Tuesday, June 17, 2008

4 years and counting...

As of today, Chris and I have been dating for 4 years (plus that first nine months of pretending we weren't dating that I refuse to forget because dammit we deserve credit for that time too!). To celebrate we finally took our first romantic "weekend" getaway. After dropping the pooch off at Double Dog Dare Ya (and we do!) we headed up past Santa Barbara to Solvang for some wine tasting and well...that's all we had planned really....

We arrived around 12:30pm. Too early to check in to the hotel, but just in time to enjoy some really delicious sandwiches and.....a beer? In wine country? Yup. That's how we roll. 

Show us your beer Chris! "Don't mind if I do!", he says.
Ok, let's back track. The REAL first thing we did was stop off at the visitors information center...where they're supposed to give visitors, ya know, information. Instead we encountered a grumpy old (and I do mean OLD..like, WELL over 35) woman who handed us a map of California and told us the tasting rooms were all around town and that we'd find them. Um....ok. That wasn't helpful. (I actually said that. I hope she heard.). 

So after lunch we found a visitors booth with a woman who gave us some great 2 for 1 coupons, a local map of downtown and some recommendations of her favorite tasting rooms. And off we went! TO THE OLIVE HOUSE! It's more than just olives! Says so on the sign.
This was our first tasting of the day and we sat at the bar and chatted up the young guy that was pouring. We splurged an extra dollar and did a wine/olive combo tasting which I LOVED. We also really dug their Pinot Noir. (stop me when i start sounding froo froo, but the weekend WAS all about wine... and our love. right. our love).

Solvang is a Danish town (history lesson in a later blog post) so all the architecture is quaint and old school but still feels very new and clean....so we...

stopped to take a picture in front of one of the windmills...because how could you not. This one's for lease in case anyone is interested. 

Then we were off to Trio, a winery that the friendly visitor's information lady said was her favorite. "I have yet to taste a wine from them that I didn't like", she said. That's almost an exact verbatim quote. Turns out...we only sort of liked one of their wines. They age most of their wine in either stainless steel or an oak/stainless steel combo and I'm not sure if that's why, but I was not a big fan. Oh well. 
At this point we were starting to feel the effects of the beer, sun and wine...
...so we might as well keep that going! On to Stolpman! This room was a bit more sophisticated than, say, the olive house and had some great wines. We really liked their Sangiovese...a wine I'd never tried before. yay! We're learning!

Hey Chris! How do you feel about Merlot? 
Yea...me too. :)

Next stop on the booze train....Wandering Dog! 
I really liked this stop. We walked in to find a woman at the bar with her 11 year old white lab! I bypassed the wine and made a b line for the puppy!!! At this point Chris and I were at our most social so we hung out and chatted with the gal behind the bar and the owner of the dog and ultimately walked out with a bottle of Blair Fox Syrah.

How's the vino?
"mmmm...that's goood", he says.

Seeing as how we were a bit tipsy and it was around 4:30 we headed back to the hotel to check in and take advantage of the complimentary cheese and wine tasting in the restaurant. Did I mention it was complimentary? That means FREE!

Hadsten House Inn. Recently Renovated. :)
Don't be fooled. That bed was reeally uncomfortable.
That's right. Hydrate, baby.

After a short (ok, not so short) nap we headed down to the restaurant for dinner. It was part of a one night package and was included in our stay, but if it hadn't been I'm not sure we would have made it down. Still full from lunch and olives (ok, wine too ;) ) and exhausted from walking around in the sun we were pretty content to hang out in our air conditioned hotel. The food was admittedly mediocre. I had a spinach salad that I'm sure contained baco-bits and no real bacon and my halibut was a bit fishy and lacked much of a taste other than salt. We took our desserts to go and headed back up to the room. 

I hate to be a negative nancy, but this chocolate volcano cake seemed suspiciously like those Sara Lee microwave cakes. 

Yes. We were watching SNL while we ate dessert. Yes. That's Mike Myers in a bathtub. 

What do you mean that's not real fire??? But it looks so warm!!! Very convincing, Chris. 

The next morning we headed back into town (read: walked a block into town) to check out the restaurant that had been overflowing with people the day before. Turns out...where there's smoke, there's fire...cuz this was an AWESOME breakfast. Danish pancakes, bacon that I'm pretty sure was fried in butter and brown sugar and coffee...yes...must...have...coffee.....mmmmm
This is also where Chris decided to tell me, "I don't really like olives". I feel like our entire relationship is a sham. 

So I made him try on this hat.

And have a face off with my other boyfriend. 
There's too much sexy in that picture.

On our way back down to LA we made a pit stop in Santa Barbara. Took a quick spin around the UCSB campus and logged some beach time. 

That's quite a big camera you got there Chris. 

And then it was back to LA.....
with our souvenirs.

Happy Anniversary Baby. :)


TLee said...

happy anniversary! love this post - made me laugh out loud! :)


Mateja said...

random, headed there this weekend. Glad to see the place is endorsed by trusted sources.

I do a lot of blog-reading (stalking? nay...) when I'm bored at work (which is often) and yours cheers me. Nice knowing that someone else out there feels the same way about getting older. Keep up the sarcastic good humor and all will be well!

Megan said...

Awesome post, great pictures - congrats on 4 years! :)