Aloha Steakhouse, bad dog, bad golden retriever, Chateau Ste Michelle, chocolate, golden retriever, In 'n Out, my mom rocks, pumpkin pie, rainy day fun, running, shop local, Spice-topia, Ventura, Ventura Winter Wine Walk, wine tasting, Yappy Hour Vineyards
3.60 mi. drizzly walk around our ‘hood
3 mi. flatish run/21:02 min.
2 mi. TM run/ 16:15 min.
I made a pie yesterday, and had a slice for breakfast:
Followed by some eggs topped with Feta and some gloriously creamy avocados from my friendneighbor:
And all was right in my world. Especially because we were set to go to the most magical, magnificent, amazing, stupendously cool holiday event ever conceived: The Ventura Winter Wine Walk.
My completely awesome mom bought our family tickets to this wine tasting/holiday celebration (Thanks, Mom!), and I hope it becomes a tradition. For the VWWW, we first checked in at the Crowne Plaza near C-Street in Ventura at 4pm where organizers gave us a tasting map and plastic stemless wine glasses:
Even in the rain, this event sold out, for good reason. After we checked in, we went on our way to various restaurants and shops along and around Main Street. We started at the hotel, which was not my favorite, but it was a location that served up sliders alongside a white or red wine option. Then, we waited outside the Aloha Steakhouse, the 2001 crime scene where my stepdad once let my sissy and me order anything not knowing our duos of lobster tails would set him back $72 each. Thanks, Tom! He hasn’t let that one down.
At Aloha, they were pouring one of my favorite chards, Chateau Ste Michelle. They were also pouring a cab, I think. Aloha also provided a jalapeno crostini topped with steak and a blue cheese sauce. I’m not a meat eater, but my husband dug it.
Main Street was shut down for the street fair, with a stage set up for my sister and I to take pictures of our awesomeness:
I think the best part of the evening was really feeling how small Ventura is. We ran into people we knew all over the place, and when while we waited in line at the different tasting locations, we met some of the coolest people and shop owners as well.
If you’ve never been to Main Street, I would highly encourage you to go. Every shop is locally owned and operated, and many of them offer locally made goods. The Wine Walk was the perfect way to showcase Ventura’s finest shops and the people behind them.
One of my favorites was Spice-topia, a hip spice (so many different kinds of salt!), tea, and kitchenware shop. Check out their website for a list of in-store events.
I chatted a bit with (gasp!) their chocolatier, and sampled her creations along with a red wine:
There were so many ridiculously cool shops I’d never been in before, and I will for sure be returning to get some X-mas shopping done. No question.
The rain seemed to have deterred some of the street faire vendors from coming out, but I found my favorite local vendor of all time: Yappy Hour Vineyards. Michelle and Tasha are the owners, and they are clearly women of my own heart. They obsess over their dogs, and they figured out a way to marry two things they love: wine and dogs. And all of their products are made in the USA.
They also have cat-lover stuff, but, naturally, I didn’t take a picture of it.
It’s not that I hate cats. We just don’t see eye-to-eye.
I picked up a pair of hand-painted stemless wine glasses from the ladies:
And the ladies threw in a few treats for the girls:
Yappy Hour Vineyards has all kinds of cute gifts for winos (wines like Bark-deaux, Pinot Tail-io, Grrrr-lot, and Char-dog-nay) who happen to be dog (and, le sigh, cat) lovers, and if you buy anything from their website, they’ll knock 10% off your purchase if you use discount code WineWalk10! Thanks, ladies!
After the great snowfall:
We headed to In ‘n Out for a fancy dinner (next year, we’ll put our name in ahead of time at one of the Main Street restaurants because the wait time was 2 hours at most places around 8pm), which was super delicious, as usual:
And then drove home to this crime scene:
Funny. She must have been hiding from any other potential attackers.
That’s a bad dog, that Ruby Sunshine. I wonder what Santa’s going to bring her.