Wine Tasting & Apple Picking in SLO

Last weekend my USC girlfriends and I took a trip for a girls weekend in San Luis Obispo to get some much needed #GirlTime ♥.

After graduating, half of our friend group seemed to move up to San Francisco while the other half nestled here in pockets of West LA. So San Luis Obispo is the perfect half-way point for us all to meet – we can all drive there in about 3-4 hours and spend a weekend there without taking off any time from work, which is awesome. The LA girls packed into my friend Dasha’s car while the SF girls loaded up in my friend Lisa’s car that had a UCLA license plate holder…pshh lame! I guess she drove her sister’s car – boooooo. Just kidding, it’s really a great school, nothing against it…many of my friends went to grad school there.

We leave Friday night and about an hour into the car ride my friend Ashley, who planned the whole weekend trip, texts all of us and asks if any of us are allergic to cats. Well, me, sort of! My skin issues are aggravated by animals and I’ve always been slightly allergic to cats. Plus, cats seem to hate me, I think they can sense I’m a loyal dog person… So I text back that I am and so begins the tale of our weekend petsitting Lenny the cat. Apparently, our Airbnb came with a cat that no one had seen in the listing (there was 2 sentences about it in the middle of the listing). It wasn’t until the night of our arrival that the landlord texted Ashlie and asked if everyone was OK with the cat. Merp.

We’re all pretty confused at this point. Who the EFF leaves their family pet with a handful of Airbnb strangers!? Unless he’s an evil cat that they really don’t like any way. We are not getting a good feeling from ol’ Leonard the cat at this point. We dig into the welcome email with the “House Rules.” Buried at the very bottom are Len Len’s instructions:

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At this point we’re all cracking up hysterically (except for the ticks crawling on us part…!?). First off, our first description of Lenny is not that he’s a cute, friendly little kitty cat but that he’s missing 3 out of his 4 incisors. So we’re all picturing an old toothless cat smiling up at us MEOWING loudly for his food with poisoned ticks dropping dead off of him. What a grumpy pants Mr. Lenny sounds like. And, NO, you cannot fucking sleep with me Lenny. Jesus. Nicole in the backseat shouts “Go to Hell Lenny!” which becomes our inside joke for the weekend, along with “Fuck you Lenny!” ALL jokes, I hope you understand. We all love animals and Lisa actually lets Lenny sleep with her all weekend. He turned out to be a well behaved gentleman kitty who we only had trouble getting inside the house once before we left for the weekend.

Lenny the Cat
Lenny the Cat

But seriously – how weird is it to leave your beloved pet with strangers for the weekend!? What if we were crazy psychos or stayed out too late and didn’t let poor Len Len inside before his bigger cat cousins, the mountain lions, got him?! We all shuddered at the thought.

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Their first meeting

So the AirBnB was actually great, as was the entire weekend. It was much needed for all of us. The word revitalized was thrown around a lot and I agree. It was so good to reconnect and see everyone. Whenever we get together, it’s like no time at all has passed even though many of us don’t keep in touch very frequently throughout the rest of the year. But when we do get together it’s nonstop shits and giggles. Minus the shits. Because girls don’t poop. Or do we…? Boys may never know. Unless you’re like Matt & I and you leave the bathroom door open. Then they know. Boy, do they know.

Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel

Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel

Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travelSaturday morning was a beautiful day in SLO. We start off with some breakfast sandwiches, pastries, a green smoothie for myself (because, health) and take off wine tasting around noon. Did I mention I also had a chocolate croissant? The first winery we go to is Tolosa Winery. Their Visit page looks like this:

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Fitting for our weekend, wouldn’t you say? WHY there is a cat on this page, I have no idea. We didn’t see cats there and there’s no mention of cats on their website (sort of like our Airbnb listing…). LOL anyway. It’s a beautiful winery. For parties of 6 or more you need to make a reservation but we didn’t realize that. Thankfully, it must not have been too busy because we were welcomed in and there were even a few bar tables we were able to post up at. After we finished the tastings we noticed an amazing little garden area that no one was using, so we bought 2 bottles to polish off while we sat and talked and laughed. If you buy a bottle your tasting is free! So that was nice. Tastings were $20 and the bottles we got were $48 each.

Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel

Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travelPunch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travelIt was a perfect day for sitting outside and it gave me an excuse to play around with the new camera I had just bought. I have always wanted to develop a photography hobby so recently I took the plunge and made a commitment to myself to do it. This year has been all about transformation and becoming the person I want to be, so I am at full steam ahead! I had literally gotten the camera Friday afternoon so I really had no idea how to use it yet. I kept it on auto function pretty much the whole time and the pictures still came out nice. Good quality, not the greatest photos – but hey I’m a beginner! Gotta start somewhere. Hopefully over the course of this blog I’ll start to get good and you guys can like compliment me and shit on how far I’ve come. 😉 FYI it’s a refurbished Canon Rebel EOS T5 and Canon was/is having a great sale on refurbished products right now! Woot Woot!

Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel

Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel

Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel

Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travelThe next winery was called Autry Cellars and we actually walked there from Tolosa, it was less than a half mile. However, we walked in the bike line, not advised… (Side note, there’s a cat picture on their yelp page too. WTF is with SLO and cats!?).

Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel

Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel

Autry Cellars is less beautiful…but full of character. They have a cute deck out back that we pretty much took over (sorry other people eating delicious smelling sandwiches who we asked if they’d share). The tasting area was tiny so it was good that they had the patio out back or I’m not sure where we would’ve stood. Also their pours were quite small. I’m not sure if this is their normal size pour for the tastings or if they could tell more than half of our group was already drunk and they didn’t want us scaring away more patrons? Either way, we were a little disappointed but like I said we were already having a ball so it really didn’t matter too much. Plus for 7 tastings it was just $10. Though I swear those 7 tastings would probably just barely make a regular sized glass of wine soo…

We also met Steve, the owner I believe. He was Gene Autry’s 2nd cousin I think he said? He also distills brandy there – the only brandy distillery in the Edna Valley I believe. None of us could handle brandy at that point so we passed.

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For dinner we tried a place called Novo, which was pretty good. The service was really slow but the food was tasty. It was like an Asian Fusion type of menu. But the best part about Novo was after 10pm they started clearing the tables and it turned into a good bar scene. DJ and and disco ball, check! So as soon as we finished dinner we walked over to the empty dance floor and requested our theme song of the weekend, Closer by the Chainsmokers. The DJ obliged and we got that party started. We sang and danced in unison (not) and people actually applauded us. (OK, we didn’t actually get any applause, but we did get other people up dancing – winning!). We sang until out throats hurt and danced until our feet swelled and backs hurt. For a total of 2 hours. Yep, it’s official, we’re getting old. It was awesome though, singing at the top of your lungs and dancing like you don’t care who’s watching can be really therapeutic. And that’s what we did.

Sunday morning we went apple picking!! We were all so excited for this but it turned out to be less picturesque then we had imagined. The orchard was not really maintained and there were thousands of apples all on the ground. Most of them were rotting or had worms in them, so it was slim pickins for real. I’m not sure if this is how most pick-your-own orchards are, but I would imagine not.

Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travelPunch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel At the end they had huge baskets for apples that were picked but no longer wanted (orphan apples). It’s basically just a smart scam for people who run the orchard to not just get free labor, but to actually make money off people picking their apples for them. Lol. No, it was still really fun. Can you tell we had a good time? The highlight of this part of the trip though was this dog Hudson. Not sure who he belonged to but OMFG he was the cutest. Right!?

Punch Drunk Soul - fitness, wellness, health, food and travel

This girls weekend in San Luis Obispo was quick but amazing. We’ve turned our girls weekends into an annual tradition and I think next year we settled on going camping somewhere. Weekend getaways don’t have to be expensive, you can pick somewhere close to drive to, get a cheap airbnb or hotel and just hang out for the weekend. Trust me, it’s so worth it to get together with friends who you don’t get to see often and reconnect. It’s good for your health and happiness and since laughter is good for the soul, I hope you have friends who you can let loose around. If not – it’s time to change that :). Reach out to me, I’m friendly, I swear. And I’ll tag along on any girls trip I’m invited to 😉 haha. As we pulled into Dasha’s drive way after a 3.5 hour drive we were greeted one last time by the theme song of the weekend coming on the radio.

xx
Ali

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4 Comments

  1. Lol… loved reading this post. I feel like I went on this trip with you all while I was rocking my 2 year old to sleep. Hahha…. go to hell Lenny!!

    Thanks for sharing!!

    • Ali Reply

      Haha, aw thanks Jessica! Thanks for reading & sharing your thoughts!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing Ali. I really enjoy your writings… I felt that I was right there with you. It reminded me of times I’ve spent with friends and the silliness we experience when we’re together enjoying ourselves and our close moments together… being happy and free.

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