I Love Where I Live: Girlfriends’ Getaway on the Central Coast

Hmm, how is it that every time my girlfriends from out of the area are in the mood for a reunion it’s up to my home they head? Yes, they all have comfortable homes in exciting cities (San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles) but when it comes reunions, it’s always unanimous that everyone will meet at my home.

It can’t be my hostess skills, as everyone knows I’m a late sleeper and a slacker on the usual housework. Our reunion visits inevitably end up with us cooking together, watching movies, taking beach walks, and drinking wine – not necessarily in that order.

Next week my three friends are coming up as a pre-holiday getaway from their families and holiday responsibilities. They’re expecting the usual routine, I’m sure. But in the spirit of my gift to them for all these years of putting up with my lack of a planned, well-organized, exciting vacation – I’m gifting them just that!

I’ve been mulling this idea around for a week or two and think I finally have the perfect agenda for a topnotch girls’ getaway on the Central Coast. Here’s what I have planned:

The ladies will be arriving Friday afternoon. We’ll head over to Alegria in San Luis Obispo for a flight or two of their Spanish wines. From there, off we go to Luna Red for dinner, exotic cocktails and live music. I’ve booked some rooms at the new remodeled downtown boutique hotel Granada. This way we can carouse around town, and not worry about drinking and driving – the downtown is decorated for the holidays, full of fanciful diversions, and walk-able.

Saturday morning we will regroup for something light, then spend a few hours shopping in downtown SLO. Jules-D is top on our list for a conciliatory present for the wonderful guys we left at home. Not too long though, because I’ve scheduled a full spa afternoon for the 4 of us at River Oaks Hot Springs in Paso Robles. We’ll get massages, facials, and relax in the healing waters.

I’m ordering up a picnic basket of delicious local cheeses and salami from Vivant in Paso Robles, Pastries from Panolivo then heading out to Denner Vineyards to share some of my favorite wines with my friends while we enjoy our snacks at Denner overlooking the vineyards. We’ll stop at another tasting room, then head on over to the El Colibri Hotel and Spa where we will be bunking down for the night. Perfectly timing it so that we are checked into our room (we ordered up one of their suites), freshened up and are down in the wine bar then the entertainment starts. We’ll enjoy more fine wines, some tapas and the music. We’ll retire to the room, and perhaps enjoy the steam room or rooftop Jacuzzi. Thoroughly relaxed, we’ll have pajama time, and find something on the tube as background for our “gab-fests.”

After all that rest and relaxation, we’re up early Sunday morning and off to San Simeon to see the Elephant Seals, then to Cayucos to the cookie factory and a seaside late brunch at Lido in Pismo Beach. Then, I plan a short little beach walk to walk off our brunch before we say “good-bye” until our next reunion. I can’t wait for my girlfriends to arrive and really show them a great time!

If you’re interested in any of our stops, here’s the links:

Alegria: http://www.alegria-slo.com/

Granada Hotel and Bistro: http://granadahotelandbistro.com/

Luna Red: http://www.lunaredslo.com/

Jules-D: http://www.jules-d.com/

River Oaks Hot Springs: http://www.riveroakshotsprings.com/

Vivant: http://www.vivantfinecheese.com/

Panolivo: http://www.panolivo.com/

Denner: http://www.dennervineyards.com/Winery

El Colibri Boutique Hotel and Spa: http://www.elcolibrihotel.com/

Elephant Seal Rookery: http://www.beachcalifornia.com/piedras.html

Brown Butter Cookies: http://www.brownbuttercookies.com/

Lido at Dolphin Bay: http://www.thedolphinbay.com/lido/

Laura Gurreau

Central Coast Food Tours