Earlier this year I reviewed In a Dark, Dark Wood, a story about a hen party (British slang for bachelorette party) gone wrong. The setting: an isolated cottage in the woods. The main character carpools with the one girl she knows besides the bride to someone’s vacation home for a weekend of pre-wedding shenanigans.
When I received news that the bachelorette party for my dear friend and sister-in-law, Candice, was planned for weekend away at a friend’s beach house and the only girl I really knew besides the bride is the one I would be carpooling with, it put me on alert. I joked with my husband, “I’m either going to be murdered, murder someone or solve a murder. I don’t know which yet, we’ll find out on Sunday when I return home –or not!”
Our actual weekend getaway was a lot less dramatic than In a Dark, Dark Wood and no one was harmed during our adventure. In fact, it was wonderful. I didn’t realize how much I needs a Girls’ Night. On Friday my friend Jen and I arrived around 11:30 p.m. We drank a few glasses before retiring for the night.
Our first stop on our mini wine tasting tour was Laetitia Winery. I was immediately drawn to all the fancy edibles in the gift shop: pistachios, bruschetta, and chocolate.
For $10, we got to try five different wines. I chose a Moscato, two sparkling, a red and a port. I really enjoyed the port. The description praised its hazelnut flavor, so I was disappointed when the portion poured was much smaller than the others. The Moscato and sparkling wines were very delightful, but I couldn’t remember much about the red. I do remember eyeing the pistachios because I was so hungry. Wine tasting is probably better after some lunch.
Everyone in my party, but the bride, purchased a bottle of wine. I was hesitant. This was only our first stop and I have quite a few bottles of wine stocked up at home, which I’ve been avoiding until I was sure my liver was better. It didn’t make any sense to purchase a bottle. Now I regret not buying any because the wines at the next tasting room weren’t as satisfying.
Our next stop was Sextant wines. While the food from their deli was absolutely delicious, their wines were not so much.
The best wine in the tasting was a Spanish red blend that was not on the wine list, but a bonus wine that they were selling for $100 a case.
Two of the other wines smelled like plastic stickers according to the Candice and their taste was on par with their scent. Normally a fan of whites, I didn’t enjoy either of the two featured in the tasting. For $15, we enjoyed six varieties of wine and took home the stemless glass.
After relaxing a bit at the beach house, we drove up to the beach and sat in the sand watching the waves. It was 63 and foggy, and even though I was dressed in pants and a hoodie, I was shivering. After our short beach trip, we reconvened at the house to tackle the ultimate question: what’s for dinner?
Dinner was take out from a local restaurant.The six of us sat around the living room, most of the girls on couches and me on a fuzzy blanket, and watched the Olympics. We filled our glasses with Prosecco and then refilled a few more times before heading to bed.
Jen and I planned to leave early Sunday morning, because she had work at 9 a.m. and wasn’t able to get a later shift. I didn’t mind because I get homesick very quickly and two nights without Joey and the cats were enough for me. We quietly packed our suitcases and did a quick check to make sure we had everything. As Jen headed to the car, I stayed back to refill my water bottle. Satisfied that I wasn’t leaving anything behind, I closed the door. Then I thought, maybe we should lock the door, so I locked it and close it again.
Jen turned the engine and a service message came on the screen telling us about a theft deterrent service and the car refused to start. After a few more tries, the radio, lights, and everything shut down. A call to AAA and a half hour later, we were on the road heading back home, tired and hungry.
Coffee is what we needed to stay awake for the remaining three hour trip. We found a quaint bicycle-themed coffee shop in Santa Barbara called the Handlebar Coffee Roasters.
The almond croissant was heaven, each sliced almond was sweet and sticky and the croissant itself was a little crunchy, with dainty, buttery layers.
The latte I ordered was interesting…I’m still not sure if i enjoyed it or not. I just wanted a simple latte with unsweetened almond milk, i didn’t want to over-do my sugar intake so early when I was only half awake and could fall into a deep sleep at any moment. But then my heart asked for Hazelnut. I know some larger coffee shops have a sugar free option, but this place did not. There was no Hazelnut, instead the barista offered me their homemade vanilla.
I finished the cup right as we pulled into Jen’s work and was ready for a nap. Joey picked me up and I had long cat nap before lunch. It was a great weekend, but I was glad to be home safe. Less than two weeks now until Candice is married!
Cost: About $100 total in food, gas, and tasting fees
Drink of Choice: Latte with Almond milk and homemade vanilla