We checked in to our room at the Solvang Gardens Lodge. Obvious from the name, it had several lovely gardens on the premises, complete with running fountains, naked lady statues, and bird feeders. And wouldn't you know, as soon as I step outside city life - my allergies explode. I wouldn't have survived if we hadn't found a drug store and picked up some Benedryl.
I had previously done some research online and found a short hiking trail that leads to a 100ft waterfall. Had to drive about 5 miles from the Lodge through backwoods country to Nojoqui County Park for the 1 mile hike. Technically 2 miles I would say, since we had to walk back to the car...
We then took a stroll through Solvang, full of shops selling Danish souvenirs, restaurants and diners, and small tasting rooms. That evening, we tried our first tasting room at Lucas and Lewellen. As this was our first time, we ended up stiffing the pourer. Were we supposed to tip? We had no clue. But we did end up buying a couple bottles, so that makes up for it, right? We avoided walking by that room the rest of the trip.
I had signed us up for a 4 hour wine tour, which ended up being 5 1/2 hours. Glad I got my money's worth. Driven around by Patton Oswalt's identical twin, we visited 4 wineries. The first was my favorite - Bella Cavalli Farms paired with Flag is Up Farms. We drank some wine, and got to play with some curious foals. The other wineries were nice too, but they could've left me on the ranch all day if I had my way.
And surprisingly, after popping Benedryl and drinking wine all day - I had no reaction. Probably because the tour kept me moving so I didn't have a chance to doze. Could've made for an interested day though.
That evening, we walked around Solvang again, and ended up at the Sort This Out Cellars tasting room - where we drank and bought some delicious wine while listening to a live rockabilly band. The perfect way to end the day. I ended up trying a Muscat that was recommended to top ice cream - I was sold.
We took our time packing up and checking out, and took one last stroll around Solvang. We agreed we had to leave by 1:30 to get home in time to do some grocery shopping and head over to a friend's house for the 'Lost' finale. On Saturday, we found a tasting room to be our last stop of the trip. It didn't open until noon, so we hung out in the park across the street. Ten minutes later, it showed no sign of opening soon so we moved on. Found another tasting room down the street, Royal Oaks, and it must have been fate. I loved every single wine I tasted there. They had wines made from concord and niagara grapes, just like the wines I tried over Christmas from North East, PA, that turned me on to wine. I snatched up the bottles as quick as I could.
And thus we said goodbye to our weekend away from reality. With 8 bottles in the backseat and 2 1/2 hours later, we made it home. And, most importantly, made it to 'Lost' just in time.