Yesterday we arrived in Santa Barbara and we are staying at the Elks Lodge which is actually in Goleta. This is our second stay at an Elks Lodge RV Park and this park is as nice as the first one in Chula Vista. There are electricity and water hookups and a dump station for when we leave after the maximum five days. The lodge is right up the street from the Trader Joe's and is in a lovely residential neighborhood. When I went inside to register, I noticed the huge smoke free restaurant where they were serving lunch, so after hooking up the rv and getting the dogs settled, we went in to have Shrimp and Chips (me) and a French Dip (Allan). The total cost was $14.00. And it was all delicious and bountiful. Who knew?
While we were still in Paso Robles, we continued to go out each day discovering new wines and olive oils in a countryside that is one vineyard after another, interspersed with olive and walnut orchards or cattle ranches. We have cases of wine stashed in the rv to rediscover upon returning home and it looks as if we are going to be in the market for a wine cooler. I am not sure if we are going to be bankrupt or if we have just spent the last of the children's inheritance but it was a fun experience (even though I didn't taste any of the wines) and we got loads of photos.
Our last excursion was over to Cambria, where we first stopped off in Harmony to taste wine that comes from Santa Maria vineyards. We have been to Harmony in past visits but usually to eat at the small french cafe. But this trip we drove a little further up the hill to the winery and while Allan tasted the wine, I got even more photos from the hilltop. Then we
drove further north into Cambria where we stopped at the used book store which was for sale and noticed most of the books were disintegrating on the shelves, literally turning grey and crumbling. Then on to one of the best garden shops on the west coast where we found some new garden art for our
yard and a very different variety of geranium which I just had to have. Then we went over to Moonstone Beach for lunch. Oh my, what a lovely lunch. I always try to take photos when the lunch is great, but I am so sorry, by the time we stopped filling our faces with the delicious food, it was all gone and I hadn't taken one photo. The White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake was especially good.
On our very last day in Paso, we went into town for lunch and to visit the Art Studios across from the park. It is set up like a cooperative, but each space is large enough for the artist to work as well as have room for their work to be displayed. We saw the work of Linda Mutti, a pastelist who is a signature member of the Pastel Society of the West Coast and also a signature member of the Pastel Society of America. She has worked with Albert Handel, Richard McKinley, Kim Lordier, and many other nameworthy artists. Her work was of the Paso area and her interpretation of the dry oak studded hills is exceptionally beautiful. To see more of her work, visit her web site.... lindamutti.fineartstudioonline.com