A Lovely Lunch In The Santa Ynez Valley.

"I could go to London for a quick trip. Or Scotland. But I really need more time to go international," I explained to IT Guy, Frogger & the B-Friend. All in independent text conversations.

I found myself on Monday with a whole week of vacation time to use. I could go to Arizona. I could go to Hawaii. I could go to Boston. But I didn't have time to go anywhere international.

Hawaii has no interest for me, other than visiting friends who live there. Arizona would be great... But I go there more than ever as it is.

"You really need to explore your own state," said Frogger. "You haven't driven north of where you live."

Which was true. I hadn't. While I have been to L.A., San Francisco, and San Jose a few times... I haven't been on a personal trip. Always work.

"That's the problem with living in Paradise," I said to Frogger. "Everyone wants to come here to decompress. It's hard to get me to leave."

"Go to the Santa Ynez Valley," said Frogger. "Stay at the Hotel Corque."

A few minutes later, I had booked a King Suite at the hotel for the second half of the week. And this morning, I left Encinitas.  

And, I'll have you know, I made it the whole almost five hour trip without stopping to pee once!

Eventually, I did find myself in Solveng, the little town in the Santa Ynez Valley. 

It's a quiet little wine country town, not unlike Niagara-On-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada. (Where I got married many years ago.)

It has it's charming streets, with plenty of places to stop into for a tasting of wine.

I arrived at the Hotel Corque too early to check into my room. So I wandered the streets for a place for lunch and wine. Luckily, I was able to navigate it by foot, not having to drive. I found a place nearby...

It was sunny out, so a salad and white wine seemed to be the best remedy.

A lovely glass of Storm Sauvignon Blanc and a chicken salad with peppitas and dried cherries. 

Both were delicious. But I soon realized that the croutons in the salad were made from a jalapeno cornbread, which didn't go as well with the white wine.

So I ordered a Merlot from Sunstone...

And it was perfect. It tasted of peppers, which went well with the croutons.

But don't worry, I finished the white wine... And a good portion of the red wine.

Naturally, I got up from the table feelings very tipsy.

Good thing I was walking. Fresh air and a nap is what I needed.

More wine tasting tonight.


This trip is to relax. And write. But mostly relax.