Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Best Vacation Ever!

Aside from al the mushy engagement stuff, we had an AMAZING vacation! I hope everyone gets a chance to do this trip at least once in their life. It made us feel almost happy about astronomical rent, gas, and traffic in LA! You can check out all our photos here

First step to this awesome vacation: If you're going to drive around country this beautiful, GET A CONVERTABLE OR A MOTORCYLCE! Driving around southern california with the top down on a warm sunny day is in itself a joy, but add in a crystal clear sky, some huge mountians, and exapnsive valleys, and you've got something that few places can offer.

Bristlecone Pine Forest
Yeah, yeah, it might sound boring, a bunch of old trees out in the middle of nowhere and yeah, Tim and I are all gushy about it because it's the place we got engaged, but it truly is an amazing place to take in the Sierras and great valleys of southern California. Plus, the road that takes you up to the park is deserted, windy, perfectly paved, and empty.

Mammoth Moutain and Lakes
Little skiing in the morning, dirt biking in the afternoon, hiking, fishing, boating, horseback riding, goncola rides, anything outdoorsy is here. Mammoth is only an hour outside of the easter entrance to Yosemite and along the way you will pass by Mono Lake which is yet another gorgeous natural phenomenon to gawk at.

What can I say? It's Yosemite, it's huge, it's gorgeous, it does not dissappoint. If you happen to head there from Mammoth, stop by the Mobil Station at the Tioga Pass. For some weird reason, there's a gourmet deli inside it with great fish tacos and huuuge cakes. Tim's parents actually know someone that held their wedding there!

Favorites in Yosemite
Olmstead Point, Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, Glacier Point

Paso Robles

What a find! Imagine Nappa/Sonoma 20 years ago before it was overrun by buses full of tourists and you've got Paso Robles. There are over 100 wineries in this area 15 miles east of the Pacific and half way between LA and San Francisco. Well worth the drive. The wineries are in a fairly small area so it's really easy to hop around and hit a bunch of them in a short amount of time. They specialize in Zinfandels but there are lots of Roses, Pinot Gris, and other blends and when you go in for a flight, most of the wineries pour a generous 6-8 glasses for $3-$5. We actually got a little tipsy and had to take a long lunch to sober up. The little town of Paso Robles itself is also quite cute with a little town square dotted with shops and restaurants.

We stayed at a pueblo style B&B called the "Wild Coyote Winery. The "casitas" style buldings were designed and decorated by the inn keeper and his wife and the love they have for this place relaly shows through in al the little details, even down to the hair dryer! Not to mention the breakfasts the inn keeper's wife cooked every morning, way above and beyond most B&B fare.

Santa Barbara
By the time we got here, we were pretty exhausted so this was all about sitting around on the beach or pier, going to a few more wineries and just relaxing.


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