Weekend in Paso Robles


This summer has flown by and I just realized that I haven’t written since the end of July! Where did the time go? How did summer begin and then end so quickly? Even though the weather has not yet transitioned here in Los Angeles, I already feel the shift. It’s all around me: fall decorations out on display, winter clothes in the store windows, holiday movies on TV. There is a romanticized image that is portrayed on TV of what fall and winter should be like with perfect little families, in perfect little outfits, with perfect little love stories. With the onset of fall, I start to feel the anxiety, pressure, and stress of my year ending because my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years all happen within a 2-month time frame. It’s all coming up too soon and too fast. It’s a lot.

It’s the end of summer and endings always make me sad. Perhaps, I am lettings the endings have too much power over me. And I think I need to change that mindset. Embrace the moment, embrace the beginnings, embrace the journey and embrace all parts of the process. While I do try to do all of those things, I still need a reminder every now and then. It’s easy to get off track. Instead of thinking about the end of summer, I could think of it as the beginning of something else that doesn’t make me feel so sad. The beginning of fall/winter makes me think of back to school (even though I haven’t been in school in years), getting older because of my November birthday, lonely holidays, and the end of the year. But it’s so much more than that. I need to focus on how much I’ve grown this year and how I’m in such a better place than I was exactly a year ago. There’s more to look forward to in these remaining months and so much more to grow. A lot can still happen this year.

Over Labor Day Weekend, I went on a little road trip getaway to Paso Robles with some girlfriends. It was a nice way to transition into fall. I used to travel quite often in the past, either abroad or on local roadtrips. But since I’ve quit my job, all my trips have been centered around family and going back east to cook with my mom. I have not once, this year, taken a trip for myself for the sole purpose of having fun. When I got invited on this weekend trip to Paso Robles, I knew I had to go. I needed to get away. I needed some fun.

I love wine country and I’ve been to Santa Barbara wine country (Los Olivos, Santa Ynez) several times before, but I’ve never been as far up central coast as Paso Robles. We rented a cute little Airbnb apartment in the center of town. I brought groceries and homemade food ( salsa and porcini mushroom bolognese), so that we wouldn’t have to eat out for every meal.

The weekend started with a beautiful light art installation called Field of Light at Sensorio, which we explored at sunset. The next day, we made breakfast before venturing out to our first vineyard, Daou. Daou has the most amazing view! They don’t require reservations but if you don’t have a reservation, you will probably get stuck sitting at the tables without shade under the hot sun. Also, the tastings are a little pricey at $40 vs other vineyards which normally charge $15-$20. Because we didn’t have a reservation, we decided to buy a bottle of chardonnay and share it under the hot sun with panoramic views of the region. Afterwards, we briefly stopped by Tablas Creek Vineyard but we were a little disappointed because all the tasting were indoors and the wine was average.

The next day, we went to Tooth & Nail Winery before heading back home to Los Angeles. This winery is unique in that it is shaped like a castle with a moat. Yes, a bright aqua-colored moat. Don’t be fooled by the kitschy appearance though. The service was lovely and the wine was really good. We were still able to snag an outdoor spot (with shade) and table-side wine tasting service even without a reservation.

After this trip, I’ve realized that I prefer Los Olivos and Santa Ynez to Paso Robles. I think Los Olivos has better views and a cuter town center. Plus, it’s a little bit of a closer drive coming from Los Angeles. All in all, it was a fun little road trip and a great start to the month of September and the beginning of fall.