Monday, December 12, 2011

Marcy's Travel Blog- California Mountain Wineries And Winding Roads!

Driving through the mountains on a winding road, one gets the feeling that you could get lost in all the grandeur! Every curve brought new beautiful scenery!

Lake Cachuma

Lake Cachuma is an artificial lake located in the Santa Ynez Valley on the Santa Ynez River- constructed in the early 1950's, it provides the majority of the district's water supply.

Me..humming  "The Hills Are Alive....."

Entrance to Bridlewood Winery - In the summer a canopy of green.

Our plan was to have a picnic lunch at the Bridlewood Winery, then meander through the valley from there.

Phyllis thought of everything, including a lovely vintage table cloth to add to our picnic! The surrounding grounds were lovely! What a wonderful view to go with our lunch!

From our table, a view of a pond and vineyard beyond.

We had decided against the wine tasting. Phyllis was driving, and I'm a light weight when it comes to alcohol, so this was a "dry" visit!

Entrance to Bridlewood's wine tasting room.

We found out that Gallo now owns the Bridlewood Winery! I personally felt a bit sad that so many family-owned businesses were giving way to corporate, but that's the nature of today's economy.

Patio sitting area- Canine Kenny was not sure of what I was  doing!

Our next stop was Fes Parker Winery and Vineyard. (Anyone remember Fess Parker as Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in the T.V. series & made the coonskin cap famous? He also played in Old Yeller!) He built the Fes Parker's Double Tree Inn in Santa Barbara as well as The Fess Parker Wine Country Inn & Spa.

This sign at Fes Parker's Winery naming all the wineries in the area! Wow!

The Fes Parker ranch style  wine tasting area and store.

Grapevines after harvest, with the hills beyond.

An old hound at the Fes Parker ranch- seemed a bit TOO interested in Kenny (far right)

After our winery outing, we headed down the mountain, hoping to get back before dark. (The highway is a bit treacherous at night!) Phyllis would pull over wherever she could so that I could get a camera shot of the sun going down. As I have said, it sets around 4:30 p.m. here!

After a while, I no longer LEAPT from the car. It was more of a "struggled out of the car".  I was wearing down! I told Phyllis that I had plenty of good pictures, yet over she'd pull, convinced that all that wondrous beauty needed to be recorded. Eventually I sat in the car, rolled down my window, and pointed my camera.

Even without the benefit of wine, we were getting a bit slap happy! Laughing, Phyllis would pull over at the next turn off while I whined- Nooooo! Pleeeseee! No more! Laughing, we'd stop while I half leaned/half layed out the window!  Then we were careening down the mountainside, with my window open, shooting pictures as we went. At one point the wind almost took the camera out of my hands, so I wrapped the strap handle around my wrist and kept shooting. Amazingly enough, I got some really good shots!

Though blurry, I like the feel of this one.

We finished the evening in Santa Barbara at  her friend Andy (Andrea)'s home. A wonderful meal was prepared, and thanks to our gracious hostess, our bellies were full!

A wonderful chicken dish! So yummy!

What a day! Beautiful scenery, laughter a-plenty, wonderful friendship, and fantastic food! It doesn't get any better than this! 

My dear friend and hostess knows that I am an avid (if not somewhat an amateur)  gardener. So we'll be seeing some of the beautiful nurseries in the Carpinteria area. Join me for a bit of extra "color" and beauty!

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