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13/8-07 18.04 : JAM
Our Wine Tour

We just spent the weekend with our good friends Peter & Debbie Berg in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles (central coast of California). We’re celebrating our third wedding anniversary tomorrow, and Debbie & Peter are celebrating their second. So we packed up ourselves and our kids (Sophia and their 4-month old baby, Owen) to SLO and to wine country for a relaxing weekend. We had a great time. We were able to tour our favorite wineries as well as some new ones. Here’s where we stopped: Dark Star, Eagle Castle, Peachy Canyon, Doce Robles, J. Lohr, Tobin James and Hug. We’re hoping that both Sophia and Owen will grow up to be wine connoisseurs; we think they had a great start this weekend, and we were able to sample some great wines. So now in addition to the pack-n-play, stroller, car seat and Baby Bjorn that we had to pack into the car, we’re now also toting our nearly full two cases of wine. Thank goodness we brought the X-Terra!

Our neighbor had told us to taste wines at his favorite winery, J. Lohr, which turned out to be one of our favorite experiences this weekend. Not only was the wine great, but our server told us the vineyard right outside the tasting room had ripe grapes and she suggested that we go try a few and take some pictures among them. We did…and Sophia quickly discovered that wine grapes picked right off the vine are incredibly good. I think she must’ve eaten about a hundred of them, one by one, right off the vine and into her mouth. And I think every single time, as she bit into the sweet inside, she looked at one of us with a satisfied look on her face and said, “Mmmmmm! MMMMmmmmm!” Of course we had our camera there, and I think we shot about a hundred pictures of her in the vineyard.

Peter & Debbie had scouted out a fantastic hotel for us, as they had made a similar trip last year. We stayed at the Petit Soleil (www.PetitSoleilSLO.com) in downtown San Luis Obisbo. It was awesome, decorated like a French countryside inn. The rooms all had their own personality (ours, the Tournesol was decorated with sunflowers everywhere). Peter & Debbie had raved about the breakfasts and the hors d’vores every evening, and they were right. We had homemade cinnamon French toast one morning, and ham and asparagus strata the second. Our appetizers included artichoke bruschetta one evening and goat cheese toast the second, both with spicy almonds with fennel seeds and local Paso Robles wines. The service was fabulous, the owners were very personable and were very accommodating to all of our needs. We were able to walk to downtown SLO to a whole variety of restaurants and stores, and the very cute downtown area, where the streets are lined with trees and outdoor cafes. It was a great trip and a great way to celebrate our three years of marriage.

Some lessons we learned:
1. Kids don’t want to sleep in wine country. They might miss some of the tastings. 2. Winery cats who are missing their tail don’t appreciate a 16-month old trying to take its eyes out and will retaliate. 3. Sometimes the least friendly-looking animals (kittens and German shepherds) are the most tolerant of kids and actually enjoy kids running up & petting them. 4. If it seems like it’s a bad idea to go out to dinner after both babies haven’t had naps, order pizza delivered to the hotel. And if on the second night, the kids haven’t had their naps again, DEFINITELY order pizza.