I am a teacher and aspiring writer, and keep a blog to keep up with writing and document the daily moments that make up my life. Working with my students & travel writing are my biggest passions. People, art, food, wine/spirits, and culture are other writing interests. Thanks for coming by!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Central Coast Road Trip!

A special thing happened last week. I got to see Ragged Point for the first time, the place where Rob & I are getting married in July! Karissa and I took a road trip down to check the place out. We weren't disappointed! The has spectactular views and beautiful grounds. The beauty of the place literally took our breath away!

After checking out the site, and meeting with the wedding planner, Gloria, (and tasting the wines too!) we went to a great seafood restaurant in Cambria called the Sea Chest. The Sea Chest was one of the top five best restaurants I've ever been to, and if we're just talking seafood, the best. We ordered a bottle of Albarino (our favorite wine!) and shared an appetizer (Oysters Rockefeller) and entree (shrimp and scallop scampi.) We sat at the bar, which was great, because we got to watch the chefs, Jose & Andy, work their magic. We also met the owner, who just happened to take a seat next to Karissa to enjoy his nightly dinner there. He was a salty old dog who had some great stories to tell. He said he opened the place back in '74, and hasn't looked back. Back at our room, we fell into a blissful sleep after having a full - and pretty great - day.

The next day we woke up to do - what else? - some wine tasting. After all, when in Rome, right? I've always wanted to wine taste on the Central Coast but never had a chance to. We started out at a place called "Opolo," which is Greek for "fun," we learned. We tasted some wines there, and Karissa picked up a bottle of their Sangiovese. We took a recommendation from them to try a place called "Oso Libre" out up the road, and this place may have been our favorite. Fairly new, but with some pretty good wines already being produced, this place had that wonderful feeling of the kind of place where things are on the upswing. We made friends with the winemaker, Chris, who was not only smart enough to move there, plant a vineyard, and make wine, but also smart enough to make double use of his land as a frisbee golf course. This is a guy that knows how to live! We met his dogs, their names were (blank & blank), he said one was the brains, and the other one was the brawn.

The last place we tasted was a place called "The Whalebone," and miraculously enough, they said their name came from the fact that a whale bone was found on their vineyard. Amazing.

At this point, we'd had our fair share of vino and needed to get some lunch, so we headed to the deli around the corner on Highway 46. After lunch we were pretty much done for, so we drove back to the coast and took a beach walk, then bought our guys shirts at the Sea Chest, since we both have significant others who love to fish and love seafood. We are so excited to take them there when we are down there for the wedding. We didn't eat again at Sea Chest, instead we opted for "El Churlito," a Mexican place in Cambria that was recommended to us as a potential place to have our rehearsal dinner. The food was pretty good, the view was really nice with a garden full of succulents and coastal wildflowers, and then beyond that, the sea. We called it an early night because we'd had another full day!

The next morning Sandy, the flower lady we're working with, met us at our motel room to discuss flowers for our wedding. We made great progress. We chose flowers to use in the bouquets for the bridesmaids and I, and the flowers for the centerpieces. Also, I finally found the flower I am putting in my hair, it's a Malaysian orchid and so pretty. This meeting was a huge relief because flowers are so difficult to discuss over the phone.

That wrapped up our time on the Central Coast, and from there, we packed up for Santa Cruz, where the bachelorette was about to begin! But on our way north toward Santa Cruz, we did make one last stop at one of my favorite places on Earth for brunch: Cafe Kevah in Big Sur. We ordered mimosas, and took in the view, and had a little break from driving around all of those curves. Up next: Santa Cruz.