This is a re-post. I originally spent 45 minutes working away on this post with Victor sleeping by the computer. When he decided to get up and wander about wouldn't you know that he would step on the back arrow key. Poof! Post gone.
If all goes according to plan we'll be on a plane heading to California when this post appears. A group of the slow travel are gathering in the up and coming wine area of Paso Robles for an anti-super bowl celebration. We really enjoyed our visit to Paso in the spring so we were quite tempted by this. When I found flights on Delta for $ 203 return the temptation gave way to certainty!
We fly out of Buffalo tonight and if the weather gods are with us, we will arrive in SFO at 10:46. We connect through Cincinnati. When I booked the flights we had about 50 minutes to make the connection, tight but doable in a small airport. Of course, the twits at the airline changed the flight and now we have only 30 minutes to make the connection! We may make it, I'm not sure about our luggage. We know how airlines act so we have an alternative plan, just in case.
Anyway. If all goes according to plan we will arrive at SFO late in the evening, pick up our luggage (year, right), get the rental car and head to a hotel by the airport that I booked with points. One of the alternative plans includes bringing a change of clothing and our toiletries on the plane with us, just in case our luggage gets stranded somewhere in Delta's system.
Tomorrow morning our plan is to get up, have some breakfast, and head south to Paso Robles. Of course when Paul discovered that we would be heading past one of the largest outlet malls in the US he indicated that a pit stop in Gilroy might be in order. He couldn't care a less that Gilroy is the largest garlic producer in the world or home to a fabulous garlic festival - he sees bargains in his future. After he exhausts his VISA card we'll get a burger at In-N-Out and continue south to Paso.
Our plans for Friday night are quite flexible. A group of folks are gathering at a house that has been rented by some of the slow travel moderators but I think we'll be tired and so will just hang around the town. We might stop by the house for wine or we may not. We may just wander around the downtown square. Or we may visit some wineries. We may just crash in the motel!
The fun starts on Saturday. Shannon, one of the slow travel moderators, has arranged the events for the day. Because it is a large group (close to 50) everyone has volunteered to bring food to the house for breakfast or dinner. This presented Paul and I with a dilemma: we can't cook in the motel and we can't bring food with us. We ended up teaming with Wendy and Rob to provide the cheese, crackers, nibbles, and snacks at the first winery the group is visiting: Castoro.
Here we are enjoying dinner with Wendy and Rob last spring. Yet again I apologize for the pic Rob, it was the waiter darn-it! *smile*
After our visit to Castoro the group splits up. Shannon has arranged visits to two wineries and an olive grove. We opted to go to Pasolivo. We've been to lots of wineries but never to a working olive farm. Plus we have had olive oil from Pasolivo before and it is great.
I think that our trip to Pasolivo ends at 2:30. Paul and I will likely spend some time exploring the winding roads west of Paso Robles. It seems as if there is a winery every mile or so along these roads. This will give us lots of time to visit some wineries and be back at the motel with plenty of time before the party starts back at the house at 6:00.
It will be a fun night. I've met many of the group before at Palma's party in Palm Desert so I know that the wine will flow , the food plentiful and tasty, and the laughter won't stop until everyone leaves!
On Sunday a group is getting together for brunch and a tour of another winery. We decided to forgo that fun. Instead we will hop in the car and head north to San Francisco. We hope to hit some of our favourite haunts in the Ferry Market and the Union Square area.
We have lunch reservations for 1:45 at our favourite Vietnamese restaurant: the Slanted Door. For dinner we were torn. We could visit yet another of our haunts or we could check out a new restaurant outside of the city. In the end we decided to check out Barolo in Pacifica. It is well reviewed and only 15 minutes from our hotel (again booked with points) plus it will allow us to check out a part of the peninsula that we have never visited before.
We head back east Monday morning at 9 am. Of course it will be the usual mad dash to pack our wine, olive oil, and other purchases and get to the airport in time but somehow we'll manage it. We connect through my least favourite airport for connections (JFK) and arrive back in Buffalo at 10 pm. Talk about a whirlwind!
Yes, I am taking Tuesday off of work to recover.