Usually for my birthday I just do a series of nice dinners (the family dinner, the girlfriends dinner, and the date night), and since I love frou-frou cocktails and a night off from cooking I’m always happy with my go-to plan. This year, however, I was feeling a particularly strong urge to have a break from the kids (their 4 and almost 2 so that’s explanation enough) and I wanted to spend it with my favorite people: Robin, Cassandra, Ashley, Lindsey and Nicole (aka my best friends). We decided to take a full day off and go wine tasting in Santa Barbara.
We set out early for the two-hour drive to Solvang to have breakfast. My favorite spot there is Paula’s Pancake House but due to the long wait and the fact that they don’t take reservations we ended up at Succulent Café – which had mimosas, a relaxed atmosphere and good food. After that we crossed the street to hit up my favorite – Jule Hus – Solvang’s year-round Christmas shop for some tree ornaments. One we had finished eating and splurging on hand-painted decorations we were ready to let the real fun begin.
Our first wine tasting spot was Foxen – a little boho white shack with some really good wines. After that we skipped up the road to Riverbench for a sparkling flight. And finally, as if we weren’t tipsy enough, we headed over to Demetria Estate – by far our favorite spot both in atmosphere and for their super lush wines. They had a beautiful outdoor setting with tables and seats (nice change from standing like most), live music and a friendly, easy-going vibe that made us wish we had just come here first and spent the whole day hanging out.
Sadly we had to rush out to make our dinner reservation so Lindsey our DD drove us to Cold Spring Tavern as we wailed like strangled cats to songs like No Scrubs by TLC, My All by Mariah Carey (that was a doozey), and Say You’ll Be There by the Spice Girls.
If you thought our debauchery was over it wasn’t. We had a drunken dinner filled with more wine, laughter, tears and hugs at the rustic and historic coach stop Cold Spring Tavern. Built in 1865, it is absolutely gorgeous. If you are wine tasting in the area I highly recommend stopping by either on your way in for brunch or on your way out for dinner. We got up from dinner only to be enticed like moths to a flame to the wedding reception in the back that was blasting music. Needless to say, we crashed it and ended our night dancing away with a very lively wedding party.
I can’t even tell you how much I had needed that time with my girls and can’t wait until we can do it again.