2010 Pebble Beach/Santa Cruz Archives

June 9, 2010

Pebble Beach Here we Come!


It's time for another road trip - this time up to Pebble Beach for the US Open golf tournament! We attended the event when it was last held at Pebble Beach in 2000. Tiger won by 15 shots. Not only did we see a lot of wonderful golfers, but just being on the Pebble Beach golf course was thrilling. The view from the ocean-side holes is breathtaking.

So, we leave tomorrow morning (Thursday). We will stop in Paso Robles for the night - to do a little winetasting and have dinner with friends from the little town of Tollhouse CA. Yes, it's really called Tollhouse, but there are no cookies there!

Friday morning we will drive to Santa Cruz to visit with my sister, her two daughters and son and their families. Lots of catching up to do there!

Sunday on to Pebble Beach. We are staying in a little motel-type place in Carmel called Candle Light Inn. It is the same one we stayed in when we visited in 2000, and it was so centrally located, that we loved it.

And, of course, Wendy (and Rob) have organized a mini-GTG on Sunday evening at the Inn at Spanish Bay, where we will watch the bagpiper play as the sun sets. I am really looking forward to that!

So, stay tuned!

June 10, 2010

Winetasting in Paso Robles

It was an early morning. We had to drop our Hoochie girl off at her doggy B&B (she is entitled to a vacation too) at 8 a.m. and then begin our drive up to Paso Robles. We wanted to get there as early as possible so we could visit a couple of wineries with our friends Dave and Jane, who were driving from Central California.

We arrived at Eberle Winery within 10 minutes of each other - perfect timing! It was good to see them again after several years - they used to live in Southern California close to us but now live in the "cookie town" of Tollhouse.

We enjoyed our tasting at Eberle. Gary Eberle was even on hand, and we chatted with him for a few minutes. Our favorites of the day were the 2009 Viognier (New release), the 2007 Sangiovese (New release), and the 2007 Cab/Syrah (multiple award winner), so we got a couple of bottles of each.

We made a quick stop to check into the Adelaide Inn and then met at our second winery of the day, Pear Valley. Shannon and I had visited there a year or so ago as a possible stop for the annual Slow Bowl, so I already knew they had good wines.



The tasting room was beautiful, and we liked all of the wines so much that both couples joined the wine club. It's a great deal, with a 30% discount on all wines and merchandise. They even had a special case price of $100 on their 2004 Cabernet, so we got a case of that and a couple of other bottles.


By now it was after 5 p.m., so we headed into downtown Paso. I wanted to visit the olive oil store (We Olive) to refill my previously-purchased olive oil bottles, so we met there first before going to Villa Creek for something to eat. We sat outside on the patio and had wine and appetizers. They were so filling that we skipped dinner altogether. My friend Marianne, who lives in Paso, joined us for a glass of wine too. Jane and I are chocoholics, and we shared a wonderful chocolate creme brulee.

By that time, we were all pretty tired (and cold), so we called it a night.

It was a great start to our road trip!

June 11, 2010

A Beautiful Drive to Santa Cruz

The day dawned with beautiful sunshine. No foggy June gloom at all.

On our agenda today was a drive from Paso Robles to Santa Cruz to visit my sister and her kids. About 120 miles, according to Yahoo Maps. We drove thru Castroville, the self-proclaimed Artichoke Center of the World. Beautiful farm country with lots of workers out in the fields picking various crops.

After visiting for a little while, we headed over to my niece Kathleen's house for a BBQ with her family, my other niece Patti and her family and my nephew Brian. Lots of good food and fun catching up.

Here's my sister JoAnne, her younger daughter Patti, and new "favorite child" Bindi:

And #1 daughter Kathleen with Patti and their brother Brian:

Kathleen and her husband Mark have an internet business called Prevailing Winds selling imported ceramics - these are some of the items they sell:

June 12, 2010

Hanging Out in Santa Cruz

Another beautiful beach day in Santa Cruz, so we decided to head to the beach in Capitola, a town adjacent to Santa Cruz. Quite a few people on the beach but not nearly as many as in Southern California.

Here's Bill and me:

And here if the family gang:

After walking on the beach for awhile, we figured we deserved some ice cream. My sister had discovered a nearby cafe called Cafe Violette. Our Mom was named Violette (spelled like that), so we thought it appropriate for us to pay a visit. Oh! The ice cream was good too!


In searching for Cafe Violette's link, I discovered that the UK has a place by the same name, and it looks lovely! Another place to visit if I get back there!

There was a car show being held right by the cafe, and this was my favorite car:

June 13, 2010

Bye Bye Santa Cruz - Hello Pebble Beach!

Time for us to bid adieu to Santa Cruz and head down to Pebble Beach. Before leaving, though, I wanted to take some photos in the mobile home park that my sister lives in.

JoAnne and I walked around the entire park to take photos of the mailboxes. Yes, that is right - the mailboxes! One of the residents (who has since passed away) constructed the darling mailboxes you see below. I am just showing a couple of them right here, but check the continuation of this entry for more photos.




So, now my sister needs to live up to the mailbox standard that has been set. She needs a fancy mailbox too, don't you think?

It was a nice drive down to Pebble Beach. It took less than an hour, and the traffic wasn't too bad. I know later in the week there will tons of traffic. We found our motel, Candle Light Inn and checked in. We stayed there back in 2000 when we attended the last US Open in Pebble and loved the location, right off Ocean Ave, the main drag.

After changing our clothes, we drove got on the famed 17-mile drive to the Inn at Spanish Bay where Wendy and Rob had arranged for us to see the bagpiper play and have dinner at Sticks Restaurant. Still cool outside, so we wore layers of clothing as Wendy had suggested.

Here's Wendy and Rob:

And Tracey and Chris:

This is a sculpture out by the firepits where the bagpiper plays - It's called "Afternoon in the Park" by Mark Lundeen:

The bagpiper walks across the sand dunes before sunset - he was a little late that evening, but he finally came and we got pictures.


Dinner was great too - Bill had the prime rib special, and I had the New York steak with bleu cheese. Yum!

Wendy and Rob were even nice enough to lead us back to the closest gate for the 17-mile drive so we wouldn't get lost finding our way out. Thank you, W&R, for arranging the GTG!

Continue reading "Bye Bye Santa Cruz - Hello Pebble Beach!" »

June 14, 2010

Tiger Sighting at Pebble Beach

Monday morning dawned cold and foggy. I'm glad we brought lots of layers of clothes, and we wore them!

We took the shuttle from downtown Carmel to the golf course. It was a nice ride on huge buses, and they dropped us off a little north of the clubhouse by the main entrance. There were metal detectors to get in, and I set one off on my first try (cellphone in my pocket). The second time, though, it didn't beep, so I got in with my celphone. I had set it to "silent", but I probably won't take it with me tomorrow.



We checked the practice round schedule - Tiger usually tees off the earliest that he can - today it was at 7 a.m. It was almost 9:30 by the time we got there, so he was almost finished. We did find him on one of the last holes and I got a couple of photos.



Then on the next tee, there was a huge crowd around and I had no view to take a photo. So, I asked this very tall man (5' 5") if he would take one for me.


We walked and walked and walked and were really happy to get back on the bus to go "home" to our little motel. The sun finally came out about 3 p.m.

Continue reading "Tiger Sighting at Pebble Beach" »

Village Corner Bistro, Carmel

First of all, let me say that I feel so stupid - I forgot to take my camera to dinner, and the courses were really picture-worthy.

I saw a writeup of this restaurant online in The Dining Guide before we left home, and it sounded really eclectic and interesting. I especially liked the photo of the stacked ahi tuna appetizer, which appears on Page 14 of the dining guide.

Village Corner Bistro was a couple of blocks from our motel, and we were seated on the patio right next to the firepit. There was one ahi sashimi on the menu, but I didn't see the stacked ahi appetizer, so I asked about it. The waiter said that it would soon be on the NEW menu but he would ask the chef if I could have it. The answer was yes, so I was happy.

The plate was beautiful, much prettier than the photo in the dining guide. The ahi tuna was stacked with a layer of avocado in the middle. The stack was surrounded by decorative wasabi and soy sauce. Almost too pretty to eat. It was outstanding!

Bill had the Greek salad, which he said was also very good.

My entree was Risotto Goat Cheese Cake with Sauteed Veggies, which was also tasty and very picture-worthy. Bill's entree was Artichoke Ravioli w/Tiger Prawns. We shared a Double Espresso Creme Brulee for dessert, another winner.

A good meal is not complete without wine (at least in my opinion), so we chose a bottle of 2007 Caymus Conundrum.

We would definitely recommend this restaurant - I can hardly wait to go there again! The prices, for both the food and the wine, were very reasonable, particularly for a resort area like Carmel. The wine list contains only Monterey county wines, so you get a chance to taste the local offerings.

June 15, 2010

Phil Mickelson & Tom Watson at the US Open

My sister drove down from Santa Cruz today to join us for the US Open. Bill headed on over to Pebble Beach, and I waited for JoAnne at the motel.

Bill and I had taken the Carmel shuttle yesterday, but it dropped us off pretty far from the main entrance. We decided it might not be any further to just walk from Carmel. So, JoAnne and I walked down Ocean Ave almost to the beach and entered the 17-mile drive thru the Carmel Gate. Just a short way down the road we could see the back entrance to the golf course, complete with metal detectors. No cellphones allowed at all and cameras only on the practice round days.

Entering from this direction, we were at the very far end of the Pebble Beach course. We walked along the ocean-side holes, taking in the extreme beauty of the area. Oh! And we watched the golfers play too!

Tiger had finished already, so we watched for Phil Mickelson.

And we saw Tom Watson too. Bill played golf against Tom for UCLA (Tom was at Stanford), so I am kind of rooting for this old guy.

Hole 7 is a short little Par 3, so we sat in the grandstand for awhile watching golfers go by. Isn't this a beautiful view?

Now, I am NOT such a beautiful view, but it was cold and foggy until 2:00 or so, so I am kind of cold and windblown.

Continue reading "Phil Mickelson & Tom Watson at the US Open" »

Flaherty's Seafood Grill for Dinner

We had planned to go to Dametra Cafe for dinner because Wendy and Rob had recommended it and it got all kinds of good reviews, but I forgot to make a reservation, so there was quite a long wait when we got there, and we were really hungry, so we walked on down to another restaurant right across from our first night's dinner.

Flaherty's Seafood Grill and Oyster Bar was our destination and, once again, we lucked out. Hardly anyone there at about 6:30, but it had filled up by the time we left.

First things first - the wine. We like sauvignon blanc with fish, and Flaherty's wine list had two New Zealand sauv blancs. We chose the Kim Crawford and were not disappointed. It went well with both the oysters and the fish we ate.

First, Bill had a half dozen oysters, a variety of types. He shared one with me and, while I am not an oyster lover, it was good. Guess I forgot to take a photo of those.

They had not one but three entrees featuring Fresh Alaskan Halibut. I chose the one "encrusted with cashew nuts in a porcini mushroom / basil / cream / lobster / sherry sauce. Yum! I almost lickd the plate.

Bill's choice was another Alaskan Halibut entree, with a crabcake on top. Both of our entrees had a huge portion of garlic mashed potatoes. Double yum!

No dessert tonight - we were just too full.

So, this would definitely be another restaurant recommendation. We hope to try Dametra Cafe on another trip.

June 16, 2010

The Sun! The Sun!

The sun! The sun! Sort of like Ze plane Ze plane, the famous quote.

We had barely seen any sun on Monday or Tuesday, so seeing sunshine by 9 a.m. Wednesday was a happy sight. The golfers probably thought so too.

Bill walked over to the golf course early, and I followed about an hour later. He likes to go to the practice range and watch them hit, so I didn't want to cramp his style. I didn't want to walk too much today, so I thought I would hang around at the far end of the golf course and sit in a couple of the bleachers to watch the play.

So, today was my day for scenery pictures instead of golfer pictures.




On my walk back to Carmel, I notice this little house on San Antonio Drive. It looked so cute, the kind of house I would like to live in.

As I mentioned yesterday, it was a long hard walk up the hill back into Carmel. But, they had benches on each uphill corner, and I took advantage of all of them!

Continue reading "The Sun! The Sun!" »

Dinner at Cantinetta Luca, Carmel


Dinner tonight at Cantinetta Luca promised to be outstanding. First of all, it was recommended by Wendy and Rob, who live on the Monterey Peninsula. Secondly, it got lots of good online reviews. And I DID remember to make a reservation, so we were all set.

We were seated in the bar area where we were able to see all of the action.

To start, I chose Tricolore - Bitter Greens, Green Apple, Gorgonzola, Walnuts and Honey Vinaigrette, and it was delicious.

Bill's pick was the Wild Arugula - Roasted Beets, Toasted Hazelnuts, Blood Oranges and Red Wine Vinaigrette, and it was also outstanding.

I had my heart set on ravioli, and I was not disappointed with the Spring Lamb Ravioli with Fava Beans and Olives.

Bill chose the Stinco d’Agnello - Braised Colorado Lamb Shank,Taggiasca Olives and Rosemary and loved it.

We shared a side of Broccoli Rabe.

Then there was dessert -


We drank our last bottle of Barbaresco that we got in Italy - the corkage fee was only $15.

Another enthusiastic recommendation! Carmel has lots of good restaurants!

June 17, 2010

Carmel to Cambria

Today is moving day - time to drive from Carmel to Cambria, one of my very favorite places on earth. We decided to take the slow route down picturesque Highway 1, 100 miles of curves and beauty.

A little past Big Sur I took a couple of photos of the coastline.



There was a bit of a delay along the way - signal lights in the middle of nowhere, with only one lane for two-way traffic. Rock slides had completely eliminated the oceanside lane in some places. Cal Trans was trying to build up the roadway again, but I have a feeling that it might be a lost cause when Mother Nature is involved.


We were trying to get to Cambria for a late lunch at Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill.



I love to sit outside there and eat their clam chowder in a breadbowl, along with a little wine.


Continue reading "Carmel to Cambria" »

June 18, 2010

On to Los Alamos - Kenneth Volk Wines - Dinner at Flatbread

Sadly, we could spend only one night in Cambria (our room was only available that one night), so we decided to drive a little closer to home so we wouldn't have so far to travel tomorrow morning. Los Alamos in Santa Barbara County fit the bill.

We drove back toward Hwy 101 in Paso Robles and stopped at Sycamore Farms to see what plants they had for sale. Lone Madrone has a tasting room there, but the new addition there is a Kenneth Volk tasting room. And Ken Volk was actually there pouring! What fun!


I belonged to the Wild Horse wine club for many years while Ken was the owner/winemaker, and he always used some unusual varietals in making his wines. I like "unusual" in both food and wine, so this really appeals to me.

We tasted all of the white wines on the tasting list and then a few of the reds. There is a $10 tasting fee, but you do get to take home the lovely large tasting glasses. We joined the wine club while we were there and were not charged for the tasting. Best of all, though, we got to pick Ken Volk's brain about winemaking.


After that, a short stop at Albertson's in Paso Robles. They have a really good selection of local wines, some of them on sale. It is about the best place to stop in Paso in lieu of going to individual wineries.

OK, back on 101 we go thru SLO and Santa Maria to the little motel that Shannon and I stayed in during Slow Bowl this past February, Skyview Motel. Certainly not fancy, just a bare bones place to stay right next to the freeway and within walking distance of a fantastic restaurant, Full of Life Flatbread. I blogged about the place back in February.

Continue reading "On to Los Alamos - Kenneth Volk Wines - Dinner at Flatbread" »

June 19, 2010

Home to Hoochie

We got an early start from Los Alamos (just north of Solvang), and made it home by noon. Quite a bit of traffic even though it was Saturday.

Unloaded the car and then picked up our mail at the Post Office before heading over to Hoochie's B&B to pick her up. Renaissance Pet Resort is a pretty neat place for pets to stay while we humans travel. They post photos on their website daily, so the "parents" can see their babies while traveling.

Here she is (in the front seat with Bill) on the way home.

And here she is cuddling up to her Papa at home.

We loved our trip - visited with family and friends - saw the beautiful Pebble Beach golf course and lots of golfers - ate some wonderful meals - we had a great time! But it is always good to come home!

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to A Winelover's Wanderings in the 2010 Pebble Beach/Santa Cruz category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

2009 Italy - Piedmont, Lakes is the previous category.

2011 Venice with GrapeHops is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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