“Tin Cup Chalice”
I want to go back to the island,
Where the shrimp boats tie up to the pilin’.
Give me oysters and beer for dinner every day of the year,
And I’ll feel fine, I’ll feel fine.
‘Cause I want to be there,
I want to go back down and lie beside the sea there.
With a tin cup for a chalice
Fill it up with good red wine
By Mr. Jimmy Buffett
This whole thing started completely differently six months ago. My parents were very keen to get us and my brother’s family to go with them on a Canal Boat Cruise in France, in 2017. Sadly, soon after they started researching the trip, the troubles in France started and we had to tell them that we were going to skip it (there may be more trouble and we don’t need it). So,,,,annually they go on their summer kayaking migration north to avoid the heat and we said we’d meet them and my brother’s family somewhere in-between, for a few days of family get-together. Knowing already that we love the country in and around Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo (Central California), we lobbied to have us all meet there. It worked, and my parents pointed their truck and trailer that way to meet us for a long weekend. We knew our Tin Cup Chalice was getting a bit empty of our usual “two-buck chuck”, so we road tripped to our favorite haunt. Come on,,,,,I’ll take you there over the next few days of blogs.
We took a few days off for this trip. Day 1 started at 4am after working all the day before, then packing and putting tiny children to bed, knowing we were leaving at the crack of dawn. And we did, but an hour late. The gypsy family caravan finally left at 0545 for our six-hour drive, but doing the drive in the morning on a weekday from here is pretty easy. Through the desert, straight through the Tehachapi Pass, down through Bakersfield, across half the state on SR 46, and into Paso de Robles. It was a good drive with the kids sleeping through some of it before waking to yell at us that they needed food (like tiny baby birds). Since we wanted to hit a few favorite haunts in San Luis Obispo (SLO), we headed straight through to SLO, knowing already where we wanted lunch. If you’re there and like decent food and great beer, SLO Brewing Company is the best. They have a Blueberry Lager that’s heavenly and a good lunch menu. So very impressive service too! When they found out I had driven six hours for my Blueberry Lager the manager comped some of our lunch cause they had just ran out and another batch wasn’t done.
Next, it was off to a few favorite wineries:
- Chamisal– We’ve been here before and knew the kids would be ok on the expansive back patio with their artwork. We were right. The service is great, they allowed us to taste right at the table with our kids doing their coloring. We love the Pinot and the crisp Chardonnay.
- Kynsi Winery- We go for the Pinot, but we keep coming back because of the atmosphere. Our kids could run around the grass and play, we sat and tasted some of the best California Pinot we’ve had in a long time. While we were sitting and relaxing, a nice gentlemen with a big glass of wine ambled up to us and struck up a short conversation. Turns out, he was the owner. You won’t find that in Napa!
Back in Paso Robles after finding the parents, we hit a crowd favorite, Buona Tavola. Take my advice on this one. If you’re ever in the area, this is some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had; and the guy behind the small bar is likely to be the owner’s nephew and one of the owners of the Alle-Pia Meat Company, making organic, hand-made gourmet sausage like you’ve probably never tasted in your life outside of northern Italy.
I’ve updated the PTSD and Sailing Page with just a bit of information about another favorite winery in Paso, which donates to the EOD Warrior Foundation with every signature bottle of wine sold,,,,it’s for a good cause!
Coming Tomorrow,,,,,Part 2 of 3