After a quick breakfast in downtown SLO, we hit the road. The drive was not nearly as pretty as it was through Big Sur- I’ve learned that although the Pacific Coast Highway stretches from Mexico to Canada, the really pretty part is the Big Sur area we drove through yesterday. The rest of it is really just a normal highway that sometimes offers coastal views.
From SLO we set off to the many wineries in the area. California is, of course, known for its’ wine. Napa and Sonoma are the best-known wine regions and are located in northern California. But Edna Valley (the area around SLO) and Santa Barbara also have bustling wine regions. Ever seen the movie Sideways? That’s about the wineries in this area. The wineries can be overwhelming- There are at least 17 in the Edna Valley region, and more than that closer to Santa Barbara. Remember Andrew Firestone, one of the early Bachelors? His winery is in this area.
Anyway, we wanted to check out these wineries but didn’t want to spend all day here, so we just went to two in Edna Valley. We did some tastings and ended up purchasing a pinor noir from Tolosa and a zin from Saucelito Canyon. Best souveniers of the trip!
After the wineries we made a quick stop in the small town of Avila Beach. I wanted to stop at a farm where we could pick peaches, but we found it was really more of a children’s farm with a full petting zoo, ice cream, and pony rides. We pet some goats but didn’t stay long.We arrived in Santa Barbara, which my guidebook says is a “damn nice place to putter around in.” The AirBnB house we stayed in was fantastic. It was detached from the main house and referred to as the bungalow. It was super cute.
View from our bed:
One of the best parts is that the neighborhood this house was in had private beach access. The house also had bikes we could use, so shortly after arriving the husband and I went on a short ride and ended up at the beach, where we went on a jog on the sandy deserted beach. At one point we looked over and saw some seals on a rock. I’ve yet to describe jogging as enjoyable, but it was less torturous than jogging through a neighborhood!
After showering we went to downtown Santa Barbara. We walked out on the pier and strolled through a few shops. Santa Barbara has a lot of history, but we weren’t really in the mood to learn about that. The Santa Barbara wineries I mentioned earlier? If you don’t want to trot around wine country, many of them have tasting rooms downtown in what’s called the Urban Wine Trail. We ate a nice Italian dinner and watched a bum get arrested, checked out a few local bars, and then started the 19,000 block walk to our car. It was still early, maybe 10:00.
We were nearly to our car when we heard music coming out of a small bar we hadn’t noticed before. We made the detour and were greeted by a dog running out of the bar- something we’ve noticed is that California is VERY dog friendly. It is very common to see dogs at bars, restaurants, in shops, on the beach, pretty much everywhere. We got a drink from the bar and listened to the band that drew us in. They were really talented! We had fun singing along and watching people on the dance floor (the husband didn’t have enough to drink to bust out his moves).
We called it a night after that and headed back to our little bungalow. As we were preparing to go to bed we caught wift of something- the owners, or possibly the neighbors, were smoking some pot! We figured “when in California, do as Californians do”, so we went over to join them.
JUST KIDDING. About the joining them part. We really did smell it.
Up next- our last day in Los Angeles!