From The Swiss Alps To the Vendange Hotel And Twisted Roots Winery
You have to appreciate where you are, I always say.
Whether it’s in Switzerland or Salinas, CA.
And in a mere two weeks I’ve been to both places and enjoyed each one of them. Tho in both different yet similar ways.
Switzerland is so spectacular you can hardly describe it; the sheer drop of the Alps combined with the calmness of the train travel and coolness of the cities is a dynamic and even dramatic experience.
And while Salinas itself is nothing to put on your travel planner, it’s the only real “city” in the jaw-dropping gorgeous Monterey Peninsula, which means it has great wines from the region. It’s also the freeway gateway to Carmel and Monterey.
When traveling in each place, you pass a lot of wineries, and also some farmland. So the two places are not as far apart as one might assume.
How you get there, tho, differs dramatically.
In Switzerland, you arrive at your destination by train. And frankly it’s hard to beat.
In Salinas, you arrive by car.
And while arriving by train would be great in Salinas, there is the traveler’s freedom of being in your car. And driving Highway 101 from Los Angeles excels like few other places in America.
The road goes through cool towns like Santa Barbara and Paso Robles, has “hey, keep your eyes on the road” views of the Pacific Ocean and rolls up the gorgeous and golden Central California hills blanketed by wineries on both sides of the road.
Of course, you can have wine on the train in Switzerland and you can’t while driving up the 101 in California. You can do this on the road to Salinas only if you are a passenger and can convince the driver to pull over at any of the the dizzying number of wineries that have tasting rooms along the way.
Yes, there is Amtrak but let me just say, the Swiss don’t operate it.
Because I live in Los Angeles, it’s certainly easier to get to Salinas than it is to Switzerland, so obviously I go to the former much more frequently than the latter.
When in Salinas, I stay at a friend’s house, and he and his lovely wife feed me dinner and load me up with lots of Monterey County wine before sending me off to his boat in Monterey Bay. Sometimes I’m in the company of his beautiful daughter, whom I’ve dubbed The Blonde. She is appropriately named, to be sure.
Occasionally, I have the opportunity to do something special in the area, and on this trip I have the privilege of being hosted for a wine tasting at the Twisted Roots Winery in Carmel Valley, which is in a drop-dead gorgeous location. I’m sure the wine is appropriate to its setting.
Then, I’m staying a night at Vendange, an exclusive, swanky, I-can’t-believe-I’m-here hotel in Carmel.
You can see it all on the review on PubClub.com!
It’s a pretty incredible run, I have to admit. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if I’m in a place like Switzerland or a place like Salinas.
What matters the most is whom I’m with and what good time I’m having.
I’m fortunate enough to have great times and know great people in both places. And I always look forward to going to both as often as the train or car will propel me to them.