Browsing Category "California"
Tasting the Cab Sauv at J. Lohr.

Paso Robles Wine Tour: J. Lohr Vineyards

By     |    Mar 5, 2012
Posted in: California, Wine     |    1 Comment

Our first stop on our small-scale wine tour of the Paso Robles region was J. Lohr Vineyards. We were already familiar with J. Lohr wines — they’re always a good, moderately-priced option at restaurants and supermarkets — and we wanted to see where these wines came from. The J. Lohr tasting room and winery are located to the east of the 101 (read more about Paso Robles), but their grapes […]

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The official winery map.

Paso Robles, You’ve Stolen My Zinfandel-Loving Heart.

By     |    Mar 5, 2012
Posted in: California, Wine     |    1 Comment

Zinfandel (red, not white, as I’ve told many a server) is one of my very favorite wines. Zin is the extrovert of the wine varietals. It doesn’t hold anything back — it’s right there, in your face, giving you everything it’s got. As an introvert, I’m always drawn to the extroverts. I want to be bold too, and I love things (and people) that aren’t afraid to be over the […]

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IMAG1884 (Small)

Finding Denmark in Solvang, California

By     |    Mar 2, 2012
Posted in: California, Drives, Parks     |    2 Comments

First, we didn’t like Dodge City. It just wasn’t touristy enough. There was no old-timey bar, no real downtown, just a comical re-creation of fakeness off the main drag, a drag still used for moving cattle, from, unfortunately, just outside of town where we found huge feedlots filled with both cows and stank. It was too real. Then Tombstone was too touristy, stagecoaches with lip-syncing tour guide drivers and everyone […]

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Sebastian's Store -- burgers, beer, wine, etc.

Sebastian’s Store: Hearst Beef Burgers and Big Salads in San Simeon

By     |    Mar 1, 2012
Posted in: California, Food     |    No Comments

“The food is worth the wait!” we overhear the hostess promise another round of patrons. “But, we’re going to be late for our tour at the Hearst Castle!” the patroness indignantly exclaims. The hostess puts a sign up near the chalkboard menu — the restaurant cannot guarantee service in time for tours during rush periods. “You know, I thought it was the cashier that was the bottleneck — but it’s […]

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No you can't live here. How about a mug instead?

At the end of the West is insanity.

By     |    Mar 1, 2012
Posted in: California     |    7 Comments

I was poisoned in Carmel, poisoned by the rancid toxicity of the town, by the streets lined with greed and parkways of envy, by the righteousness of success and arrogance brought by riches. It made me retch for days. Petulant retirees roamed the boutique-lined boulevards. Residents returning to their million-dollar homes constantly usurped our right-of-way at the stop signs within the city limits. Drivers of Jaguars (or were they Maseratis?) […]

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The Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur -- a wonderful place to relax.

The Henry Miller Memorial Library and Artistic Refuge

By     |    Feb 29, 2012
Posted in: California     |    1 Comment

We are visiting the Henry Miller Memorial Library. There is not a crumb of dirt anywhere, nor a chair misplaced. There is free coffee available (donation suggested), free WiFi (satellite, so no big downloads, please), and a friendly cat roaming the patio. Lisa and I alone here, and we are alive. The drive into Big Sur should have killed us. The road swooped and darted like a frightened hummingbird. We […]

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We saw a sea otter in this little cove.

Great Drives: Route 1 Through Big Sur

By     |    Feb 28, 2012
Posted in: California, Drives     |    3 Comments

I shouldn’t have looked over the edge. A few miles back, we had passed a sign recommending that trailers and RVs were not advised on the next sixty miles of Route 1 past San Simeon. Seemed like an overreaction at the time. Then we were in it. Route 1 along the Big Sur coast, approaching from the south, starts with a couple miles of steep 25 mph curves. We’d been […]

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Balboa Park's fountain and promenade.

Griffith Park vs. Balboa Park Smackdown

By     |    Feb 28, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    1 Comment

Southern California is home to two great cities and both have great city parks. The crown jewel of San Diego is Balboa Park, home to the San Diego Zoo. The gem of LA is Griffith Park, home to the Hollywood sign and the LA Observatory. But which park has what it takes to be Southern California’s King Kong Champion of the World City Park? Let’s see … Attractions: Observatory + […]

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Our tent, Rocky Jr.

Molera State Park is…Fantastical

By     |    Feb 27, 2012
Posted in: California, Hikes, Parks     |    No Comments

It has occurred to me that I use the P-word too much. That’s P as in Paradise, of course. Give me clear skies, temps between 65 and 95 (I’m flexible), nice vistas, good trails, and few humans, and I’m in paradise. That’s why I’m trying to think of a new word to describe Andrew Molera State Park on the Big Sur coast. Fantastical? Superb? Awesome? Suggestions are welcome. The campground […]

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The old Carmel library.

Why are there so many grumpy old men in Carmel, California?

By     |    Feb 24, 2012
Posted in: California     |    2 Comments

Seriously, what’s going on? First we get glared at from a gent in a Jaguar, then there’s the guy outside the Coach store that’s just so, so … unhappy. These guys look retired and rich and they’re in California in the sun where it’s 70 and cloud-free. Everybody here seems upset about something. What is it? They live down the street from Pebble Beach Golf Course and they seem pissed. […]

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