Christmas Trees & Apple Pies

On Julio and I’s day off this week, we made the trek out to Julian for some small town feels, wine tasting, and Christmas spirit.

For those of you who have never heard of Julian, it’s an historic gold-rush town about an hour north-east outside of San Diego.  This little mountain town was first settled in 1870 and they’re know for their delicious apples and apple pies.  The town is still very tiny, a population of about 1,500 resides there, and there’s one Main Street with little specialty souvineer shops, bakeries and wine tasting rooms.  

  

Of course, my first priority here was the wine, so we headed over to one of our favorite local wine tasting rooms at Orfila winery.  The deal here is amazing; you get your choice of 6 tastings from a list of over 20 wines, reds and whites, and you get to keep the glass!  I enjoyed every Pinot noir on the list while Julio tried some great red blends.  Our great server Kathleen then explained about their wine club, which we immediately signed up for.  You buy 3 bottles of wine every 3 months, and get unlimited tastings for up to 4 people any time at the tasting room in Julian or at their vineyard in Escondito.  We also got our $20 tasting fees back, which I used towards purchasing one of the pinots that I had just tried and loved, at a 20% wine club discount.  

  
  
After our wine tasting we headed out to Ramona to get our Christmas tree.  As my favorite holiday approaches, I’m getting very excited about decorating, doing some shopping, and getting into the Christmas spirit.  In Maryland, there are at least 10 Christmas tree farms in the area with a variety of trees you can cut down yourself, so when I heard about Pine Tree Acres in Ramona, I insisted that we go.  Unfortunately, the only type of tree available to cut down were Monterey Pines, which don’t have very strong needles to hold heavier ornaments.  So we ended up selecting one of their pre-cut trees, a Noble Fir that had come in from Oregon that day.  After a wonderful day, we headed home to put up the tree and enjoy some White Russians and a slice of apple pie.

    
  
Driving out to Julian was an easy way for us to take a little day trip on our day off and explore other areas in California.  I am still discovering great hikes and places in Maryland that I haven’t been to, and I lived there for 16+ years.  If you don’t have the means or desire to travel out of the country or even out of state, there are plenty of things to see in your own backyard.  Try new restaurants, drive to another town and take in the scenery along the way, or even try something new in the city you live- I have yet to try stand-up paddle boarding and I’ve been in San Diego two and a half years already.  

Bottom line: there’s always something new to see no matter where you are.

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