Adventures (+ beauty) are out there- you just have to open your eyes and look around a little.
When friends visit us – after showing them the beach, the mountains and our favorite burritos in Santa Barbara, we love taking them to our favorite winery, Gainey. Over the Santa Ynez Mountains, sitting sleepily amongst the rolling hills and blue mountains is our sweet Gainey Winery. We found it on accident and have been hooked since day one- even becoming wine members.
This particular Sunday was no different – it was a gorgeous Sunday and we wanted to show off the gorgeous Santa Barbara Wine Country. Over the mountains we went, taking in the rolling green hills as we went. I couldn’t believe how green everything turned (thanks to a little ‘a lot’ of rain we’ve been getting lately). We pulled in to the familiar circular drive way and made our way inside to enjoy a tasting before making our way out back to lounge on the grass. We spent the afternoon basking in the sun, enjoying a picnic and sipping a few bottles of wine. The laughter never seemed to end except when critical serious conversations needed to be had. Like wine, they say good friends only get better with time and damn that’s a saying I’ve known to be true.
Sooner than we had liked, we were booted from the vineyard so they could close up for the night. We weren’t quite ready to go home so we opted for another ‘off the beaten path’ adventure. Knapps Castle is a staple to the Santa Ynez Mountains. Located in the Los Padres National Forest, the original castle was built in 1916. The mansion was destroyed by a forest fire in the 1940s and has never been rebuilt. Instead, hikers can enjoy the foundation remains- fireplace pillars, walls and stairs.
We have heard about it but hadn’t had the chance to go and explore the remains. This was the perfect time. The panoramic view of Lake Cachuma and the Santa Ynez Valley is second to none and definitely makes the walk after all the wine worth it. Again, we were alone in the architecture taking in the views, laughing, swinging on the rope swings and enjoying life.
Isn’t that what adventures are all about? Reminding us to enjoy the simple things like swinging from a tree, a good glass of wine with an old dear friend and spending your day laughing with those you care about? Those I think- are the best adventures of all.