We're timing it just right, even with traffic. It's Aug. 29, a Friday, so of course there's traffic heading south out of SLO. According to Google, we should arrive in Los Olivos at 4:59 p.m., one minute before the Tercero Wines tasting room closes. My husband, Bret, calls ahead and Dawna, who's working the tasting room, assures us they'll still be open.
Just as predicted, we pull in a minute before 5 and walk in, not expecting to be offered anything more than our wine club shipment. But Dawna generously invites us to pull up a stool in the winery's new tasting room.
After half an hour of sipping and chatting, we leave with two bottles on top of our six-bottle wine club purchase. We slide the case box into the back of the minivan, next to our picnic dinner and bags of coats, scarves, hats, and blankets. We've got two hours before we can take our seats at Solvang's outdoor Festival Theater, where we're going to see Pacific Conservatory Theatre's (PCPA) The Importance of Being Earnest.
We drive from Los Olivos to Solvang and park on 2nd Street, just down the block from the theater. When we pick up our tickets from will-call, we learn that the picnic grounds open at 6:45, which gives us enough time to find some pre-dinner dessert—a necessity on a holiday weekend. The girls beg for ice cream, and Bret is set on finding some authentic Danish pastry. We don't have to look too hard for an open ice cream shop, but the bakery proves to be more difficult to find.
The first one we see is closed, so we wander up Copenhagen Drive and the adjacent blocks in search of an amenable purveyor of baked goods. Danish Mill Bakery's doors are wide open, welcoming us into what seems like half a mile of baked treats on display inside. Bret leaves with a perfect buttery, sugary, crispy twist of deliciousness.
We continue our contented stroll back to the minivan and then show our tickets at the gate. As we enjoy our Trader Joe's picnic—salami, cheese, olives, pretzel bread, veggies—we relax under the giant oak trees, watching dozens of red-blazered ushers helping incoming theatergoers.
Finally, it's time. With our warm gear in hand, we follow the usher to our seats, don our jackets, and wait for the show to begin. PCPA's production is delightfully and skillfully executed, and we all shamelessly giggle at Oscar Wilde's delicious wit.
We regret none of our hats, jackets, or blankets. In fact, it was so chilly, we could see steam coming from the teapot as Cecily Cardew poured a cuppa for Gwendolen Fairfax. Δ
Associate Editor Andrea Rooks is asking for more cake; who cares if it's out of fashion. Send bread and butter to firstname.lastname@example.org.