Stricklandia

Michael Strickland's blog on all things travel: news, deals, destinations, dreams and more.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A festive weekend

This weekend in California, I've been lucky enough to enjoy not one, but two festivals. I'm ostensibly here on business for the 25th annual Paley Festival, a celebration of the best of what television has to offer. Last night, that meant watching the cast and producers of the ABC show "Pushing Daisies" talk about their experiences making the show. Friday night, I watched the 1968 Elvis Comeback Special and saw Priscilla Presley and the Special's producers reminisce about The King.

Today, I took advantage of a free Sunday to drive up to Paso Robles to enjoy a festival of a different sort: the Zinfandel Festival. I'm lucky enough to have parents that live in the wine country, so a short drive from L.A. took me a world away. At this time of year, California's Central Coast resembles Ireland, with emerald hills blazing with green grass. Conversely, the area's vines are all dormant and barren, but the wineries were in full swing this weekend to celebrate the region's signature grape: zinfandel.



I joined my parents and two of their friends on a festive tour of the area's wineries, tasting zinfandel at Peachy Canyon, Eberle, Robert Hall and Still Waters. The wine in this area is consistently excellent (especially the zin), but as is typically the case with wine tasting, it's the people you spend the day with that make it the most fun. That was certainly the case today, and it made it worth the three-hour drive from L.A.

Tomorrow, the festivities continue for one more day before I head back to New York. The Paley Festival continues with an evening with Judd Apatow and Friends. Judd and his fellow filmmakers are the talent behind such quality TV shows as "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared" and movies "Knocked Up" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin." It's going to be a fun night!
 

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