Road Trip North

Thanks for reading the first sentence of my first blog! My goal for this new venture is to entertain, inform and promote. It is Sunday morning, September 29, 2014 and I am sitting on a very nice raw cut wood picnic table on grass, in the SAVOR the Central Coast Band section that has beer (Firestone and others), wine and food booths. The weather is currently a very welcoming overcast mid 60s. I am sipping a glass of Marianello 2011 Cielo Rubio poured by Jenni Schierman and Sarah Powell from Sanger Family Wines and munching on organic pear slices. The event starts in 10 minutes.

I started this weekend driving to Los Alamos Old Days Saturday morning. I passed the first exit and came in from the north side so that I could leave easily and continue my journey north. Main Street (Bell) was closed off and lined with classic and fancy cars, food, confection, art booths, and bustling with people. I slowly cruised down and back up, grabbing an awesome Quackenbush breakfast burrito along the way. The weather was a very comfortable clear 75 with a cool wind. I was parched after my walk so I stopped in the newly opened (moved) Babi’s Beer Emporium. Jen poured me a cold one and I went out to the patio, standing at the bar fence that is along the sidewalk of Bell Street.

No sooner had I reached my spot when a lively character named Gerald approached with a briefcase in his hands. “1880!” he exclaimed, “This briefcase is from 1880!” “Ok,” I replied, amused by his excitement for the obviously old briefcase. We exchanged names and chatted for a bit. Not soon after we were joined by a friend of Gerald’s, Jerry. Two good old boys that laughed easily. They came in and joined me for another beer. Jerry noticed that peppers were being roasted behind us by Emilio Estevez. I controlled my urge to get a Selfie (such restraint!) and Emilio eventually came by to offer some peppers (I’ll get my picture another time). After more conversation, a walk-by visit with Jamie from Bell Street Farm, and glass of water, I bid farewell to my new friends Gerald and Jerry and took off for Santa Margarita and Savor.

To the present for a moment: The event is now in full swing, I’ve had sausages, watermelon gazpacho and a pesto burger. But I need to get another splash. I’ll return in a moment.

I am back after grabbing a s’more bite, salami slices and an organic slider. In my glass is Baehner Fournier Vineyards 2011 V3 Bordeaux Blend poured by Taylor of Santa Barbara Vintners’ Association from her booth.

So we are back to Saturday afternoon, and I have easily found my destination for the rest of today and tomorrow. Santa Margarita Ranch. I am parked and walking towards the entrance when I run into Michael Cervin. He is a good friend besides being a respected wine writer and author. He is with his wife, Kathy Gruver, a respected health and fitness speaker and writer. We exchange hugs and hellos as they clue me in as to the must visit booths. The event is packed, and I almost get ran over by the full-sized steam engine train as I take everything in.

I sample this and that and am impressed by the production. This a first class operation and it probably helps that Sunset magazine is involved. Besides the instant gratification that is everywhere, there are also demonstrations, lectures, and classes. The day ends with incredible music. I make it safely back to my hotel and get a great night’s sleep anticipating a full day of writing, learning, sipping, and snacking on Sunday.

So here I am typing away while all the excitement goes on around me. I’ve met great people and future partners. I salute Visit San Luis Obispo County, Sunset Magazine, and SAVOR the Central Coast for putting on an amazing event. Now it’s time to put the laptop away, embed myself into this party, and make moves to bring an event like this to the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley.


Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.