In the morning, Sharon and I worked out in the exercise room. I ran 3.22 miles in 33 minutes. The Madonna Inn has a very interesting pool and waterfall set into the hillside. We talked about coming back for spring break next year as part of a trip to Hearst Castle and Big Sur. While Sharon got cleaned up, I got coffee and oatmeal from Starbucks.
The plan for the day was to go wine tasting in the Santa Rita Hills area between Buellton and Lompoc. It was about an hour drive from San Luis Obispo. This area has a lot of Pinot Noir vineyards. Our first stop was Foley Vineyard and Winery.
Leaving there we stopped at Babcock. One of the guidebooks said that there was a great view of the hills. Unfortunately, the view is from the parking lot rather than the tasting room! We decided to pass on this winery and continue up the road.
In Lompoc, there is an area called the Wine Ghetto. It is a loose collection of wineries with production facilities and thirteen tasting rooms in an industrial district. One of the people that Sharon works with suggested that we go to the Robert Loring Wine Company.
Afterwards we headed back to Buellton and had a late lunch at Avant Tapas & Wine. Set overlooking the winery production facilities, the most interesting thing about this restaurant was a series of machines that allowed you to pick from a number of wines to taste. You could also pick how much of the wine that you wanted. Sharon and I shared a salad and a pizza for lunch.
The only odd thing about the day was that I ended up doing three different work conference calls while we were driving. It was about an hour drive from Buellton to San Luis Obispo. We are spending the next two nights at Four Seasons Hotel in Santa Barbara.
After getting checked into the room, we explored the hotel and had a drink at the Coral Casino Beach & Cabana Club across the street. There was a pod of 12 to 15 dolphins swimming and feeding in the surf about 40 yards from the restaurant. It was a pretty amazing sight. I was frankly surprised at how big several of the dolphins looked.
Getting cleaned up for dinner we finished the night with a nice dinner at the Tydes Restaurant. Sharon had a Kobi Beef Brisket, while I had lamb belly.