2 nights in Santa Barbara

October was a month filled with weekend adventures and the last one I had was a wine tasting weekend in Santa Barbara with Russia AC and Mo. It was a combination wine and birthday weekend for Mo coupled with the fact that she grew up in Santa Barbara so we got to stay with her Mom! Have her Dad drive us around Santa Ynez on the second day! and got to meet some of her friends for dinner! Fabulous does not even begin to describe the trip.

It is always nice to visit a place with a local, and Santa Barbara was no exception. Though I have been there a number of times, it's always nice to hear the local story and stop at the local places. First on our list was La Super Rica for lunch on Friday. I have eaten here a few times before and I swear Mo said Oprah ruined it by making it one of her places to eat before you die. But maybe I heard wrong and she was talking about Julia Child who said it was one of her favorite places to eat. Who knew? And it is good, but I live near a community of good mexican food so you won't find me waiting in the hour long lines that are sometimes here. Lucky for us, our wait was about 5 minutes and my carne asada tacos and carnitas tacos with a watermelon aquafresca were a great way to start the weekend!
Next stop was the Funk Zone for some wine tasting! We got a great parking spot and then Mo told us that someone else was going to drive us home so we didn't need to figure out who was going to be the designated driver! Nice! Because you always need a DD....
We started at the Santa Barabara Winery and enjoyed the tasting on their patio. The weather was pretty amazing and we enjoyed relaxing into our day. We next tasted at AVA Santa Barbara that has tastings from different AVA's in SB and then met some of Mo's friends at Kalyra. AC was treating Mo to her tastings for her birthday and I bought her a super cool Ramshead wine pourer. I might of also gotten one for my sisters who live on Ramsgate....
From Kalyra we walked over to The Lark where we met up with Mo's Mom and Jeff. Dinner at The Lark did not disappoint and it was nice going with a bigger group so we could split lots of things. Two of our group were vegitarian until the week before we had dinner. And I think they were glad they were back on the meat wagon. This might be my second favorite resturant in SB.....
The next morning I got up early and went for a much needed run after my Friday wine tasting and dinner at The Lark. I found a trail and was hoping it I could make it to the beach, but that run was a little further than I thought, so I was content to run toward the beach through the oak trees.
After packing some snacks, Mo's Dad picked us up to go wine tasting in Santa Ynez (another Designated Driver!). We started at Brander. Her Dad had gotten tatings at an auction for Brander, and we thought, why not? As a matter of fact, a lot of people had given Mo's Mom or Dad tasting coupons to wineries they belonged to for that weekend. They knew we were going to be in town so they dropped off what they had. Really nice of them!
After Brander we made our way to Beckman Vineyards and I think this was my favorite place from day two. The vibe was casual and we had lunch in the gazebo. AC ended up joining the wine club here and I can't wait to try some more of this wine!
Our last winery of the day was Rusack Vineyards. I can't remember why this was on the list, but everyone wanted to go there. They had a great patio outside under oak trees where we had snacks and then would take our glasses in when we were ready for the next wine. Very casual vibe. Very nice.
That evening we had dinner with J-him and J-her from our Russia trip (here is the day J-him went fishing with the Russian captain and had to take a shot of vodka each time he caught a fish!). It was so cool to see them again! They are awesome people and it was great to hear about their other adventures.
Sunday morning we headed back home so I could make it to a wedding with a 9 course menu! All in all it was a pretty great trip. Each day we tasted at three places and had amazing food. Mo's parents were awesome and it is always nice to see them. We have been talking about doing a trip like this for years and it finally happend! It was a great way to end my October!
PS. Here is the menu from the wedding I went to that Sunday evening. Great food was in my belly all weekend long!

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