I am so happy.  It feels really good to be happy.  Santa Barbara has treated us well so far.  The weather has been great, and we have been thrilled with all of our activities.

We started off Thursday morning with breakfast brought to our door.  We enjoyed it on our patio.

IMG_1547So very good.  That fruit salad had every imaginable fruit.  I loved the mandarin oranges.  I mean seriously, this breakfast alone would cause me to never stay in a hotel again.  The powdered eggs, rubbery pancakes, little boxes of frosted flakes, and juice out of a machine can’t compare to this.

I am forever spoiled.

We then did something that neither one of us have ever done before.  We went wine tasting.

Cloud Climbers Jeep Tours did a package wine tasting tour.  Our amazing driver Barry took us to two vineyards and two boutique wineries.  Our first winery was Gainey, a large vineyard in Santa Ynez.  I realized here that I really prefer red wines over white wines with the exception of Gainey’s Riesling.  It wasn’t as sweet as a usual Riesling so I liked it a lot.

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Our driver picked up some grapes for us.  They were so sweet and crisp.  He also took us on a tour of the actual vineyard and took us to this barn.  It was used in the most current movie version of “Of Mice and Men”.  It seems that Rich would have been happy just exploring in that barn all day.

My favorite winery was our next stop in Los Olivos.  It was called Artiste.  They are a very small winery and use local artists to decorate their wine bottles and tasting room.  I walked in and knew I’d like it.  Bella would have loved it too with all the art work on the walls.  The tasting hostess was also the friendliest of the bunch.  This winery does a lot of blends and they were so good.

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This painting on the left was in the tasting room.  Rich took a picture and texted it to Bella and asked her if she could do that.  Bella said probably not.  Then he asked her if she could do it for $2000 (the asking price) she replied yesyesyes.  My favorite blend was the one on the right.  The bottle is so beautiful as well.

We had a nice picnic lunch on the back patio of our next winery.  This winery was also a small winery.  Daniel Gehrs winery was also located in Los Olivos.  I liked their port wine again not too sweet.

IMG_1555It is obvious that I am starting to really enjoy my afternoon.

IMG_1554Cleo, the fattest cat I have ever seen, joined us for our tasting.  She would not have anything to do with me, but LOVED on Rich for awhile.

Our last winery was Bridlewood Winery.  It was my favorite winery only because I met a woman from Dubuque Iowa who went to The University of Iowa.  We were instant best friends, not sure if it was the wine at this point or because we were Iowa sisters, but it didn’t matter, I loved her!!

IMG_1557She lives in Ventura and we traded phone numbers.  Her husband was an airline pilot, and we swore that we would get together.  I love Iowans.

This wine tasting has forever changed my idea about wine.  Trader Joes Two Buck Chuck will never be good enough.

I am forever spoiled.

I went back to our room and took an immediate nap…ahem.

We then went back to State Street and had sushi for dinner and walked around again.

IMG_1561We turned the corner and I ran into my worst nightmare, a statue.  If it wasn’t bad enough that it was a statue, it was completely lifelike.  My abnormal fear of statues is a whole other blog post, but there were a couple of them in this area of state street.

Oh my.

IMG_1565We left our high school mark on downtown Santa Barbara.  What an amazing day, it was truly special and lovely.

I am forever spoiled.

More Later


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