“You have to promise me that you’ll leave the laptop at home. Please.”
(see reluctant “ohhh kayyyy”)
With those words, the Wineaux Guy set the parameters for a getaway weekend to Paso Robles. He didn’t feel like coming to Vegas again, and ditto for me going to So. Cal. So we compromised and met in Paso. But – because whenever we go there, I always have a laptop going – he insisted that we actually vacation and actually relax. So we did. Mostly.
So I didn’t argue (!!!) and decided to go with the flow. I did a mantra or two (whatever that is), and actually relaxed. Really! Even though I spent a lot of time driving, it was well worth it. We made some new discoveries and actually got to hang out with friends without feeling the pressure of schedules, interviews, or anything related to Vegas Wineaux.
We stayed at the Melody Ranch Motel, a quaint, older, very Route 66-esque establishment on Spring St. at 9th. Cute as a button, well maintained, and absolutely spotless, it’s a homey place to stay. Because it’s an older property (about 45 or so years old), it lacks some of the extras – Wi-Fi, microwave, mini-fridge, for example – but it’s reflected in a lower price for an evening’s stay. It came very highly recommended, and I have to concur.
The first day we went to a couple of the downtown tasting rooms to say hi. Because we were walking – okay, Rod was walking, I was gimping – we didn’t plan to purchase anything the first day. Good thing. It was way too easy to slip away into unbridled wine greed when tasting fabulous wines. Usually, given the time that we arrived and the time we spent downtown, we’d usually hit several wine rooms, taste bunches of wine and then blow the budget. Not this time. We visited Ortman and Pianetta, and then visited We Olive. Other than getting two bottles of Rosato at Pianetta and making plans to return to Ortman and We Olive the next day, that was the extent of our wine adventures.
We visited with Teresa at Ortman for a long time, and when we left, we were ready for food. We stopped at Vic’s Cafe, which, if it weren’t for the fact that it was in a building on 13th Street in Paso, could easily be showcased on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Driveins, and Dives! The food was cheap, hot, plentiful, and filling.
We never made it back to Ortman or We Olive. Dammit. There’s always next time!
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