Friday, June 30, 2023

Santa Barbara by Train

This was a favorite getaway for us when we lived in California... A day trip to Santa Barbara by train! We got into Santa Barbara a little before 9am, and did whatever inspired us for the day, which today included: breakfast at Moby Dick's on the wharf, the Sea Center also on the wharf, the amphibious tour of Santa Barbara on the Land Shark Tour, the Brewhouse with its fabulous peanut butter whipped cream pie, and re-exploring the huge Moreton Bay Fig at the train station before returning home. All the day's 200+ photos start here.

Moreton Bay Fig at the train station

Thursday, June 29, 2023

PTA Luncheon and SLO Railroad Museum

While Lynn had lunch with the "old" PTA mom group, Jamie took some outside shots at the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum. We both enjoyed a stop at the bar at Ventana Grill on the way back to Nipomo. Home-cooked short ribs for dinner! All the day's photos start here.

The Betsy, who we met at the Ventana Grill.
Lemon juice, 1 part agave syrup, 2 parts Vodka.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

From Brewhouse to Melodrama

First things first... Lunch! At Shell Beach Brewhouse, a favorite for many reasons including the Elvis Lives burger complete with peanut butter and banana slices! After a stroll and drive around Shell Beach and by our old house down by the water, we headed to Peacock Cellars on Los Berros Road. It's a fun winery with a huge gift shop of antiquey kinds of stuff and some produce, breads, nuts, etc. Nana managed to find a fun little wall hanging that said, "Home is where the herd is." Some amazing red tomatoes, too. We capped off the evening with a trip to the Great American Melodrama. Got to chat with Toby Tropper a bit after the show. Erik Stein was there, too, along with a gaggle of folks from PCPA, as well as Ed and Rebecca Avila. Erik wrote and directed the show, Under the Boardwalk. We discovered a fun, fruity beer - CaliSqueeze.

Strawberry Mud Pie at the Brewhouse

Tuesday, June 27, 2023


The day started with a rousing game of Mexican Train Dominoes. Then Nana and Papa were off to Gainey and Vincent Wineries with some friends. Gainey is not far from the end of the runway at Santa Ynez Airport. We managed to do some damage at both wineries. Jamie even made it to a Central Coast Railroad Festival meeting that evening - in person! All the day's photos start here.



Sunday, June 25, 2023

Village of Arroyo Grande

After a nice quiet slow start to the day and a rip-roaring game of Mexican Train Dominoes, we headed to the Village of Arroyo Grande for lunch at an old fave, Rooster Creek Tavern, followed by a walk along the creek looking for roosters. We used to do this all the time when here. Then the cherry on top was ice cream at the new Rori's Artisanal Creamery which just took over the space abandoned by Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Parlor. All of today's photos start here.

Mexican Train Dominoes

The orange tank car is labeled
with one of their ice cream flavors.

Showing off (sarcastically) the new Daou "Super White."

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Daou, Hunt, Emercy, and Six Test Kitchen

We headed up to Paso Robles wine country about mid-day. We started at Trevor and Jen's favorite, Daou Vineyards. Unbound, Eye of the Falcon, and Soul of the Lion, to name a few, including some great charcuterie munchies. Then on to Hunt Cellars, a Nana and Papa favorite where Cabovation is king. Then a quick last winery stop at Emercy Wines. As it happens, Emercy is related (somehow) to Ladron Cellars in Englewood, CO (a suburb of Denver). Guess where Ladron sources its non-Colorado grapes!? Ladron means "thief" in that they "smuggle in" Paso grapes to Colorado. The grand finale for the day was a fabulous meal at Six Test Kitchen. With just twelve seats, it's an intimate dining experience where everything is prepared right before your very eyes. Michelin-rated, too! Interestingly, the four of us went to Six Test Kitchen back when it was just getting started in the owner's garage; click here. Emercy and Six Test Kitchen are in an area called Tin City, which we had never heard of before tonight. It's just north of Templeton on the east side of the highway. All the day's photos start here.


Six Test Kitchen

Friday, June 23, 2023

St. George, UT to Nipomo, CA via Tehachapi, CA

We didn't do much today other than drive. With one exception... We stopped for a bit in Tehachapi, CA. Railfans familiar with the area will immediately think of the Tehachapi Loop, a 360-degree track loop to help make the climb in limited space to the Tehachapi Pass. I did a railfan field trip to the Loop back in 2004, click here. But, I had never visited the Tehachapi Railroad Depot Museum which is housed in the Tehachapi Depot. The building has quite a history, from the original in 1861 to the new one in 1904 (because of fire), to the one there today following a fire in 2007, finished in 2010. And as luck would have it, a train went by while we were there with a UP locomotive in Rio Grande livery. Don't miss the German Bakery right next door. We got to Nipomo in time for dinner! Today's photos start here.