Sunday, December 21, 2008

Alameda to Solvang

Alameda to Solvang

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We usually do a big road trip every Labour day, stopping in Solvang, Legoland, and on to Baja. This year because Michelangelo's school schedule changed last minute, to our disappointment we were unable to to go.
About a month ago, there was an announcement at work that we would be shutting down Christmas week; so we took advantage of that and changed our road trip from Canceled to simply postponed and we left Alameda on 20-Dec for points south!

King City

We usually leave Alameda at the crack of dawn; the main reason being is that our normal departure date is a workday and we have no desire to spend eons in traffic. This time, since we left on a weekend, we got to leave at a more sane hour.

The net effect of this change was that we were nearing King City at lunch time and got to stop at our favorite Salinas Valley Mexican restaurant "El Lugarcito" (Castillian for "the little place"), where SGK presented me with a new camera! It is a Nikon Coolpix S210and while its small size means it can't do as much as my Canon PowerShot S5 IS or SaraGrace's Nikon D40;It takes great photos and is the size of my cell phone so I do not notice it's even in my pocket. Thanks Honey! The photos here are all taken with it.

El Lugarcito

El Lugarcito is a cash-only restaurant in King City that we "discovered" one time on a return trip north. The shrimp dish and fried chicken are both recommended. The Burritos are Mexican style (i.e.: not the huge stuffed monsters most Californians are used to)
DSCN0001.JPG-Taking a video of me opening the new camera Taking a video of me opening the new camera
DSCN0003.jpg-In our favorite restaurant in King City In our favorite restaurant in King City
DSCN0004.jpg-Handsome guy Handsome guy
DSCN0005.jpg-Fromage! Fromage!
DSCN0006.jpg-Mean girl Mean girl
DSCN0008.jpg-Cheese! Cheese!
DSCN0010.jpg-Queso! Queso!
DSCN0011.jpg-Barbie gets to come too Barbie gets to come too


We forewent our usual stay at Solvang Inn and Cottages to try someplace new - The Kronborg. We were both surprised when it was a different place than we thought!
We arrived too late in Solvang to really do anything due to a lengthy stop at Tablas Creek winery in Paso Robles, but started early the next morning.
We made 2 of our mandatory 3 wino stops; Zaca Mesa and Rusack (the third being Carina), drove by the miniature horses (they were not open), and sampled a new winery (Melville) in the Santa Rita Hills, fed some big birds at Ostrich Land, before heading to dinner at the Hitching Post.

Los Olivos Grocery

Los Olivos grocery is a grocery store/breakfast restaurant
DSCN0015.jpg-Vineyard in fall : It's winter solstice, and the vines are still coloured for autumn! Vineyard in fall It's winter solstice, and the vines are still coloured for autumn!

Zaca Mesa

Zaca Mesa is a Rhône Ranger winery (i.e.: Specializes in Rhône style wines) and do a fantastic GSM (Grenach-Syrah-Mourvedre blend) DSCN0016.jpg-Funny Hats : At the Zaca Mesa winery, they gave the kids funny Christmas hats \ Funny Hats At the Zaca Mesa winery, they gave the kids funny Christmas hats


Rusack is a winery in Ballard canyon that boasts a fabulous picnic area.
DSCN0017.jpg-Michelangelo enjoys the day (Epicurean picnic at Rusak winery) Michelangelo enjoys the day
DSCN0019.jpg-Mommy and Boo-boo Mommy and Boo-boo
DSCN0020.jpg-Mommy and Bella Mommy and Bella
DSCN0021.jpg-Mommy and kids Mommy and kids
DSCN0022.jpg-Isabella indicates that enough photos have been posed for Isabella indicates that enough photos have been posed for
DSCN0024.jpg-Me and SGK Me and SGK


Melville specializes in Burgundian varietals.
DSCN0029.jpg-Mommy and Bella at Tablas Creek Mommy and Bella at Melville Winery


Ostrichland is a tourist attraction where you can feed the birds and buy HUGE eggs. They do sell meat here, but it comes from other farms.
DSCN0035.jpg-Feeding the ostriches Feeding the ostriches
DSCN0038.jpg-Feeding the Emus Feeding the Emus
DSCN0041.jpg-Dad's turn Dad's turn

The Hitching Post

The restaurant made famous by the movie Sideways.
DSCN0051.jpg-Coloring at the Hitching Post Coloring at the Hitching Post
DSCN0053.jpg-Don't watch me! Don't watch me!
DSCN0054.jpg-Bah-boo sneaking into Bella's coloring book Bah-boo sneeking into Bella's coloring book
DSCN0055.jpg-Isabella eats an unknown vegetable Isabella eats an unknown vegtable
DSCN0056.jpg-I'm an artist! I'm an artist!
DSCN0057.jpg-Mom and dad Mom and dad
DSCN0059.jpg-Blech! Blech!
DSCN0063.jpg-Formagi! Formagi!

Next up

Tomorrow we head south to Anaheim and a big Christmas surprise for the kids!


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