Weekend in Wine Country.
2007-05-16/2:17 a.m.

This weekend was AMAZING.

I left work a little bit early on Friday so that we could get a head start on the drive up to Santa Ynez for the weekend away. It was a beautiful day and it had been a very stressful few weeks so it was nice to be out of town for a little while.

We stayed at Pea Soup Andersen's in Buellton, which was fine and cute but a manager yelled at me which soured me on the place a little bit. It was generally okay though and had a remarkably comfortable bed that I could have slept in all day really.

On the first night we just drove up and down the main drag a little and then picked a place called AJ Spurs to eat at. This place had the best waitress ever. Mike then wrote that on the credit card receipt and made her day. The food here was good and the drinks were HUGE. Here is an iced tea that Mike ordered:
a freaking huge iced tea

The next day Luds was getting antsy about the half marathon he was about to run so we went to the race expo before eating. This turned out to be more of a long walk through all of Solvang since we couldn't figure out where the expo was. Finally, Mike got his number and his bag of swag and we were off to eat amazing pancakes. Mmmmmmm mmm. I love thin pancakes much more than fluffy, and I like crispy too so these thing crepe-like, danish pancakes were right up my alley. The pictures of the food itself are on Mike's camera so they're not uploaded yet. Here is a sign for now though:
paula's pancake house

We walked around Solvang and took it all in. It's a very bizarre place. Like it's supposed to look like a Hans Christen Andersen storybook and there are windmills and people in dutch costumes everywhere. Very weird. Cute though. But weird. There are also casinos, which is an odd mix. Santa Ynez was mostly large wineries and ranches. We drove the route on Saturday and luds got more and more quiet as we drove on. He was psyching himself out and then got worried that he wasn't going to be able to finish at all. When we were driving the route I saw a buffalo... just walking like it totally belonged... that was a mind scrambler.
a freakin buffalo!

That evening we decided to drive about 40 minutes north to Gaudalupe to eat at a place that Phil and Julie recommended and see more of the areas. It was a very neat looking small town. We arrived at magic hour so I busted out the holga, but those aren't developed yet. My favorite picture of the trip is this one though:
pizza hotel
Everything had great lettering that seemed unchanged from the 40s/50s. The food was amazing too. I had a steak and Mike had the marinated chicken. It was definitely worth the drive. Just the dining room was neat and a sight to see. Again, there are more pics that will be put up later of this one.

The main attraction came early Sunday morning when Luds had be at the starting line by 7am. That was definitely an early start. He was so nervous before the race started that it was contagious. I started to get antsy even though I wasn't even doing anything. Here is a series in order of events:
halfway point!
The End.

After that Mike was on an endorphin high, but we had to head back to the hotel and he had to clean himself up and we had to check out. At this point the right side of my mouth and face was in a lot of pain. We went to eat and it was really bad and I could barely chew. Mike said that the tragedy of being Superman (a man who can run over 10 miles is a superman) is not being able to cure the pain of the people you love. So true. The weekend was so great though so I didn't want it to get in the way. We left and drove into Santa Barbara proper and checked out the marina. It was beautiful. I even busted out the polaroid here.
Too bad I was out of it with pain meds and locked the keys in the car. Doh! A tow truck driver came to unlock the car though and he was hilarious and he drove a truck that was described as "ooooh, pretty car, mommy" by a tiny child on the street. Awww.
pretty tow truck
After that we ate some delicious seafood while overlooking the water and then headed back home. We were home by 9:30 but it felt much later since we're not used to waking up at 5am.

It was really an amazing weekend and I can't wait to take more little trips and get out of town a bit more. And it was really great to see Luds, not only finish the race, but even beat the time he had guessed months ago. My superman.


A note I found in a drawer.
The Extra Lens and Adultery.
Books are beautiful.
Ira Glass made me feel better about things.
Something that happened yesterday.