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A Day Adventure In Santa Barbara Wine Country


Here are some shots from our one day adventure in Santa Barbara wine country, the day after our wine and cheese party. We just kept the spirit up I guess. Playing tourist guides always gives us a great excuse to make a quick trip to this region. With its quiet narrow, rocky dirt roads surrounded by picturesque mountains, lush valleys and wildlife, Santa Barbara wine country has such a charming atmosphere that makes you feel as though you have stepped into the Tuscan countryside (without the hassle of the long flight and the airport saga.) Every time we go there, we can't help but fall in love with the beauty of this part of California.

On our visit we made a point to drive through the Santa Ynez mountains to make a pilgrimage to one of our favorite little village towns called Solvang and of course our guest fell in love with it. How can you not?  Do you see the pics?!?   Entering the town makes you feel like you've stepped back into the Middle Ages (in a good way). We lingered at a couple of the quaint little shops as we sipped on coffee and nibbled on pastries from one of their cute local bakeries. I even got me a hand braided white leather bracelet from one of the local jewelry and candle boutiques as a souvenir of the town.

As we continued on to our next winery, we traversed a backwoods dirt road that seemed like it was going to land us in the middle of nowhere. It was full of deer and cows grazing and they seemed to be looking at us as if to say "don't even think about messing with us". We finally reached the cutest tiny house nestled amidst the mountains and trees that served as the storefront for the winery. As can be expected, I walked out of that place with a bottle of wine and a scented candle in a greenish glass that I can't wait to  burn out and use as a flower vase on our new mantle.

We always finish our day trips in downtown Santa Barbara to dine at one of our favorite restaurants called Cafe Buenos Aires, but to our chagrin, when we got to there, it was apparently bought over and now houses a Greek restaurant. We literally almost cried. I think we did on the inside. Especially, since we were dying for our friend to try out their food. Not that we don't like Greek food, but we were in the mood for a favorite dish called 'pastel de choclo' and for their bread and chimichurri sauce that was amazing, and of course the ambiance was the added bonus that's always a nice ending to a wine tasting adventure. What would we do next as the pangs of hunger was setting in by this point?  Our friend suggested Mexican food as a second choice. Then the search went on for not just a good Mexican restaurant, but a highly recommended exceptional Mexican restaurant. After researching the suggested best Mexican restaurants on my iPhone, we stumbled upon this new nontraditional Mexican/tapas restaurant called 'Cielito', which so happened to be located right behind our favorite french cafe that we normally go for breakfast when we stay overnight in Santa Barbara, and boy, were we delightfully pleased with the food, the atmosphere and the service. If you ever try it, do the different types of tapas so you can get to essentially taste different regions of South America. We can't wait to go back there.

Happy Monday!

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