When I said I over-do it, and can’t sit still, I meant it.

July 4th was great- we gorged on fatty picnic food and wine, and chatted with friends. The fireworks show was even better than before! No picture can do it justice. I really have no great pictures, except one of the top of my friend’s heads and the perfect lighting as the sun goes down. Ahhhhhhhhh so refreshing. The highlights were the fireworks, partner hooping, and ending with 7 people in the car, searching the hilly golf course in a lowered car for lost cars in the endless parking lot that is the Rose Bowl.

photo

The weekend after I spent working like a crazed lunatic on a coat I’m making for…. winter. Yep, it’s 100 degrees out and I’m making winter clothing deadlines for myself. Maybe I like stress. I mean I hate it, but I work a TON under it, like a warm, evil, productive blankie.

I jumped the craft room ship for awhile into a pool with friends Saturday evening. No stress, no drama, just napping, swimming, food, music, horrifying “would you rather” questions and.. shuttlecock.

7-6-13

The Sunday after I was cracked out again on sewing, and preparing for my next project, due a few days later, a nautical themed cake:

photo 2

This had to be done early, since I was leaving Friday for Paso Robles. Now with endless work at work, horse back riding on Wednesday, I crunched my time into a little ball and dealt with it. I was thrilled to get so many paid gigs in a small amount of time. By Friday, I wasn’t ready to leave town. I am always prepared days ahead and had to live with the idea that I wasn’t this time. But, I survived, I packed everything I needed, and I had a FANTASTIC time!

Friday evening, we arrived at our home rental at Berardo winery. So for $200/night including tax we got a whole house with a full kitchen and a patio. The patio overlooked vineyards and rolling hills, with a giant oak tree in the distance. We could see cows wandering their pastures far off in the distance, and would watch hawks soar above the endless vineyards. It was ridiculously cool. We went to the town, found there wasn’t much to do, and so we wandered into some antique shops and ate at a tapas restaurant called Estrella. The nice thing about Paso Robles is that it is not like Solvang, or Santa Maria. It has better food!!! Estrella was good, but not amazing. The ambiance is sweet though – dark with fancy chairs and small tables, with a front patio overlooking the city’s central park.

After dinner we rushed back to the vineyard to watch the sun set. It was amazing. The next morning we woke up early and Brian made us a terrific breakfast with groceries we brought in – eggs, bacon, and chocolate walnut waffles. Fruit on the side, and chicory coffee. It was an incredibly ideal vacation breakfast. You didn’t have to get up and wait in line at some popular brunch spot. You just get up in your jammies and walk outside to the picnic table overlooking the winery.

We headed out to the Estrella Warbird Museum which was full of awesome jets and helicopters. It had an eye opening armament, full of too many scary military vehicles and weapons, and a race car/classic car museum. When I was a kid my parents took us to an air show, complete and topped off with the Blue Angels. Since then the reality of what these amazing airplanes can do just blows me away, so it was fun to see them up close! I highly recommend checking it out.

photo 2

Afterwards we hit our first wineries, including Sculpterra. The place was full of amazing giant sculptures, specifically of big cats and horses (giant plus for me!). Unfortunately all the fancy landscaping out front was full of thousands upon thousands of bees and we had to rush our way through enjoying it.

photo 1

The wine? It was good at all the wineries. I just don’t think I have the refined palate to really be blown away by any specific one. I’m in this wine tasting thing to drink wine, see things, pretend I live in these places, and be outdoors running through beloved dirt and being drenched in sun. I love it.

We went home and snacked, and then headed back out to more wineries. To be specific: EOS, Sculpterra, Chronic Cellars, Wild Coyote, Halter Ranch, Whalebone, Hammersky and Grey Wolf.

In the pictures below, clockwise from left: Wild Coyote (mostly red wines – yummy port and cool decor), Wild Coyote’s view, with their own bed and breakfast atop a hill, Hammersky vineyards (dog friendly, great views), Wild Coyote’s teepee in front of their winery, and my favorite, Halter Ranch.

photo 3

Halter Ranch has this gorgeous old home on the property, with a big empty barn, and a wooden bridge stretching across a small creek. If you have time, click on the link of Halter Ranch tasting room pictures, it’s just beautiful. It’s out of the rolling dry hills and partially nestled in a tree filled area, and those trees are dripping with moss. It’s like a tiny taste of the South without having to go there.

Several of the wineries out there are cat friendly, having resident cats roaming about the tasting rooms or picnic areas. These particular wineries are memorable to me because of the cats. The pictures below, clockwise from the left: Whalebone winery, Grey Wolf winery (which had a few great white wines with NO aftertaste like the usual Chardonnay, they were dry and yummy like my beloved reds) which overlooks Eagle Castle Winery which we never made it to, and the rest being more pictures from Whalebone. The happy black cat on the counter threw himself on me and eventually nestled up in my arms and tried to fall asleep. photo 4

That evening we went to Artisan, the best restaurant in Paso Robles. By best I mean it, and this restaurant is just as good, and even better than some of your LA favorites. The food is the minimal plate fancy type, but so flavorful that you are so satisfied after you eat. The plates are between $20-$40 each and quite worth it.

Afterwards we went back to our little home, and wandered the vineyard. We hiked up the rolling vineyard watching the sun set. When we got back I heard a cat in the neighboring house meowing, and after speaking to it for a bit, it came out and hung out with us for a few hours. Just the cherry on top of the ice cream I tell you. The cute cat loved chatting it up, gettin’ pet, and then disappeared into the night later on. Below are some of my favorite pictures from the home. Sunset, my man, the happy cat, and a fantastic breakfast.  My home is where my cats are, and once that cat came out to chillax with us, we were all set.

photo 5

The next day we had our same yummy breakfast, and headed back down south, with a stop at Avila Barn. My riding class mates suggested I stop by this place – It was a good lunch time spot. It was a small farm with sandwiches and an ice cream shop, along with a farmer’s market. They’re famous for their pies, so I bought an apricot pie. They have all types – mixed berry, apricot, peach, peach blueberry, strawberry rhubarb – the list goes on. I would have taken a picture of the pie, but we ate it already. It was GOOD.

We got back, cleaned the cat vomit (because, ain’t that just what you come home to when you own cats?), and chilled out eating Tacos Michoacan.

The next morning it was right back to work with me. In the evenings I had to work on the Sansa Stark costume, because it had to be picked up Tuesday. I spent hours that night, and Tuesday finishing it up. I really messed up on the arms, and that has been one of my main sewing weaknesses thus far. If they’re loose, it’s no biggie, but if you want a flattering, fitted costume, it’s the bane of my existence. In the end, after hours of working on it, it turned out looking stunning on my friend who commissioned it. I cannot wait for photos. It’s the best Sansa cosplay yet, and the girl is a beautiful redhead as well, so I cannot wait to see it! So, that deadline is done, and I await pictures.

This morning I threw my neck out brushing my teeth. I called in sick because I couldn’t possibly drive and look over my shoulder. Instead I finished off my coat and though I probably shouldn’t have, I’ve got permanent ants in my pants. It’s something I really must work on.

photo

Yep, I’m busy.

 

 

Advertisements