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Weekend Wine Down: Santa Barbara day trip

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My eyes flutter open and I see, even through our blackout curtains, that it is already getting light outside. I glance at the clock – it’s 5:24 a.m. Our alarm clock will go off in 6 minutes. For most nine-to-fivers this would be criminal on a Saturday morning, but I’m stoked. I grab my phone and tap my weather app. It is already 81 degrees in Phoenix {ugh}. A swipe of my finger reveals the weather for Santa Barbara: currently 59 degrees with a high of 71. Too excited to wait for the alarm, I dash out of bed and head to the shower to get ready for our Santa Barbara day trip.

We are only going to Santa Barbara for the day – but of all our day trips, this is my favorite. We had no trouble getting a seat on the 7:30 a.m. flight and once we landed we took the city bus from the airport to State Street. From there, we walked to Stearns Wharf. Sometimes we rent fishing poles and fish until lunch, but on this trip, we decided to just sit, relax and enjoy the cool breezes that are non-existent in the summer desert.

Loving the breeze on Stearns Wharf during our Santa Barbara day trip

Having only the day, we had to keep a bit of a schedule and pulled ourselves from the pier to find lunch. The options are endless, so where we go depends on our mood, our taste buds and any suggestions that might be tossed our way. We found a new brewery, Figueroa Mountain Brewing, that had recently opened on Anacapa and Yanonali that looked like fun (i.e. Trouble), but they don’t serve food. The bartender, Sergio, suggested a deli down the street, Metropulos, and said we could bring it back to eat at the bar while sipping their brews. Sounded like a good plan to us, especially since they were putting the US Soccer game on the flat screen. Good food. Good beer. Good game.

We visited the recently opened Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co during our Santa Barbara day trip

Sensing time passing by, and wanting to make sure we get to at least a couple of wine tasting rooms, we reluctantly left at half time. The shady outdoor patio at Corks and Crowns caught our eye, so we stopped in for a Pinot Noir tasting. We were excited to see that they also offered beer…from Figueroa Mountain Brewing and made a mental note for our next trip. Again, watching minutes tick by, we moved on to a newer tasting room, Pali, deciding to have just one glass of cabernet there before moving on to our favorite tasting room, Oreana.

Oreana Winery is our favorite wine stop during Santa Barbara day trips

We fell in love with Oreana while on our honeymoon in Santa Barbara – and it still reigns as our favorite. The casual vibe of the auto-mechanic-garage-turned-tasting-room lures us in its unpretentious ways. We love wine, but we are not wine snobs, so Oreana fits us perfectly. We each had a glass of the Tilly and settled in on the patio with the rest of the fun-loving, afternoon-drinking crowd who were shouting song requests to the guitarist.

We soon realized the day had passed by too fast and there was only time left to share one more glass of wine before we headed back to catch the bus. On every Santa Barbara day trip I tell myself – and Kris – that I will leave when we need to go and I won’t pout about it. That has never actually happened. I always want to stay for “just one more” and then I use my phone to check all the hotel sites for an affordable room until I finally comprehend that we need to go home. (On this occasion, the only available room on one site was going for $625, which isn’t really in our price range.) I reluctantly boarded the bus and sulked (perhaps snoozed) back to the airport. But once we were in flight, I smiled remembering all the details of our Santa Barbara day trip. Until next time!

We arrive and depart from the Santa Barbara Airport during our Santa Barbara day trip

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Santa Barbara Day Trip JetSetting Fools

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