Friday Five Feburary 7th

  1. While things at work are still a bit of a mess, I think it's getting better. At least there's less crying. I think we're on our way to the "reluctant accpetance" aspect of all the extra work the new system has brought with it, though we're still not happy with it.
  2. Anyway ... on the bright side, the annual Sweetheart Stroll in downtown Atascadero happens tomorrow! I'm really looking forward to some wine and chocolate tasting and checking out our awesome downtown shops!
  3. My lab results finally came back and it turns out everything is normal, except for very, very low vitamin D. Now I know most folks would be THRILLED to have normal test results, but I'm a bit disappointed. Because seriously? Vitamin D? That can't possibly be what's causing my pain and stiffness, right??*
  4. Gah, whatever! In just 3 weeks I'll be in Green Bay, WI for the 10th annual Weetacon (OMG, 10 years?!?) enjoying some very cold weather, and putting all my woes behind me!
  5. Oh, and eating fresh cheese curds. Yummy, squeaky cheese curds!


* Okay, I guess a vitamin D deficiency CAN cause muscle pain and stiffness!! Wow! If that's the case, then just taking the vitamin D3 my doctor suggested should take care of the problem! I know I shouldn't get my hopes up, but being pain-free again would be AWEsome!!

2013 Sweetheart Stroll

The 2013 Sweetheart Stroll was this past Saturday in downtown Atascadero. Thankfully the sun burned through the early morning fog, melted the frost, and it turned out to be a beautiful, spring-like day! It seemed to be a slightly smaller event than years past, as there were only 14 wineries represented. Still, that gave us a chance to actually try most the wineries without getting TOO tipsy!

First we tried Flirtations Muscato by Opolo. I don't usually like the sweet dessert wines, but this was quite good and I could see myself enjoying a glass on a hot summer day.


We drive by August Ridge every time we go to visit Grandpa, but we've never tried their wine until now. It was quite good, and someday we'll have to stop in for some wine tasting (and purchasing!).


Castoro Cellars is one of my go-to faves. Their Viognier is delish! I've always liked their Savingon Blanc and Chardonnay, too! I felt really bad for this poor guy, though. While the sunshine was warm, there was a bit of a breeze, and it was cold in the shade.


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St. Hilaireis a new one for me. I tried the Zinfandel and really liked it. I would've tried a couple more, but there was one guy totally bogarting the table and the winemaker's time, and there was a line out the door, so I gave up.

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Next we stopped into Time Since Remembered, a cute little antique/crafty shop, to try some Blenna Blanca from Whalebone Vinyard. It was very good, and I loved looking around the shop as well. They have so many cute, unique things!  The only problem is that all the shops here in Atascadero are really small and cramped, and while I understand the Sweetheart Stroll and Art and Wine Stroll organizers want people to go INto the shops and look around (and possibly, hopefully shop), rahter than just going from wine tasting table to wine tasting table along the sidewalk, it's a bit annoying to always be in such cramped quarters, shuffling along in a twisty queue to get a shot of wine, then try to make your way back out, all the while trying to avoid people who are browsing in the store, or trying to browse yourself.

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Edward Jones didn't have wine, but they did have some delicious homemade chocolate mini cupcakes with a white chocolate dollar sign and some sparkling cider. Yummy!

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Larrenita is another new winery - or at elast one I don't recall tasting before. I couldn't find a website for them, but their wine was good, too!

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Tarrica Cellarswas being poured at The Barrel Room, and I think if we'd'vesat down he would've poured for us all day! I didn't know they started serving beer here, too! And, they have Fat Tire, which has been my go-do beer for the past couple of football seasons.

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Bella Luna winery at Ranch Dog Knitting. 

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Here are the Treble Makers, a local barbershop quartet. We stopped them on the street and made them sing us a song. They're really good! It's too bad I was iPhone incompetant on this day, because I tried to take a video of them, but it it didn't work.

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Hearst Ranch Wineryat Calicopia, a artist co-op that has TONS of awesome, artsy things. 

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The Red Tree Art Gallery didn't have a winery this time, but we stopped in anyway to pick up a bottle of Kitehawk Farm olive oil. We'd tried it during one of the Art and Wine Strolls and really liked the flavour of it. I've been thinking about that olive oil ever since, and finally got some! 

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Indigene Cellars I've tried before and really liked their Cabernet.


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Hidden Oaks is pretty much a regular at these events, so I'm pretty familiar with their wine, too. I didn't get a picture of it this time, but they also have a nice compact box of wine (which I always SWORE I would never get because, gah! wine in a BOX!) that contains 4 full bottles of wine, and lasts a long time. I haven't bought it yet, but I'm actually very tempted!

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More entertainment and yet another iPhone fail. These guys were really good - the little girl on the banjo was awesome, and they were both great singers as well! I don't know who they are so I can't look them up, which is pity, because I really enjoyed them.

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Next up was Rotta winery and another delicious Cabernet.
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Frolicking Frog was set up at Bru Coffeeshop where we finished our tour with a delicious Viognier then had a yummy cup of coffee before heading home. I very nearly talked myself out of going to the Sweetheart Stroll this year because it was SO cold and foggy and nasty first thing in teh morning. But as the sun came out, and it looked like it would be a good day, I decided, what the hell, let's give it a shot! Both mom and I are glad we did because it was a beautiful day and we enhjoyed some great wine and snacks and treats, and generally had a wonderful time!

2011 Sweetheart Stroll

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What could be better than spending a beautiful spring-like day downtown snacking on chocolates, sipping delicious wines, listening to great music, and visiting some funky new shops? Umm, nothing! That's why my mom and I went up to the Sweetheart Stroll in downtown Atascadero this afternoon, and, boy was it fun!

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We discovered several awesome new wineries this time around including Vines on the Marycrest . Their Summertime blush was delicious and by far our favourite of the day! I plan to purchase a bottle or two to enjoy this summer on the back patio!

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We also enjoyed the Savignon Blanc from the Frolicking Frog (and rubbed the froggie's back for good luck!).

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The Vinho Doce from Pierce Ranch Vineyards (who came all the way from Monterey!) is a dessert wine, which I normally don't like as they're very sweet and syrupy. However, this selection was very yummy and went really well with dark chocolate!

 We also tasted wines from two other new vineyards (at least new to us): Ranchita Canyon and Hidden Oak.

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Along with the newbies, our tried-and-true favourites Castoro Cellars, Norman Vineyards and Christian Lazo were there to taste as well.

Castoro Cellers 


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 There was some great music by a band called Those Guys - I mean, who can argue with a rockin' jazz flute? They had people dancing on the sidewalk!

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We met a lot of really wonderful people and everyone seemed to be having a great time! Who could blame them, though? It was a beautiful warm, sunny day, the wine and treats were flowing and there were so many new shops to browse, as well as some old favourites, one couldn't help but enjoy it!

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