Ski Trip: Mammoth Mountain w/ Sean & Pat

Insane…it’s literally the only word that comes to mind after sitting for minutes trying to figure out how to start this post.

We’ve had quite a few memorable experiences since the beginning of this journey and this one, well, was insane.

We kicked it off with Sean & Pat arriving in Paso and taking a drive along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) up to Hearst Castle.

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Let me just say, William Randolph Hearst was a baller! This place is official; the outside and inside décor is a mix of super exclusive stuff from all over the world.

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At one point William had acquired 250,000+ acres of this amazing real estate.

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While the tour itself was pretty weak, just walking around on our own and enjoying the scenery was fantastic.

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Wish we woke up to this view every day!

And basically, right across the street, were a whole lot of Elephant Seals – no way we don’t check that out on the way home.


The next day we sampled the winery scene that Paso has to offer starting with lunch and a tasting at Cass Winery.

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Fantastic food and wine!  We’ll be back, Cass.

With full bellies and a buzz we hit up Sculpterra which came highly recommended; it didn’t disappoint.

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The folks providing the tasting took our craziness in stride and actually seemed to be amused, or at least did a good job of pretending to enjoy our presence.

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Can’t say that the band outside thought too highly of us though.  They probably figured they’d be playing in front of a low key audience on Super Bowl Sunday…

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The ride to Mammoth is about a 7 hour trip, but it didn’t matter; the drive was gorgeous with incredibly diverse scenery.

After passing through lush green hills, somehow the terrain turned to desert in an instant and we were headed toward Mammoth on the Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway.

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This stretch of 395 is so gorgeous, Sean risked life and limb to get theeee perfect picture.

Even more impressive was our 50 mile detour off 395.

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Death Valley is unreal!

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The National Park is HUGE and we barely scratched the surface; nonetheless, stopping off to see Rainbow Canyon was so worth it.

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After an early night following a long drive, we woke up ready to take care of business; as you can see, we completely crushed those bunny slopes.

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Pat and Sean on the other hand were a bit more adventurous.

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Who’s that third guy in the picture? Oh, just Tom who happened to be at Mammoth…what a random/awesome surprise.

Couldn’t be more grateful to our friends for such an awesome trip.

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After a week at Mammoth, Sean parted ways and took a flight to SoCal while Amy, Pat and I doubled back to Paso.  The three of us spent the rest of the weekend as it started: eating, drinking and scoping out the scene.

We sampled the local breweries, BarrelHouse & Firestone which are 10 minutes from our spot in Paso – amazing.

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This place is getting better and better!

Wrapping up the trip, we decided to ride Pat by Morro Bay on the way to the airport.

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Not sure if it was nice or cruel of us to stop at the coast knowing Pat was on the way back to below freezing temperatures in Philly…

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California: The Ride Out (White Sands, Dory Visit, Santa Barbara)

While preparing to leave Austin was a bit of a bummer we were super pumped about the fun ride out west that we had planned.

The excitement of an adventure certainly helps when you get that unavoidable twang of anxiety that comes with picking up and leaving a place you just got acclimated to.

We headed Northwest out of Austin on a Thursday afternoon toward Ft. Stockton, TX which would be our first overnight stop.

White Sands National Monument:

Ft. Stockton put us a few hours from WSNM (New Mexico) which was our first planed detour on our ride out.


As soon as we arrived we knew that the 110 mile round trip detour off of I-10 was worth it – as you can see from above.


After scoping out the scene for a minute at the visitor center, we decided to rent a cheap sled so that we could slide down the dunes while exploring this amazing place.


Me and Chica getting ready to go down the hill.

This park is unbelievable.  On the approach to the Monument, you would never guess there would be snow white sand dunes situated in the middle of nowhere.  The whole surrounding scenery was intense.


Every time one of us would slide down the hill, Chica would come barreling down as well.  Needless to say, she had a blast and was well exercised for the second leg of our drive.


We had already driven about five hours on our way to White Sands and goal was to drive another 440 miles to Phoenix that same day to stay on schedule for our visit  with Dory in Orange County.


So 440 miles to Phoenix equated to about another 9 hours on the road.  A 14 hour driving day with a stop at White Sands was a lot, but it just doesn’t seem as bad when driving through the endless Southwestern beauty of New Mexico and Arizona.

General Patton Memorial Museum:

Our drive from Phoenix to SoCal was beautiful!  After crossing into CA we stopped off randomly for gas and wound up at the museum.


In another random on that stop, we ran into a veteran from PA and he schooled us a bit.  The gentleman informed us that Patton’s troops would simulate desert warfare in this particular locale  while training for battle in North Africa during WWII – hence the location of the memorial.


So glad we got to pay tribute!


We arrived at Dory’s mid-day Saturday; it was so good to see him! Stuffing our faces with amazing food was on the agenda; Dory and Katie didn’t disappoint!


One of the nicest surprises, for me at least, was the Boba (Taiwanese bubble tea) at Class 302.  Never really got into it before, but this place was bomb.


And we had one unexpected, but not surprising event happen: Amy shaved the back of her head!


One day into being a Californian and Amy goes grunge!  This was inspired by Katie, who had this bad ass design of her own and Amy wanted it…personally, I kind of like it 🙂

While the weather was uncharacteristically rainy during our stay in SoCal, we had an amazing time with Dory and Katie.  Looking forward to the next visit!

Drive to Paso Robles:

We left SoCal early Monday morning and got a taste of the terrible traffic these poor people deal with on a daily basis.  Once we past Santa Monica on the 1, the traffic opened up and we were on our way to Santa Barbara for a quick bite.


This place is simply stunning!  No wonder when looking into staying here it was crazy expensive.


All good though, as you can see the rest of the ride up wasn’t so bad.


It was great to arrive at our home in Paso and looking forward to seeing all this beautiful place has to offer!

Last Weeks in TX – Austin, San Antonio & More!

The last few weeks in Austin…for serious?!?

While everyone we know seems to be in agreement that life moves faster as we grow old, packing up and moving every few months really highlights how quickly time flies.  Even more reason to enjoy every minute!

We came off our holiday kick and hit up San Antonio to meet up with our homeboy Abes.

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If you don’t know Abes, well he’s the man which was illustrated by him getting us a dope hotel room for free at the Grand Hyatt right off River Walk…Saweet!

While Abes was wrapping up with work stuff, Amy and I strolled about and hit up the cool/touristy spots San Antonio is known for:

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River Walk

Once Abes was finished with work, we made a mandatory stop at a corner store to pick up pounders and lotto tickets being that the lottery was worth about a billion dollars at the time!

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From there we continued to romp around and own the city (or at least in our minds we did)

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The next week I headed down to Florida to spend time with Moshe and handle some biz.  Luckily, Rebecca was in town and we crewed up with Christina, Janet and Larry for some bomb Greek food at Greek Islands on A1A.


Meanwhile, Jeska and Amy were eating every single item on Uchi’s menu.


Literally – you don’t want to know what that bill was.

Once Amy and I were reunited in TX, we met up with Jordan and Jeska for our last real night out in Austin.  Thanks to Cmart we had an AMAZING  dinner at Foreign & Domestic.

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From there we proceeded to rage at the Infected Mushroom show at the Vulcan Gas Company.

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We did good for being out on a school night!

On our last weekend before dipping out of Texas we needed to get one more Wally hike in!  He took us and the pups for a beautiful scenic hike – wouldn’t expect anything less…


Really appreciative of the time we spent with the Walrus and looking forward to more good times in Montana when he comes through.

And of course, we could not leave Austin without trying The Picnic!

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As you can see, this place is a playground of AMAZING food trucks in one area.

Amy was compelled to get one last Chi’lantro meal (I understand)

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I read about a glorious truck called “Hey…You Gonna Eat or What?” and couldn’t pass it up.  Their altered version of a Reuben was insane!

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Not to mention the hilarious punch lines all over the truck…HA!

On our last night we took a break from packing up and hit up The Mueller Café one last time.  $10 bottles of wine on Wednesday and really good brisket for a café attached to a supermarket, well we needed to say goodbye!

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Austin, it’s been more than real! We love this city and appreciate all the great times in TX.

Out Austin

On to the next one!