The End of the Search
So we drove to Los Olivos and oh, let me tell you, it was a trip. I may or may not have been conscious when we left my parents’ house at 3am.
(Let’s just pretend, though, that I’m not an awful person and did not make poor Mark drive alone with a sleeping Laicie in the passenger seat for the first 5 hours. I did eventually come to and take my turn at the wheel, which makes it a little better, right? Honestly I’m always torn on this subject, but I have no control over my eyes… they call the shots.)
Once we were both fully conscious, we decided to break up the drive with an amazing pit-stop at Ridge and realized that we have to go back to join the utterly badass ranks of the many folks we saw cycling up that massive hill that leads to their Monte Bello Estate. We also hunted down some Rubios fish tacos (and yes… the 13 hour drive was worth it just for the tacos — don’t make fun).
Our love of wine and tacos ensured that we came flying into town and up the winding road that leads to Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse just in time for our 6:30pm appointment with the farmhouse’s manager, Gretchen.
Gretchen is wonderful. There are really not enough people out there praising her on the internet. She is warm and fun and absolutely easy to work with… I couldn’t have hoped for a better experience than the one we had touring the farmhouse.
And I couldn’t have hoped for a better venue.
In case you can’t tell from the photos, the place is picturesque. As our car peeked out over the mountain to reveal the farmhouse I told Mark it reminded me of the little house on the top of the waterfall in “Up.”
Mark was an Eagle Scout and we’re both big on adventure, so needless to say, we love the movie… but aside from the movie reference, I’m not sure how anyone could say no to the farmhouse.
The setting is gorgeous and the house is every bit as wonderful inside. The whole thing was shipped across the country and pieced together from three different sites on the east coast: a 1700’s barn/farmhouse from New Hampshire; a timber home from West Virginia; and a cabin from Tennessee. The sun room and guest house were added to complete the whole perfect picture.
Over the hill sits a little pond and an ostrich farm — and tell me, what is more fun than sawing open an ostrich egg for Sunday brunch? … honestly I’m a little freaked out by it, but I’m excited to find out.
The house sleeps around 14 and has a large parking area that can be used for camping, which we plan to encourage since we’ll also hold a welcome BBQ on Friday night. There are multiple fireplaces and loads of options for fun side trips to Los Olivos, Buellton, and Solvang nearby.
Mark and I not only fell in love with the farmhouse, we fell in love with the Santa Ynez Valley. We’ve always loved wine country, but there is something about this particular area that is so laid back and different from the rest… and now we’ll always have a good excuse to go back!
Farmhouse photos by Aaron Delesie.