I should have known I couldn’t get through the summer without a road trip. Usually hubby does the driving and I can just relax (sleep) from point A to point B. Not this time. It was a girl’s trip – me and mini me – in other words, I drove the whole way. Each way. Uggh. It’s a little difficult to sleep and drive at the same time, although I recall seeing my mom do it pretty well. That’s another story.
We started out heading from the Bay Area to Los Angeles going the shortest route (less than 6 hours) through stankin’ Coalinga. Not much to say about that route. We stopped at Harris Ranch for their amazing (wheat free) pecan cookies. Sorry, I ate them so quickly that I forgot to get a pic – but you can get the recipe here.
After what seemed like forever we stopped in Thousand Oaks for the night with the plan to head to Studio City in the morning for a cooking class.
We got up early and went to Sun Café, the cutest little vegan restaurant for a lecture/class on vegan and raw cheese making taught by owner and Chef Ron Russell. I’m surprised to say it was all very tasty. My experience with grocery store vegan cheese has been disappointing to say the least. Chef Ron demonstrated then gave us a generous taste and recipe for nacho cheese, walnut cheese, sundried tomato ricotta cheese, feta cheese, all made with some sort of nut or seed. Seriously, we both enjoyed them enough to make them at home one of these days – except we didn’t love the walnut cheese. I didn’t quite get that one and mini me doesn’t like the taste of walnuts anyway. So maybe it was just us. We stayed and had a wonderful vegan brunch afterwards. It’s the cutest little place with friendly service and really good vegan food. I highly recommend it.
We then ventured on over to LA for my cousin’s wedding and spent the rest of the day and evening with the family, returning to Thousand Oaks later that night to get some rest before heading back home in the morning.
Of course we took the more interesting route home, hitting the coast. Why did it take us almost 12 hours??? Well, our first stop was Santa Barbara, because I’ve been wanting to get there since I heard Oprah moved there. Unfortunately, no Oprah sighting. But we did visit the beach and I got a chance to add a little sand to my collection. I do believe Santa Barbara would be a nice spot for a girls getaway, so it’s on my radar.
Our next stop was Solvang. If you’ve seen the movie Sideways you may be familiar. OMG – It’s the cutest little Dutch town with vineyards, lots of little shops, restaurants, inns, wine and beer. We had lunch at Paula’s Pancake House. Yummmmm. I can’t eat gluten, except sourdough, so I was overjoyed to find they had sourdough French toast and it was done perfectly. This place was PACKED but we managed to get a table in the hot azz sun out front immediately. I guess nobody else was willing to risk getting burned. I’m glad to report we made it out safely.
The next couple of stops after that (Paso Robles and someplace I don’t remember) were just for lattes. I was just ready to get home by this point but needed some caffeinated help. I’m telling you, I have problems separating sleeping and driving, so it was a really long trip home. Thank God for Starbucks.
I clearly did not inherit my mom’s road warrior gene. She could drive 18 hours, get her nap in during the drive without most of us noticing, and do it all again the next day. Not me. I’ll stick to the passenger seat next time, or wait until mini me can help. LOL!