California Bound

Listen to this while you read. Or not. It’s a good song and they say California a lot. It might get you in the mood.

Oh, did I not mention I was flying out to California today? Well, yeah. That’s about happen. Around 5pm today, Erin and I will get on an airplane to Anaheim (John Wayne, meh) Airport. We’ll spend a dreary night in a dreary airport-area hotel, then head to Disneyland in the morning. If you thought Erin could get within 500 miles of Disney property and not demand to visit it, you must be new here. Once California was on the agenda, Disneyland was a certainty. Hey, I can’t complain. When we depart Mouse Central, our destination is north, to alcohol country.

A trip to wine country is on the short list of Places I Will Go, Damn It, And Way Before I Hit Bucket List Territory. Last fall, when Erin, Kelley and I were sitting in a wine tasting, drinking the base wines of Methodoise Champagne, I leaned over, wondering if I was sober enough to be planning future vacations, and said we were California bound in 2012. Erin, who’s learned not to care whether I’m sober or not when I’m promising vacations, immediately agreed.

Our trip looks  something like this:

View Larger Map

We’ll be in the City of Angels for a few nights, head to Monterey on Monday, then continue up the coast to Somona (Ed.: Or, as Mere noted, Sonoma.) the next morning. After a week of demolishing my liver and praising imagined notes of walnut, citrus and wet dog, we’ll spend a weekend in San Francisco before heading home.

The trip really snuck up on me – I’ve been a bit distracted the last month or so, after all – but now that it’s here, I’m really, really excited.  Not just about all the envy and hateful looks I’m getting from friends when I talk about spending a week soaked in estate grown alcoholic grape juice, either. It’s going to be an awesome week and a half.

Did I mention how much wine there’s going to be?

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4 Responses to California Bound

  1. samatwitch says:

    Have a great trip. It’s my June trip in reverse so you’ll have to tell me all about it, although I won’t be wine-tasting in Sonoma but going to a wedding.

    Safe and fun time to you both.

  2. Mere says:

    ::shakes head:: And you’re not even in wine country yet. It’s “Sonoma,” not “Somona,” you sot.

  3. cabri says:

    Where are you staying at in Sonoma? My B&B is the Sonoma Chalet, the bride’s is the Sonoma Inn. Oh, and where are you staying in Monterey? I’m thinking either Casa Munras hotel or Green Gable B&B.

  4. Fox says:

    Gah, totally forgot to send you wine recommendations as I had promised!! Looks like you guys are passing by Central Coast, but if you have a chance, stop in. You’ll be passing through it anyway.

    Depending on what sort of a wine person you are, Central Coast is amazing. I’m a Zin kind of girl, and that’s Paso’s specialty (that’s what we we’re going up for in 2 weeks, the Paso Robles Zinfest). Central Coast in general is also great with syrah, cabernet, and buttery chardonnay.

    We stay in Avila Beach, which is about ten miles outside of San Luis Obispo (or SLO, pronounced like ‘slow’ and not like the letters spelled out). They have a little wine community there (like 5-7 wineries), but near the outskirts of SLO proper are even more gorgeous vineyards. Lots of good literature hanging around town with info on the specific wineries, but I really recommend Chamisal (big barn) and Sextant (weird little barn-like building with a deli, but delicious stuff), and then Alapay Cellars in Avila (their Masix wine is probably my favorite). Lots of barns and schoolhouses turned into wineries in SLO.

    In Paso, there’s Cypher Winery (that’s where I got my signature ‘ZinBitch’ wine glass lol), Grey Wolf (those people love to hear about our wine vending machines), and a whole selection of other spots along the 46 (the ‘wine route’ – gorgeous rolling mountains,although a bit foggy in the wrong weather) and in downtown itself. There’s also an amazing little sushi place called Yanagi, which is a small West Coast & Hawaii chain.

    You should also stop into the Madonna Inn and grab a slice of cake to go. And by slice, I mean ‘roughly half a cake.’ Their desserts really are all they claim to be, and apparently, the mens’ room is an interesting tourist attraction as well.

    And based on your map, I would presume you’re taking the PCH north. So, my suggestion there is, fill up your gas JUST BEFORE you get onto the main wind-y cliff part (there is one gas station along that whole thing, and they jack the prices waaaaay up accordingly), and make sure your camera battery is fully charged. It’s going to be totally beautiful. There are a handful of places to stop along the way, including some restaurants in/near Big Sur (Big Sur is on my dream list of getaway spots, never made it when we lived out there).

    Also, if you’re going up by Salinas, you can stop in Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world!!!

    I’ve only been to Sonoma once (for the film festival, where they were showing a Pittsburgh film… and they took over a small bar called Steiner’s, flew in Isaly’s chipped ham, Eat n Park Smiley Cookies, and Iron City Beer… coolest thing ever), but it was really cute. Nice mission there, if you’re a mission nerd like I am lol.

    Anyway, have fun, take 8 billion pictures, and please be aware that I will be obsessively reading your Twitter feed for updates lol. Two weeks from today and I’ll be on my way back West!! :)

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