We all started from the Federal Bldg. in Westwood and gathered a few more in the valley on our way to coffee and pastries at the historical Montecito Biltmore. John had arranged for Ferrari parking at the front entrance -- what a sight, and how special. Our next part was a bit more challenging. Up and over the Santa Ynez mountains and Le Cumbre Peak (4000 feet) affording us the most beautiful view of the Santa Barbara Islands. But what a road , or, what? a road? definitely not fast and requiring attention to bad surfacing but well worth the journey.
We arrived in Los Olivos at historical Matte's Tavern for a wonderful lunch and no mishaps of road or equipment. Another tribute to the fine mark of Ferrari.
Our next stop was Fess Parker's winery and tasting room, replete of all refinements including fine wines -- a really special place -- well done. We enjoyed a few glasses, conversation and the genuine beauty of the day. On to our hotel, the Rancho Santa Barbara Marriott, and freshening up for our special dinner. In route we had the excitement of observing a very bad brush fire spreading over the hill tops and being attended to by aerial tankers and ground crews with bulldozers. It turned out this was to come within a mile of our hotel -- but no real concern. That evening, after dinner, we were able to enjoy the beauty of the glowing embers, all but out. My car cover still smells like the smoke.
Saturday night was a true experience of dining. We arranged for the hotel shuttle to take us all to what I later learned was the world famous Ballard Store. Their fare ran the gambit of oyster shooters to Bouillabaisse to flaming pheasant and, of course, the real gourmet a local dish of ostrich. We all had a great deal of fun and the group was just the right size to get one large table. There was serious experimentation with the choice of dishes and I don't believe anyone was disappointed. This fine establishment has great character and it's owner, John Elliott, is a most cordial host. We were back at the hotel by eleven and ready for bed.
Sunday morning was breakfast at the hotel for whoever was up, some went shopping in Solvang, some went to other wineries, and a few had lunch back in Montecito at our favorite trattoria, Tutti's.
This event was really a fun, casual and relaxed affair with the right amount of driving over a variety of roads. It taught us that smaller, more intimate groups of 8 to 12 cars and 10 to 20 people become manageable and permit each of us a special time to make and acquaint with our fellow club members, as well as discuss the merits of the marque. In saying this I would hope that our events chairpeople will not hesitate to have lots of outings, to different and unusual locations so as to appeal to all of us. These, our track events, as well as our general meetings and concours will provide a premier Ferrari year.
Thanks to the following members for making this a great event - Tom & Linda Brockmiller, Phil Cole, the Domasins, Bill & Bonni