A friend of ours is traveling to California later this week and staying in the area we visited last month. She was asking for recommendations of places to see and do. Naturally I'm heading to the central coast region of California for this week's travel Tuesday post.
I took Friday afternoon off of work to get everything ready. By 2:30 the food was all prepped, the table set, and so I lay down for a much needed nap.
Once our guests arrived for our annual St. Patrick's Day dinner we started off we started off with drinks and appetizers in the family room. Paul and I had a pear martini. For the apps we had mini double stuffed potatoes and Irish Blue Cheese Shortbread coins.
After nibbling, sipping, chatting, and lots of laughing we moved into the dining room for the main course.
Glazed corned beef, roasted carrots with honey and pistachios, colcannon.
After dinner it was back into the family room for dessert - an Irish Apple Tart with shortbread crust and crumble.
All in all a perfect evening - great food, drink, and company.
On the Saturday of the SlowBowl Shannon had arranged wine tastings at the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. The Wine Ghetto is a unique collection of wineries, tasting rooms, and production facilities located off Pacific Coast Highway 1 and 12th Street. The Wine Ghetto has about 20 boutique tasting rooms to choose from all arranged in an industrial mall type setting. It is pretty cool - you just park your car and go from tasting room to tasting room.
A Filipino food truck arrived at noon so you could order some delicious treats to fill your stomach as you tasted all of that wonderful wine.
After about 4 hours we went back to the house and napped before the Saturday night party.
We are always trying to find unique and fun spots to explore when we travel in California. We had read about this winery and sculpture garden and decided to visit it on Wednesday before the expected rain arrived. This full winery has many varietals of wine, pistachios grown on the property you can taste and tons of crazy metal sculptures, what more could you want?
World renowned sculptor John Jagger was commissioned by owner Dr. Warren Frankel for a five year period, and his works can be viewed while strolling through the gardens. These magnificent sculptures in bronze and granite are one man’s life work and are sure to inspire any visitor. From the beautiful 10 foot bronze “Mermaid” rising from the fountain, to the 20,000 Lb. granite “Puma” and the 16 ft. tall bronze “Dancing Horse”, Jagger’s passion for the underwater world, cats – from domestic to wild, and horses are evident. Upon entering the tasting room you are greeted by Jagger’s miniature series of sculptures displayed throughout. Mr. Jagger left this world on June 6, 2013 and with his passing, local sculptor Dale Evers has taken over the reins as the sculptor in residence, and will continue to push the creative envelope.
They also have an area which shows you what the different varietals of wine look like, with a row of each type planted and named. I found this fascinating as I had never compared them like this before.
Not to be outdone by the sculptures themselves, the tasting room is really unique and beautiful as well. The wrought iron chandeliers hang down in a inviting fashion, the soda machine in the back has been completely redone, and the chairs even have a unique look.
The winery also serves their own, grown on the property pistachios right there in the tasting room as well and you can eat them in-between tastes of wine.
This all comes together in an unique and interesting wine country experience.
We left the snow behind and headed to California for a long weekend of fun. We shoppedm toured wineries, tasted olive oil, met up with good friends, and ate some wonderful food. I can't wait for slow bowl 2009.