusing the antique shops. mainly window shopping - but, man...i could have done some damage with all those vintage lovelies!
back on the road, we drove towards santa ynez for some wine tasting - stopping by in solvang and taking in the cuteness of this town. the danish charm is in every nook and cranny, and we're making plans to stop by another day to take in the whole town!
once in santa ynez, we headed first to sunstone winery to taste some vino. this is a gorgeous property, with lots of fun lawn games to play while you're enjoying a glass of their yummy wine. the people we met while tasting were so friendly, we had a great time chatting!
the second winery we went to was just a stone's throw from sunstone - this one is kalyra. the hubs and i felt right at home at this cozy and laid-back winery! the gal who ran the tasting room was super rad, she had some great stories and was very knowledgable about the wines. we signed up for their dessert wine club - because i love me some great muscat or port after a delicious dinner!
lastly, we headed to los olives to check out ca'del grevino's newest tasting room - but i became sidetracked by the beguiling sign announcing that honey paper - a luxury paper and stationery store - was having a sale upstairs from the tasting room. luckily, i have a very go-with-flow hubby, who didn't mind tagging along as i oohed and awwed over all the paper pretties at honey paper. i don't mind admitting, i could have happily skipped away with the whole store - but curbed my spending at a couple sheets of fun wrapping paper and a bottle of gold ink that i have never heard of before (but can't wait to use in my calligraphy adventures!).
we did end up doing a tasting at ca'del grevino - and enjoyed out time there. very personable staff, and lovely wines. i had done signage for an industry event months earlier (and hadn't been able to attend) - so it was nice to be able to visit and get to know the winery, who started it, and the newest developments they have in store! we bought a bottle of wine to enjoy at a later dinner. we took the long way home to view all the gorgeousness that the early rains had brought the valleys and hills that surround this beautiful part of california.
the flowers were extraordinary! the hills and fields so green! we can't wait to go back down and explore more of this area. everything was wonderful, and it was so lovely to spend this day with my husband - we always know how to have fun, even when driving though the countryside, holding hands, and daydreaming.