MOMS AND MERLOT: HOW TO CONQUER WINE COUNTRY IN 24 HOURS

A group text was in full swing with four of my closest mommy friends.  I glanced down at the phone 2 minutes into the conversation -- 75 UNREAD TEXT MESSAGES!!!  Did someone break a nail, forget pickup, dare I say, miss yoga? 

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At closer look, it was none of that- rather a GIF with Honey Boo Boo doing the rump shake followed by rows of red wine glasses, cocktail emojis, giant smiley faces, clapping hands and prayer symbols.  It appeared these moms were cooking up something fabulous and I wanted in.  

They decided it was high time to leave our hubbies at home with the kiddos and take off for a well-deserved night to Solvang, a quaint little Danish Villiage just about 125 miles up the coast from LA located in the Santa Ynez valley.  The town is known for it's top-notch wineries, cute little bars and restaurants, charming boutiques and shops...but REALLY the wine.  And that's REALLY up our alley.  The trip was set, itinerary stacked -- and mission to be completed within 24 hours. 

The drive up the coast was beautiful, the conversation -endless and laughs -- straight from the belly.  The second we arrived at our hotel, we were in heaven.  Car doors open and POP!!! - Sparkling wine's a flowing! 

The Landsby billed as the newest and most innovative hotel in the area is 50-room boutique hotel that offers warm hospitality and refined, stylish accommodations.  It's super hip and in the heart of town which makes getting around pretty seamless.  High-season requires a two-night minimum stay and rates for two queens are very fair, especially when breaking it down between four people.  Check it out https://thelandsby.com 

We booked an (un)fortunate Uber driver to stick with us all day so that made getting around super easy - and fun.  Ultimately, he became a friend and someone we'll call on every time we go back.  

Now, don't ask me how, but we managed to pack 3 wineries in one afternoon.  I'd suggest shooting for no more than 2.  Here are my recommendations -- start with Bridlewood BridlewoodEstateWinery.com end with Demetria demetriaestate.com 

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Bridlewood

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Bridlewood has the most gorgeous grounds, delicious wines and HUNKY employees which makes a tasting with four GIDDY, married women pretty damn hilarious.  Demetria is totally off the beaten path - takes about 30 minutes on remote dirt roads to get there (hang on to those barf bags) but the views once you arrive make it all worth it.  The wine is spectacular with a "Wait are we in Provence?!" setting to match.  An absolute MUST!

As day turned to night, we also regressed back into college kids so the idea of sitting down for an adult meal wasn't exactly appealing.  Instead, we stuffed our faces with apps at the hotel bar.  It was lively and vibey.  After a quick costume change - the four of us sauntered out in slo-mo (only in our minds) and we were off...ready to turn the sleepy town of Solvang upside down.

Maverick was where we were directed and it was honky tonk magic Maverick Saloon  A complete throwback saloon with live country music and one helluva rowdy crowd, initiated by us, the four Jewish, suburban moms...obviously.  We switched from wine to whisky -- and let's just say, our night wrapped around 1am in giggly uber ride home.

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The next morning like clockwork, we all popped up as if we were expecting our children to bulldoze through the door yelling at the top of their lungs about who knows what.  It was 8am and we figured it was perfect time to get dressed, grab a quick bite, and jump in the car.  I won't confirm or deny whether there was a little rose left on the nightstand that was being guzzled straight from the bottle as we were packing up to leave.  

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HANGOVER CURE

 

Paula's Pancake House  http://www.paulaspancakehouse.com made our empty tummies and shakey brains much much better.  They whipped up eggs-to-order, fresh fruit, toast (loads of it) and strong-ass coffee.  In no time and we were OFF.  Back down the coast and to our respective homes.

I can honestly say, 24 hours was just the right amount of time.  We did, we saw, we drank, we conquered.  AND bonded...I mean really bonded.

 

INSIDER TIP:

What To Pack: floral dresses, casual rompers, booties, wedges, sneakers (no heels) Hats, layers, fanny-packs, cross-body bags, IDs, snacks, sunblock.  Less is more.  Only pack what you really need.  Meaning, plan your outfits ahead of time so there's no thinking involved when you arrive.  Because let's face it, there will be no thinking, only drinking :) Bottoms up!