Monday, April 27, 2009

Wine tasting with Moos.

My dear, dear friend, Moos, was in town this weekend visiting from DC. Moos was my law school war buddy. I swear, I would have never made it through those three years without her. After spending almost every waking minute together studying, procrastinating, or drinking wine, she became one of my very dear friends. (You may recall she was the friend with the beautiful Portland wedding.) Sadly, we now live on opposite coasts and don't get to see each other nearly enough. Lucky for me, she came to visit us this weekend!

After spending a summer studying in Paris and sampling French wines with our favorite oenophile, Maggie, Moos, Maggie, and I took a semester-long wine class with a few other friends. We then spent a lot of weekends 3L visiting wineries around the Finger Lakes.

So ... when Margaret suggested taking a day trip to Santa Barbara County to go wine tasting, I couldn't think of a more brilliant idea!!

Our first stop Sunday morning was the Summerland Beach Cafe for breakfast (Jackie's fave and the spot we took the Italians when they visited in the fall).


After breakfast, we hit the wine trail. Our first winery was Firestone Vineyard.

We showed up just in time to take a guided, historical tour of the winery.

Our group met by the cork tree. I touched it. It was squishy.

I was loitering in the back of the group, taking pictures and poking the squishy tree. Josh hollered for me to catch up!

More vines.

Big kegs. Just kidding. This is where the wine starts fermenting.

The owner's private tasting room, where a bottle of every wine the winery has ever produced is kept. Our guide informed us that it was uber-VIP. (The last person allowed in was Reagan when he was president.) Too bad.

Barrels and barrels of wine. Yum.

Next stop was Fess Parker. It was about this point in the trip we started talking about how we are starting our own winery after we win the lotto this weekend. Who wouldn't want to live surrounded by the beautiful hills and vineyards?

(The free wine wouldn't be so bad either.)

Inside Fess Parker.

Our wine pourer guy was extra nice and allowed us to sample a few more pinot noirs. Really delish. But the winner was definitely the Syrah. It was like butta.

Fess Parker was also premiering a wine called "The Last Frontier." Moos decided to channel Davy Crocket and try on some of the promo hats.

(She will love me for posting this, I'm sure.)

More pictures of Fess Parker's gorgeous vineyards.

Then, it was back on the road.

Our third winery was Foxen Winery. By far the cutest, most rustic winery we visited.

At this point, Josh started pouring all of his wine into Margaret's and my glasses (he was the DD), which caused us to be extra chatty with the girls behind the counter. Good times.

We thought we'd stop there, but Josh suggested we stop at one last winery, Tres Hermanas. Luckily for us, they had a special wine and food pairing deal. Food was an excellent idea.

Sadly, the pairing and the wine were somewhat underwhelming. They did give us Kit Kat bars at the end, which made up for the lackluster wine. But who are we kidding, I would have drunk anything by winery #4.

Four wineries. Time for dinner.

We decided to try the Hitching Post, made famous by that one wine movie.

Roasted garlic for appetizer. Delicious.

Blurry but tasty shrimp cocktail.


My entree: filet mignon. The Hitching Post sprinkles what they call magic dust (more salt than psychedelic from what I could tell) which was delicious. (Moos had the ostrich which was also quite good.)

After a delicious meal, Josh piled two full and slightly tipsy girls into the car to head back home.

After a long drive home and a quick nap, we saw Moos off at LAX and then headed to bed. Despite being a little tired this morning, I couldn't help but be in a good mood. It was a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Another Saturday, Another BBQ.

What can I say, we are not very exciting around here these days. This is the first day since mid-March I haven't worked, and the thought of doing anything other than vegging out was definitely not appealing. So, when Bug called and suggested we BBQ some salmon, I was more than game.

I slept in and woke up with no alarm (which was glorious) and then helped Josh clean our house before Bug and her med school pals arrived. My dad and Cathy also came over, and we cooked up a delicious meal of salmon (caught by my mom in Alaska), asparagus, and salad.

Bug's dog, Pazzi, contemplating taking a plunge. In the background, you can see our roses are starting to bloom. It's amazing to me they have managed to survive living with Josh and me. Scrappy little things.

Other than this, there's really not much to report. God, I have been terrible about keeping this blog up. I just feel like nothing "blogworthy" has happened over here in awhile. Too much work leads to not enough fun, I guess.

Actually, one exciting thing has happened since I posted last: Josh and I found amazing flight fares roundtrip from LAX to Paris for $500, so we booked tickets for a week over New Year's Eve! So exciting -- wish it weren't so far away and we could leave right now! But, alas, I am stuck going back to the grindstone tomorrow morning. However ... since it still IS Saturday, so I am going to go make myself a margarita and sit in the hot tub!