Celebration // SB 3

The main reason we even went to Santa Barbara was to celebrate Julie's birthday. Plus, there's always an excuse to get together with family. To properly start the festivities, we planned on a day of wine tasting. 



BEING 21 is FUN. 

Wine is my favorite form of alcohol and I was pretty excited. Our day consisted of traveling to three different wineries and trying some of their signature wines! Don't worry, we had someone driving us around the whole time, safety first

The drive took us through the rolling hills of Santa Barbara, away from the ocean to my chagrin, but to the vineyards! Lemme tell ya, it's dry out here. Look at all of that yellow. 

First stop on the tour was at the Firestone Vineyard. Apparently they had a power outage that morning, so we couldn't do the tour, but we got to sip our wine outside in the sunshine.

The wine was excellent, however the main topic of our conversation was about the Firestone family and how Andrew was one of the first Bachelors (I'm talking the ABC tv show). Yes, I admit, I've been sucked into avidly watching the Bachelor, Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise. It's a guilty pleasure...I'm not proud of it. 

Next up, was a little drive to the town of Los Olivos, which is seems to revolve around wine, my kind of town. This location had a quaint little yellow house looking out to the rows of grapes. We popped inside to drink our wine and then had a lovely lunch out on the patio. 

Group photo! More like Chris and the girls. 

The last stop was in the downtown area at a place called Saarloos and Sons. At this point, we were starting to feel the wine a bit.

What really put us over were the cupcakes at this location. To properly end our day, we had six Enjoy Cupcakes to go along with six wines. And these were babycakes, and we all had the audacity to tackle them. Let's just say that we quickly lost after the first two. Gina and I ended up splitting cupcakes which was even too much. 

The was here was great! The cupcakes were INCREDIBLE. I think my favorite was the strawberry peach Chardonnay (top left corner) or the s'mores truffle (bottom right corner). In order to feel human again, we walked off all of the wine, food, and cupcakes as we strolled the downtown. 

In total, we sampled seventeen, YES, seventeen different wines and six cupcakes. We were all a bit woozy and went back to the house to rest for a bit before dinner. 

To make it a proper birthday dinner, we dined at The Stonehouse which is a lovely restaurant apart of the San Ysidro Ranch

San Ysidro was adorable with flowers growing everywhere and the stone houses spotting the land. Not to mention, there were ocean views in the distance. 

Yep, you guessed it, lots and lots of LANY flowers. Honestly, it was the overarching theme of the trip. 

Dinner commenced with drinks to start off and a toast to the birthday girl! I opted for the blood orange margarita. I'm sucker for margaritas. To go along with the drinks, Chris ordered Duck and Avocado Spring Rolls for the table which were basically game-changers and the best way to start a meal. 

With the spring rolls and a round of bread, we were already starting to feel full when our entrees made their appearance. Gina and I decided to order different items off the menu so we could maximize our food tasting. 

Gina ordered the Halibut accompanied by gnocchi and I went for the Fettuccine with ham and asparagus. Delicious! We scarfed everything down. 

Now with really full bellies, we debated as a table whether or not to order dessert. The verdict was YES. Plus, like birthday celebration. We all split the cheesecake and the signature chocolate soufflé, which, once again, we polished right off. 

Overall, it was a solid day full of eating and drinking and being merry. Happy Birthday Julie!