We have really enjoyed living up in Paso discovering all the new restaurants and such so I thought it was time we figured out all of the wineries. During the wine festival a few months back we picked up the a pamphlet that lists all of the wineries in the area. I think there are like 140 or so. (Actually I know there are more because I drove past one the other day that was surprisingly not in my book!)I had no idea that there were so many wineries up here and there are so many more tasting rooms being built all the time. Well, my goal/new hobby has been trying to check out all these wineries to find the best ones with the perfect picnic atmosphere as well as good wine to bring all of our friends to when they come up and visit. Tim and I have been chipping away at the list steadily over the last 5 years, but now it is great that we live so close we can just drive a mile up the road and be at a great winery. So from my original list, I now have 98 wineries to spot that I have not yet been to! Overwhelming to say the least...As I slowly chip away at them I am making notes in my little pamphlet (mostly about the atmosphere...because I am way more into that than the actual wine) and how good the wine tastes. I am beginning to find some gems and some to completely avoid. It seems a little daunting to get to my now narrowed down list of 98 but it is a work in progress. Before long we will know the best of the best to take you to, and by that time I'm sure there will be so many new ones to frustrate me. These gigantic doors belong to Eagle Castle Winery. I love this place for its showmanship. (Havn't had the wine yet, sad to say) The place is literally a castle, you have to cross a moat to enter. I also like this place because I recently met the owner who leads the bible study I was in at our church.
Friday, July 23, 2010
What would summer be without heading to the ballpark to catch a Dodger game? I was given 4 tickets (with excellent seats, I might add) from one of my students this past year to attend the game. I had my pick of games so we had to see them play the Giants of course. There were plenty of Dodger dogs as well as movie stars in the stadium to make the game fun. (we saw Will Ferrell, Cedric the Entertainer, and Sasha Vujacic from the Lakers all sitting relatively close by)
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Succulents... I always had this hate relationship with succulents swearing them off as "old people" plants grown only in the desert where you can't pick out anything lovlier to plant. Well I have done a 360 on my thinking when it comes to succelents. Maybe its because I now live in Paso Robles where it has been 105 all week or maybe it is because I am rapidly approaching my 30's or maybe it is because I am increasingly looking for ways to save money when it comes to the backyard. A teacher at my school is pretty much the succulent queen and gave me so many clippings from her plants this summer I was overwhelmed. I think I have counted 10 pots sitting on our back patio right now just filled with baby succulents growing strong. The things are amazing. You just break a small piece off and stick it in the ground and it starts to grow. I recently scored the plant I am holding in the picture from Charity's house before she moved. It is now planted on our hillside. I hope it survives because I bet is has been growing for over 20 years in the ideal climate of Shell Beach. (If anyone knows what this particular succulent is called let me know) So yes, I've become the lady with the succulents pots on her porch and a little more money in her pocket saved from not having to constantly buy flowers for those pots.
Friday, July 16, 2010
I don't know what has been going on lately but I have been winning contests left and right! Today I won tickets to Keith Urban (my fav) at the Midstate Fair. There's no better feeling than sitting there listening to the radio with your fingers crossed that your name would be drawn and then actually hearing your name on the radio!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I was lucky enough to get to celebrate my 29th birthday this year in Maui. My last year of being in my 20's is a little scary, but I couldn't imagine a better place to celebrate. Today was literally my day as Tim told me I was in charge of the plans. Well, that meant spend all day at the fancy resort beaches (we camped out at the Four Seasons) and enjoy a tasty meal oceanside. We went to Duke's on the water in Kaanapali. It was my favorite restaurant of the entire trip. Sitting right on the ocean watching the sunset wasn't bad either. Hopefully this last year in my 20's will continue as good as it began.
The next adventure was attending a Luau. The last time I was in Maui I opted not to do a Luau, so this time we sprang for it. I think it is something you have to try once in Hawaii. The coolest part of the show were the fire dancers. The food wasn't bad either, the huge roasted pig was my favorite. I'm sure it was because of all the seasoning salt that was on the pork.
We drove the road to Hana! Basically this is a one lane winding road that goes about 65 miles into the town of Hana. It is the more tropical, lush side of the Island. There were lots of waterfalls to explore. It took almost 3 hours to drive one way. We went on a 4 mile hike through a bamboo forest to a spectacular waterfall and then took our time heading back stopping at Hana's black sand beach.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The third adventure might not be an adventure to some but sitting on the beaches of Maui had to make the list. My kind of adventure came in the form of scoping out the best beaches. We definitely had our favorites and when we found them we kept coming back day after day. So beach hopping became an adventure until we found our favorite spot and then it was sheer relaxation. Our favorite beach was Kapalua. A little more private, about 20 turtle sitings a day, and only a mile from our condo.
For our second adventure we went snorkeling. We took a boat about 3 miles out to a crater called Molokini. The visibility was incredible (about 200ft). We saw lots of fish and best of all turtles. It was incredible to be able to swim 2 ft from the sea turtles. They are so docile and don't even seem to mind that you are right next to them swimming.
I couldn't quite figure out how to blog all about the great week we had in Maui, so I think I am going to have to sum it up according to adventures. There is so much to do in Maui and while laying on the beach for a week sounded great to me we filled our time lots more than that. One of the coolest things that we did was bike down Mt. Haleakala. (10,000 ft volcano) Not only did we bike down it, but we did it all at sunrise. We were picked up from our condo at 1:30 in the morning and driven up the mountain. We made it there around 5 and watched a spectacular sunrise. From there we got on bikes and biked down the windy road of the mountain face. It was pretty incredible cruising at around 30mph for about 90 min and never having to pedal. You'll notice that we look like we are dressed for Alaska. It was really cold at the top of the mountain.