Friday, July 11, 2008

In the Wilds of Cambria… ish…

Odd enough, I still haven’t written about our trip to Cambria. Hey, I’ve been busy… catching up with my video game playing…

But I know what you’re dying to read about: adventure, intrigue, sex… eh… cows… uh… disease… er… slushies…

Last Saturday was our wine day. Vicky whined when it was time to get up. I whined when I had to stop playing video games. And then, we were on our way to wineries.

Our first stop was Scheid. Scheid was once home to the finest merlot anywhere. I know – I know! Sounds like a contradiction! But a few years back, they made a merlot that made your toes curl. I mean curl, baby!

But not this year. We were 90 minutes north of the 46 and we’d gone all that way for my merlot… and I didn’t buy any. But Vicky took it in stride. She had to. I’d just bought her new shoes. Anyway, our next stop was San Marcos – the winery, not the city – home of the best Late Harvest Zin, um, that day. Their Syrah wasn’t bad, either. Neither was their Cab… Oh jeez. After we were ready to buy six bottles we succumbed completely and joined their wine club. Six bottles three times per year – in for a penny, in for a couple of hundred dollars. Yikes.

Our original plan was to drive the 101 through Paso Robles, hitting winery after winery all day long but we eventually spent so much time at San Marcos – the sommelier giving us pour after pour (this was AFTER we’d joined, mind you), Vicky out there taking pictures of peacocks… plenty of pictures of peacocks… plenty of pretty pictures of peacocks posing and preening prettily… until I was feeling nicely buzzed, thank you – we decided to cut our losses, gains, whatever, and head back “home”.

We’d seen a place on the 46 that sold apple slushies and made a point to stop on the way back. It was just a little farm and store, looking like it wanted nothing more than to grow up into a northern version of Tom’s Farm. But that would probably take a while. In the meantime, we pulled up, ready for slushies.

As we pulled up, we saw a sign that read (something like) “Due to tobacco mosaic, no smoking allowed.” Tobacco mosaic? I’d never heard of it. Vicky got the apple. I got the pomegranate. (Because, seriously, how could you NOT?) Fucking delish! Nothing but frozen fruit all slushed up… mmmmm… and on a day that hot, it was perfect. (We still hadn’t topped the ridge that sequestered cool, moist Cambria in its little valley of perfection.) Then, we asked about the tobacco mosaic.

Turns out, it’s a disease tobacco carries that kills all kinds of good, tasty plants – including tomatoes, my fave! When you leave your butts all over the place, the remaining tobacco kills those good, tasty plants. Well, there you go. As if I needed it, there was another reason to not smoke. (Seriously, I didn’t need it – I just ended up feeling guilty.)

The day had been long and hot and I was more than relaxed from the wine but Vicky had a surprise in store for me. As we headed down the 46, she suddenly slowed. “Let’s go down Santa Rosa Creek Road,” she said. I was agreeable enough but surprised when she turned at that moment. One of the things I’ve always like about Vicky was her willingness, nay enthusiasm, for getting lost. I have always loved getting intentionally lost – probably a remnant from when my mom used to take the family on long drives and get lost… even if that wasn’t intentional – so to be with someone who also enjoys it is a lot of fun.

About an hour later, I got the feeling it wasn’t so much fun. But here’s what we knew. We knew that Santa Rosa Creek Road emptied out near Cambria. We knew that cell phone reception was nil. We also knew that the road was not in a state you would call “in repair”. So, we started joking about breaking down out there, finding lodging at some farm, and having to sleep in the basement with the (in-bred) Cyclops child. After a while had passed, and Vicky’s face and turned from enjoying to enraging, I placated her as best I could. “Don’t worry, honey. We’ll find the end of the road – I mean where it ends in Cambria – soon enough. I’m not even that hungry even if it is way past dinnertime. We’ll just stop on the way home, instead of heading home first and changing into clean clothes and going to a nice place. I just want food.” I don’t know if it worked.
But soon we saw familiar sights and came upon Cambria. We went to Lynn’s, had great steaks, and I had pie for dessert. Ah pie. I could spend a whole entry telling you about their pie… but I won’t.

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