Day One - All about the Hitching Post!

Santa Barbara Travel Blog

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Wine Tasting at Casa Cassara - great syrah!

Sybil and Az wanted to go hiking, so the plan was that I would drive up to Santa Barbara from LA in the afternoon by myself.  The thing is, if you know me, you’d know that I absolutely DETEST driving long distances.  I get bored, sleepy and my eyes get really really dry and tired.  Even worse, I got stuck in traffic 3 times on this journey!  What would have been a 2 hour trip turned into over 3 hours!  At least there were moments where I could look at the beautiful blue waters off the 101 … but to be honest, that did little to alleviate my frustration.  When I finally arrived in Buelton, Az and Sybil had already been winetasting and wanted me to drive out to find them.  I was in such a cranky mood, I needed to decompress before I could be amongst society…. So after 3 minutes of decompressing, I agreed to find them.

Waiting for our table at the Hitching Post.
  Luckily they were near our motel (Pea Anderson’s Best Western – very affordable, clean and serviceable, not fancy at all – allegedly famous for their split pea soup, but both Az and Sybil told me that the soup was pretty bad…) so they picked me up and then we were off to Casa Cassara! 

 

Tom (at CC) told us for December the tastings were free and as an even better bonus, he gave us free treats (crackers and dark chocolates)!  We tried 5 wines, ending with their double gold winning syrah – yum!  Great bouquet, nice long smooth finish, berry forward flavors – very good!  The experience was also made better by the knowledgeable and pleasant Tom.  I would definitely recommend this winery for wine tasting.

 

Truth be told, I think Az picked the Pea Anderson because it was within walking distance of the Hitching Post (the restaurant showcased in the movie Sideways).
Me - winding down with a bottle of wine - lol!
  Sybil was craving the lobster there, which was the original inspiration for this entire trip.  It’s amazing how good food can motivate my friends and me. 
J  After resting a bit, we walked over to the restaurant and into a large crowd.  There is always a long wait, but we were able to snag seats at the bar to wait for our reservations.  We shared a lovely bottle of Hitching Post wine.  We had all been here previously, and were salivating over the amazing smells of steak wafting around us.  Soon we were seated (yeah!!!) and we were ready to order.
My surf and turf (before shot)
  I think our waiter was surprised at our eagerness, but pleased with our decisiveness.  Both Az and I had the steak and lobster, and Sybil had the pork chop and lobster … everything was delish!  (The meal always starts with a plate of pickly veggies, then your choice of 2 appetizers (clam chowder, salad or shrimp cocktail)).  Seemingly lots of food, but we powered through!  Until the end, when Az was clearly defeated.  She didn’t even finish her lobster or her wines!  Tragic!  Happy and full, we waddled back to our room (after stopping to buy some ice cream at Albertsons…)
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Wine Tasting at Casa Cassara - gre…
Wine Tasting at Casa Cassara - gr…
Waiting for our table at the Hitch…
Waiting for our table at the Hitc…
Me - winding down with a bottle of…
Me - winding down with a bottle o…
My surf and turf (before shot)
My surf and turf (before shot)
Sybil enjoying her pork chop!
Sybil enjoying her pork chop!
My surf and turf (after shot)
My surf and turf (after shot)
Az - defeated by her surf and turf.
Az - defeated by her surf and turf.