"Time passes so fast. Make time to be still." ~ Lailah Gifty Akita
Few things are more relaxing than a spa retreat. Being papered makes you feel like a Princess, and who doesn't love that?
When my friend Alison asked me to plan a quick spa getaway for her birthday, I jumped at the opportunity. I love planning, plus I'm working towards launching a travel planning business (more info to come soon on that!!).
I did some research on everything from day use to weekend spa retreats. Since we were working on a tight budget, I narrowed my focus to more local spa services. In my search, I found River Oaks Spa in Paso Robles. They have mineral spas, massages, and facials. You can book separately, combine services, or take advantage of one of several package deals. Each service, including packages, come with time in one of their mineral spas.
The prices are average to other spas in the area, but their packages are where the deals are.
"Live music is better" ~ Neil Young
Are you looking for something to do Friday night's? Do you like live music? Do you like wine? If you answer "yes" to any of those then you're in luck because now through October, Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery hosts a wine and concert event every other Friday from 5:30pm until sunset called "Train Wreck Friday". The event is free for wine club members and one guest, or $15 per person for non-members. The event includes wine tasting, wine sold by the glass or bottle, food for purchase, and great music from local bands.
I attended the last Train Wreck with my friends Julia and Colleen. We arrived shortly after 5:30pm with our lawn chairs in tow. The band, Burning James and The Funky Flames, had already started to play so we picked out a spot on the grass under a tree.
"If you walk a mile in my shoes, you'll end up in a wine bar" ~ Unknown
I have a new love and it's called "Creme Brulee Cheesecake".
My friend Alison and I have talked about trying Stax Wine Bar for quite awhile, and we finally set a date to drop everything and just go. Perfect timing since they were just voted runner up "Best Wine Bar" in the New Times 2017 Best of SLO edition. 1st place went to Luis Wine Bar and, granted I haven't been there yet, I already feel like they were robbed of the #1 title. I will visit Luis and let you know if their #1 ranking is accurate or if Stax was truly robbed. But right now, and I could be blinded by cheesecake love, I do feel it would be hard to beat Stax.
"Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'" ~ Robin Williams
May has worked out to be a month of pick up parties. Between my husband and I, we are wine club members at Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery, Opolo Vineyards, Peachy Canyon Winery, and PasoPort Wine, as well as a member of the Fromagerie Sophie cheese of the month club. Three of which are having their spring pick up parties this month.
For those unfamiliar, as a wine club member a winery will prepare a selection of wine at a discounted, or member price, and the winery will typically host an afternoon or evening of tastings, music, and food assortments. Each winery is different as to the format and type of food, but pretty standard is a taste of the wines you have purchased in your club shipment.
"Wine...a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy" ~ Benjamin Franklin
This past Sunday brought an unexpected wine tasting adventure for my friend Nannon and I. We decided to head out to the unknown and visit a place neither of us had ever been to:
"Always have an escape plan" ~ Unknown
I have wanted to check out Locked Inn in Grover Beach for some time. I tried scheduling with friends, but our schedules kept conflicting, so I decided to see if my nephews would be interested in going with me. They were, in fact so was my sister and brother-in-law.
Locked Inn is a live escape room where you and your group, between 4 and 8 people, try to escape from the room by solving puzzles based on clues you find. It was started in August 2015 by husband and wife team, Patrick and Mariah, and the two continue to design and run the place. They are a wonderful, fun, and energetic couple. Their excitement for new guests to come and try out their escape room shows in their smiles and enthusiasm as they brief you on what to expect during your "stay".
My family and I headed down to Grover this past Saturday; our "check-in" reservations were for noon. We arrived a bit early - early enough to grab a quick before picture.
"It is more fun to talk to someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like 'What about lunch.'" ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
I am a tough critic on Atascadero restaurants. I get fed up with them, and the town. It just seems that the only food establishments in that city are Thai, Mexican, and Fast Food. 13 Thai, 47 Mexican and every single fast food franchise known to man. While those numbers may be a slight exaggeration, that’s what it feels like. And any time a new or decent restaurant pops up, it seems they are overpriced, have poor quality and/or service, have the misfortune of being located in The Carlton (the business jinx), or aren’t able to stay in business for very long (usually because of one or more of the factors I just mentioned).
I say these things so you can get a gauge that when it comes to A-town dining, I’m not impressed. I would much rather go to Paso or SLO for dining out options, or even Templeton, than have to pick a restaurant to go to in Atascadero. (Usually if I do, it sounds like this: “I guuuuessss…Que Pasa???”).
And before you think me a snob, let me provide you with a quote from Duran Duran's lead singer, as he summarizes my feelings on snobbery quite well:
"I'm not a snob. Ask anybody. Well, anybody who matters" ~ Simon LeBon
"People who love to eat are always the best people" ~ Julia Child
My friend Jenn has some time to kill while she waits for her daughter to be finished with her gymnastics class so she asks if I would like to go to dinner with her. Originally, we were going to go to Taste of SLO on Broad St in San Luis Obispo however, it appears that Taste has officially caught on for the great restaurant that it is because they are packed and it is a 30 minute wait for a table.
(I will get to Taste and review them at some point, they are well worth it!)
Jenn and I decide that we are just too starving to wait, so we venture across the street to Nucci’s on Broad. Well, we ventured diagonal across the street if you want to be technical.
Still Waters Vineyard & Winery
If you caught my Instagram post from Sunday, I posted a picture from Still Waters Vineyard and Winery following my adventure drive out to see the Super Bloom (click here for that blog) with the caption "Forget the Super Bloom, this place is beautiful!" I meant every word of that caption; this place IS beautiful!
Returning from Carrizo Plains, my friend Julia and I took a bit of a detour before heading home and ended up on the "Creston Wine Trail". We saw a couple of winery and tasting room signs, but decided to stop at Sill Waters and, wow, what a gem! This place was gorgeous! Honestly, Julia and I should've come here for the day. We could've enjoyed our picnic lunch on one of their many tables, drank some wine, and played several rounds of corn hole and bocce ball. It would've been a perfect day!
"Wildflowers don't care where they grow" ~ Dolly Parton
Disclaimer: No ground squirrels were harmed in the making of this blog...though many tried their darnedest...
Like many of you, I have been seeing amazing photos of the "Super Bloom" wildflowers posted all over Facebook and Instagram, so I was excited to go and see what all the fuss was about. My friend Julia and I made a plan to go out to Carrizo Plains this past Sunday to check it out for ourselves. We had been hearing conflicting details on the best location - Shell Creek Rd or Soda Lake, near the Carrizo Plains National Monument. Based on the most recent "intel", Soda Lake seemed to be the best considering we are at the tail end of the bloom.
I did some research on the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) website to get an idea of the area and any visitor tips. The website recommended bringing food, water, and a full tank of gas. There aren't any nearby gas stations - McKittrick is approximately 27 miles away in one direction and Santa Margarita is 40 in the other - and cell service is intermittent, at best.
Julia and I decided to make it a full adventure drive, so we packed up the car with the above mentioned items, road trip snack essentials (Ritz & EZ-Cheez, don't judge me), and some items for a picnic lunch (sandwiches, chips, and cookies).
Off we go!
I am Sandy Surprise, new to the blog scene, but anxious to share my adventures with you! Read more about me by clicking here.
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