FUN-travel: Wine Tasting – Trip Recap

May 6, 2015 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Wine Tasting – Trip Recap 

8 Trip to Modesto 3.15

Rock Star Patrick

Cute, Cuter, Cutest!

  • Lodi, Sutter Creek, Murphys – now that we’ve stayed at 2 out of 3 – Sutter Creek would be a definite if we come back.
  • Accommodations ranged from $100 to $150 – lunches ranged from $10 to $45 – dinners ranged from $75 to $150 including wine. (that crab is not cheap)
  • Cell service was spotty in the foothills which I had no problem with!

Wine tasting – we loved the “unpretentiousness” of all the places we visited – many didn’t charge or waived the fee in lieu of buying a bottle – we share one tasting when visiting multiple wineries – wine clubs saved us 20% to 40% + no shipping

  • All in all, we made a good haul – good thing we brought the truck!
9 Trip to Modesto 3.15

Rock Star Colin

  • Cute, Cuter, Cutest! – The best part was seeing our Rock Stars & Pinewood Derby Queen!

FUN-travel: Wine Tasting – Murphys to Pismo Beach – Day 4

May 6, 2015 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Wine Tasting – Murphys to Pismo Beach – Day 4 

  • Coffee was ready early, plus really good and strong, gives them extra points! And breakfast at Victoria Inn was exceptional! While they don’t serve a full breakfast, all of the items were fresh and homemade. There was plenty of fruit, bagels, lox, and all the extras. We actually were very lucky as the owner was there to greet and serve us this morning. Would definitely recommend staying here!


    Talley Vineyards

  • Our drive followed the Gold Route and was more of the same scenery we had yesterday. Except today, the roads were more windy and zigzagged across the mountains. At times it was a bit scary, as the road carved into the side of the mountain, narrowed with shear drop offs and no guard rails. Good thing was we had the road mostly to ourselves. The terrain went from lush grass to fading brown dotted with trees as we descended. Intermittent clusters of flowers clung to the edge ranging in color from reds, oranges, fuchsias, purples and white.

1st stopClavo Cellars – Templeton just south of Paso Robles – to pick up our wine club. More great wines at great prices. We took our whole years worth saving 25% + shipping charges.

2nd stopTalley Vineyards – Arroyo Grande – while we are “big red” wine fans they have some award winning Chardonnays and Pinots. Good enough to join too! Opted for the Estate wine club which hadn’t released yet – will pick them up on our next trip.


3rd stop – Spyglass Inn, Pismo Beach – got a pre-pay deal – big, newly remodeled room, amenities include free Wi-Fi, plush robes, luxury bedding, upscale bath amenities, hair dryer, Keurig coffee maker, refrigerator, iron/ironing board, MP3 docking station, and flat screen TV. Some rooms also offer private terraces, relaxing fireplaces, and breathtaking ocean views.

  • The only turnoff was plastic cups in the room! When I asked the front desk for a wine glass they sent me to 20150401_184007_resizedthe restaurant. Only problem – the hotel doesn’t own the restaurant and so they couldn’t give me a wine glass. After much haggling with the staff and asking for the manager I got “one.” Absolutely ridiculous!

FUN-fact – Pismo Beach sits in the middle of the Central Coast wine corridor – Santa Barbara to Paso Robles – with almost 200 wineries.

  • I can’t be the only guest who has come here after visiting wineries and want to enjoy some in my room. When I stay at a hotel where the rack rate is $300 I expect glass, not plastic!

FUN-foodCracked Crab – Big Bucket for One – wild gulf shrimp & Bairdi crab – includes spicy Cajun sausage, red skin potatoes, corn cobetts – dumped on the table with sides of drawn butter, homemade cocktail and triple mustard sauces, warm sourdough rolls – and plenty for two!

  • We had eaten here a couple years ago and came back because the Alaskan Bairdi Crab is the best we’ve ever had. We were told only 6 restaurants in the US offer it.

FUN-travel: Wine Tasting – Plymouth to Murphys – Day 3

May 1, 2015 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Wine Tasting – Plymouth to Murphys – Day 3 

  • Very sorry to say, the coffee and breakfast was subpar at the Shenandoah Inn. Thank god they had Starbucks just a few miles down the road in Jackson.
  • Lovely drive to Murphys (about an hour) consisted of mile upon mile of endless green rolling hills covered with grasses and patches of clustered wild flowers bursting with colors in yellow, orange and purple. Occasional large oak and pine trees dotted the hills before turning into completely forested mountains in the distance. Rows of planted vines mixed with sprawling ranches, grazing cows, sheep, and horses.
1 Trip to Modesto 3.15

Victoria Inn

1st stop – Chatom Winery just outside of Murphys – recommended by the girls at Klinker Brick. Nice selection of reds and whites and their wine club is a flat rate $39 for 2 bottles, tax and shipping included.

2nd stop – Murphys – we heard it was cute and it is! Victoria Inn was our pick to stay somewhere special and quaint. It’s right downtown within walking distance to everything.

  • Our lunch choice was spot on! We shared a bowl of homemade split pea & ham soup for starters. That and the burrito was plenty for both of us and a perfect “fill up” for wine tasting.
5 Trip to Modesto 3.15

Shops On Main Street

FUN-foodGrounds – Big Burrito filled with chicken, rice, ranchero beans, chilies, onions, cheddar & jack cheese, smothered with “chili gravy” and topped off with olives, sour cream and homemade salsa.

  • We spent the afternoon strolling Main Street and tasting wines at Hatcher, Renner, Hovey, Twisted Oak and Newsome-Harlow. While we bought some bottles along the way, our wine club pick was Newsome-Harlow. Everyone was tasty! There are a total of 19 wineries on Main Street and it was great to not have to drive anywhere.

4 Trip to Modesto 3.15

FUN-foodAlchemy Market & Wine Bar – 1st course – crispy fried calamari & jalapeno peppers served with a parmesan chipotle aioli – 2nd course – iron skillet mussels in a light sauce of sherry & fresh herbs with a side of truffle fries – 3rd course – fennel crusted seared ahi served over mixed salad greens with kalmata olives, marinated red onions, oranges & feta dressed with a lemon oregano vinaigrette. Their complimentary cheese bread is to live for!

  • While it was highly recommended, only 3 restaurants serve on Tuesday nights. I made reservations at 3:00 and discovered they had live music starting at 5:30. This was the most FUN I’ve had in a restaurant in a long time! Our server Chris was off the charts exceptional. When I asked to see the manager I was told, “There isn’t one.” I went back to the kitchen to meet Chef owner, Jason, to commend him on the great food and service. His empowered staff takes pride and it shows!
  • Every Tuesday (except January – 4-course beer pairing) is Winemaker’s Night featuring $5 glasses of local wines, $20 a bottle, and free live music on the patio from 5:30 to 8:00.

FUN-fact – The Murphys Historic Hotel remains the crown jewel of the Mother Lode anchoring the town of Murphys at the corner of Main Street and Algiers. One of a hundred Wells Fargo Bank stops.

3 Trip to Modesto 3.15

Murphys Hotel Saloon