The next morning, we drive over to Kitchenette for breakfast; our first and last one in town. I order pancakes drizzled in a sweet berry sauce, scrambled eggs, and an iced coffee. The latter a response to the sweltering heat. We’re in no rush to leave town, but we don’t linger at breakfast either.
Back at the resort, we have about an hour before our wine tasting tour, so Ju and I spend it riding the canary yellow bikes that caught my eye when we first arrived.
We cycle on a concrete path and through sandy courtyards, stopping to take photos in shaded gazebos. The bicycles we ride are reminiscent of the ones I owned growing up. Back then too, I had to pedal backward to slow the bike. The old skill takes some getting used to, but soon I’m riding quick enough to feel a cooling breeze brush past me. In front of me, Ju rides with one hand on the handlebars, the other hand she throws freely in the air. I take a photo to freeze the moment.
We walk our bikes back up the path when we’re done, and join the girls in the car for the drive to Tooth and Nail Winery. A waiter ushers us to an outdoor patio facing the mountains where we drink tasting pours of a mix of red and white wines. I take small sips from each glass and note down the wines I enjoy.
Around us, there’s talk and laughter, and the faint sound of music. A shy one-year-old finds her way to our table with her mom close behind—protective. I play with her for a moment but I’m careful (because of the pandemic) to keep my distance.
When a song I recognize comes on, I pull Yemi up from her chair to dance, twirling her around and spinning in a circle when she twirls me. We continue like this until claps erupt from a table nearby and send both of us into a fit of laughter. We hadn’t realized other people were watching.
As sunset announces an end to another day, we file into our rented SUV and head home towards Oakland, leaving Paso Robles and the Central Coast behind.
Postscript: Paso Robles was a truly pleasant town to visit with my girls. And I think that was because of the people. From the friendly server who poured us two complimentary glasses before the wine tasting started to the enthusiastic and kind resort staff, meeting people in Paso Robles brought a smile to my face. And though I couldn’t see beneath their masks, I think smiles accompanied their words as well.
Thank you for reading!
Same Footprints, Different Sands