Pretty much every time Elliott and I try to leave the house, plans change at the last minute and we forget some critical piece of attire and nothing is quite as we expected… and usually we end up having a pretty good time anyway. I’m guessing most of you can relate on some level, being human and all. ;)
This past weekend is the perfect example. Elliott had been invited to speak to veterinary students at UC-Davis, and his parents were in town, and so we were planning a getaway to Davis (cool college town) and Napa (wine!) for just the two of us.
But then UC-Davis postponed the event, and we were left with a four-day weekend and nothing to do.
In true Garber style, we made no new plans until the day of, and then decided… let’s stay closer to San Diego but go away anyway!
So Elliott booked us a room for the night, we put our kids down for naps, packed our bags, hugged Elliott’s parents, and set off for wine country.
An hour later, we drove into one of Southern California’s wine regions, located just outside Temecula, CA. The vineyards were clustered together, some within walking distance of each other, so we got to visit seven (!) while we were there. I was writing an article about them for eCoronado, so it made sense to visit as many as we could, even if we didn’t drink wine at all of them.
For the record, our favorite was Ponte Vineyard, pictured above. The facility includes an outdoor restaurant, beautiful tasting room, and a inn (rated by TripAdvisor as the 13th best hotel in America!), and the property is surrounded by picturesque vineyards. King Family Vineyards in Crozet, VA, will forever be my favorite vineyard of all time, but Ponte might be second.
Later that afternoon we checked into our “hotel” for the night, an AirBnB rental. We were renting an RV! I haven’t stayed in an RV since I was about eight years old, so this was totally fun. The RV is parked beside the owner’s ranch house, future fruit orchard, and large petting zoo with an alpaca, dwarf goat, three miniature horses, and about 100 chickens. The owner also runs her own chocolate business, and I might have been very excited about the chocolates she left in our fridge. We were very happy.
Once again, our accommodations were simple, rustic, and suited us perfectly. Also this is one of my favorite things in the world: watching my husband build us a fire!
In the morning we discovered the most amazing cafe: Idyllwild Bake Shop & Brew. The atmosphere is warm and friendly, enhanced by the young proprietor sporting flannel and a big beard, and his wife making all their baked goods from scratch in the back. We bought breakfast, lunch, and afternoon coffees there!
Elliott was eager to go on a hike before heading home, but we had packed for wine-tasting, not serious hiking. (Can you say “last-minute planners”?!) In the end, we opted for the easiest local trail (Deer Springs) and hiked a total of 6.5 miles in the quiet, piney forest.
Elliott took this photo at the mid-point of our hike after we ate our Idyllwild Bake Shop sandwiches. This kind of tired is the best kind of tired!
The two days away were so refreshing to both of us. We spent a lot of time in quiet togetherness, not necessarily talking or not talking, but just abiding. Savoring peaceful unity in our time alone together.
And a big thank you again to Elliott’s amazing parents! We could never have relaxed or stayed away so long without knowing our kids were in such capable hands. We returned to them much better parents than when we left!