A Party Weekend with Friends.

Recently, we celebrated a friend's birthday with a daylong tour of several wineries and vineyards in the Paso Robles area. A party bus was involved with a stripper pole running the length of the ceiling, as were "Redneck Wine Glasses." Needless to say, a good time was had by all.

This was my first visit to a vineyard, outside of that time I nannied for a crazy family and they took me to their vacation estate in Napa, but I left early because the kid got a concussion while he was in the mom's care and it's totally something I don't even like to acknowledge because that mom was one of those TYPE-A LOCO MOMS and why do you always make me talk about things I'm uncomfortable with?

The day started out when Eric and I joined up with the rest of the group at Donati Vineyard. We got there a tad late and I spent most of the time catching up with friends whom we hadn't seen in a while, Unfortunately, not much tasting was had here. Fortunately, they have a really great lawn and gazebo area off to the side of the property where you can set up picnics, BBQs, etc. Which is exactly what we did. And you know how much I like eating.

The staff at Donati was totally cool about letting me leave my car here overnight while we continued on way to Blackoutville. They also also allow dogs in their establishment. Yay for Donati!

Next on the itinerarie was Jada Winery and Vineyard. The owner of Jada was a really nice guy who gave us the whole backstory behind the vineyard and it's name and how it's a family-owned establishment that began with a conversation in Sicily. He gave us a full tour, which was pretty informative.

 Baby grapes: The distance between each sprout is approximately the size of a fist.

Retrieving samples: The owner explained that they use red wine to stain the middle section of their barrels as a sort of design. Apparently in the wine biz, the look of a wine barrel is a good indicator of how well the vintner takes care of his wine.

The purpose of the dark brown wood going around the edge of the barrel is to attract wood beetles to that specific type of wood, and not to the actual barrel itself. This way, the beetle works its way through a throw-away piece and the barrels stay pristine. Interesting! 

The birthday boy is second from the left. 

 A cheese and wine tasting- sooo good! There are two options for the cheese and wine pairing; both come with five wines and five cheeses. I'd highly recommend.

Again, Jada's owner was a super nice guy and they also allow dogs in their establishment. They even have their own winery dog named Ginger. Yay for Jada!

Last on the itinerary was Villacana Winery and Vineyard. By this point, I was starting to get a little bit of a headache and decided to take it easy on the tastings. Instead, I rehydrated with water, while enjoying the beautiful weather.

The stains left behind on the side of the glass are referred to as the wine's "legs."

This particular winery also makes vodkas, limoncello, and brandies. I decided to try the limoncello since I've had it before and I know it's basically like a lemon drop candy. I was the first one to go in for the kill and, like an asshole, I totally choked all over the place. Smooth.

The grassy area outside of Villacana.

From there, we rode the party bus back into the main part of town and ate dinner at Villa Creek. I got the salmon with legumes and Eric got the roast chicken with asparagus and mashed potatoes. Both were excellent. So excellent, in fact, I ate equally from both plates. BECAUSE I LIKE TO EAT, OKAY.

Low lighting = unappetizing photos. They were good, trust me.

After dinner, everyone was pretty much wasted. The fake mustaches came out and next thing I knew, Mario and Luigi had joined the party.
Blurry, but you get the idea.

The party bus ride back to the party cabin was, like, my worst nightmare. I'm pretty sure the driver was either tired of us assholes or had also been wine tasting all day because it was basically the bumpiest/ rockiest/ curviest/ fastest/ dizziest/ spinningest/ barfiest ride I've ever had. Plus, our cabin was way out in the middle of nowhere, by a lake, and the ride was a torturous 45 minutes long. Mark my words, party bus: NEVER AGAIN.

Some of the partygoers were hurting the next morning. But at least they were hurting in a totally rad cabin. 

One of the views. 

The second floor deck. 


Zabaglione with fresh pomegranate and blueberries for breakfast. Mmmmm.

The kitchen and dining room. 

The party cabin. 

The birthday group! Minus me. Wah-wahhh.

The whole weekend was such a great time, I wish friends has birthday parties every weekend!

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There's a board member at work who owns an avocado ranch. The other day he brought in two giant pallets of avocados for the office. There were so many, I gladly grabbed a few and made my way back to my desk.

These are Ettinger avocados. They're the biggest, brightest, most mutant-planet looking avocados I've ever seen. Here's a photo to give you an idea of its size.

Anyway, I grabbed four of these suckers and I have no idea what to do with a single avocado that's the size of a Los Angeles studio. Anyone have any recipes they feel like sharing? Anyone feel like coming over for a guacamole party?

Avocados for days....

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Weekend Wrap-Up.

Some weekends are filled with laziness and sweatpants and brainless marathons of Say Yes to the Dress.

This past weekend was not one of those times.

I stopped by a local shop that's known for curing all kinds of ailments through herbal supplements and alternative healing. It was my first time in the shop and my intention was to scope the place out. You know, test the hippie waters before I take the plunge.

15 minutes and a ridiculous amount of money (that shall never be talked about) later, I walked out with these guys.

The weather was great, so we took advantage of it. With bikes.

We take our bike-riding seriously.

And we went mini-golfing.

A soccer game and a community celebration at a local museum. Costume dress-up was involved.

How was your weekend?

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Today is My Birthday.

Today is my birthday. I'm 33.

My forehead is developing permanent furrows that make me look like I'm perma-pissed. My melasma bears an uncanny resemblance to Hitler. My grey hairs could rival Paula Deen's. My sore back acts like I've been hunched over in the trenches for the past 10 years. My yellow teeth look like I brush with Country Crock. My bloodshot eyes probably make you think I've been hanging out with both Cheech and Chong.

Today is my birthday. I'm 33.

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