Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sonoma to Santa Barbara with a stop in Paso Robles. I picked up Dad and met Linda for lunch at Shanghai, a cute hole-in-the-wall in a strip mall on the corner of Oregon & 5th Streets in Sonoma. Quite near Dad's house, and I'm told it's one of Miss Olivia's favorite places because of the fish tank. The luncheon special was also good, a large selection of entrees paired with several choices, spicy or not soup, won ton or egg roll, white or fried rice or chow mein with your selection for a flat $4.95. The chicken and broccoli I had was quite good as well. No photos this time, but will be going back at a later date.

From Sonoma we drove straight through to Paso Robles, except for a gas stop near my house for the cheap $2.89 per gallon gas. In Santa Barbara the price is $3.39 for the same gas, so I am again happy to live near a bargain Arco station. We stopped for dinner at "Wilson's" in Paso Robles, and to stretch. Wilson's is family run and founded in 1948, so it must be doing something right. I took some photos which I will arrange here once I'm back home.

I chose Wilson's because it looked quite local, and well kept on the outside, and it looked like it might be a little 'retro', which I thought my Dad might enjoy. Indeed it was retro, and my Dad enjoyed his 'petite plate', which was not peitite at all. I tried the beef dip, which was quite good, the chef used quality roast beef. The iceberg lettuce salads with carrot and red cabbage slices topped with crutons came on a chilled plate and with a chilled fork. So that kind of salad might not excite me, but they were in theme, and they did do the small things to make the food taste the best for what it was. And the waitress was friendly and full of local facts and advice. It was an enjoyable meal.

We rolled into Santa Barbara around 9:15 p.m. and started our hotel search. The going rate seemed to be $290 for a room in a seaside hotel, but we found a hidden gem at the Ala Mar for $149, which although not a 4-star, certainly is clean and reflects care by the management. It also has a HUGE in-room jacuzzi tub and separate large shower unit. The furniture is California-style big, and although there is no air conditioning, there is a nice fan and ocean breeze to moderate the warmth. And free wireless internet, which I'm utilizing to write this. Throw in a manage/owner who has a brogue (Irish??) so thick you need a power-blade to cut it, charming and helpful, and its a win!

No comments: