One trip we made from Carmel required an overnight bag, while we left most of our clothes and wine in Carmel at our bed and breakfast. My Bride is still in contact with one of her girl friends from school who now lives in the Santa Barbara area. She and her family came up and met us at the Hearst Castle, San Simeon. Since none of us had ever been to this legendary home that is now run by the State of California, we figured this would be a great place to get together.
The Hearst Castle is immense and there are, I think four different tours you could take of the estate. This home was the basis for “Xanadu” the fabulous mansion in “Citizen Kane” the classic cinema masterpiece by Orson Welles. We spent most of the day there, and there could be several articles easily written about this tour, since none of them would involve wine, suffice it to say that we bought a few books about the mansion in the gift shop and went on our way.
We left the mansion and our two groups drove further south to the town of Cambria, Pines by the Sea. We walked around this quaint town that is known as the half way point between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It is a quiet town with a small downtown and some art galleries. We all stayed at this charming inn, the Cambria Pines Lodge. We had dinner at the lodge and we all enjoyed a fine four course dinners that centered on seafood. We also had a couple of bottles of Khan Sauvignon Blanc 2001 from the Santa Ynez Valley. It just seemed perfect for dinner, or we were just so pleased with the days outing and the renewed friendship, that the wine was the perfect icing on the cake. We talked and caught up during dinner, almost until the restaurant closed.
The next morning we all had breakfast at the lodge. My Bride’s girlfriend and family then headed south to their home and we headed north. Since we had taken the long and winding, albeit scenic Highway One South, we decided to take the inland expressway north back to Carmel.