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Tally's Idol Review and Trip Report

Just spent three great days on a short sojourn up the coast, wine tasting in Los Olivos & Solvang.

Day 1 - Leave Burbank around 10:30am - no traffic, gorgeous sunny day with puffy clouds, make Solvang in 2 hours. 
Staying at a great hotel called Hadsten House

Upgrade to a Spa package and jacuzzi room. On arrival the room isn't ready yet, 
so it's off to Los Olivos for lunch at the Los Olivos Cafe  where they filmed Sideways
Start with a plate of assorted olives, it is after all, Los Olivos. 

Followed by a wonderful Ricotta, Black Truffle, and Romano stuffed Ravioli with Roasted Shallot Cream, 
Crispy Onions, and Chives; and a glass of Au Bon Climat Chardonnay. Head back to check in and have 
full body massage then take advantage of the giant, in-room jacuzzi. Dinner is at the Hadsten House Restaurant 
since the spa package includes a $30 restaurant credit. 

Start with a bottle of Consillience Pinot Noir, and a Warm Spinach Salad with balsamic dressing, bacon, sweet onions, 
candied pecans and blue cheese.I'm feeling like a pasta whore so I opt for the Fresh Mushroom and Spinach Ravioli with 
Roasted Tomato Cream Sauce, then Bananas Foster for dessert. Pack to the room for a food coma.

Day 2 - It's pouring rain. Full breakfast is included in the room price. I have some simple scrambled eggs, cantaloupe, 
O.J. and English Breakfast tea. After breakfast it's off to Los Olivos for wine tasting. Los Olivos is awesome because 
it's basically an intersection where you park and there are over 20 tasting rooms.

Since it's rainy and cold, it's a bit of a ghost town. First head to Byron, but they're closed. Instead it's in to one of the newest 
tasting rooms in town, Evan's Ranch, which is a branch of the Gainey Vineyard. At the other end of the tasting room is an 
Olive Oil Tasting section from Olive Hills Farms. Evan's is pouring two Chardonnays, two Pinot Noirs, and two Syrahs. 
All very nice. The Olive Oil bar is crowded, so that is moved to later in the day. Next stop is across the street at Carina Cellars.
They're pouring a Viognier, and several amazing red blends such as Clairvoyant 2007 - 55% Syrah, 33% Grenache, 
12% Mourvedre; and 2006 Iconoclast which is a blend of Cabernet and Syrah. 

Two hours + 12 wines = HUNGRY. Petros Los Olivos is just a few doors down at Fess Parker's Wine Country Inn and Spa. 
Petros is not your average Greek restaurant. It's upscale, simple, and amazing. It's about the food, not Greece. They bring you 
two hummus dips (one garlic the other red pepper) and some pita bread to taste while you look over the menu. After 12 local wines,
I'm sitting in a Greek restaurant about to eat some Greek food, so Greek wine is a must. 1 bottle of Retsina please. This goes perfectly 
with a bowl of amazingly delicate Avgolemono soup and a lamb pizza. After this there is no room for olive oil tasting, so it's back to 
Solvang for more snoozing, then a nice swim in their indoor pool. 

After the swim, my belly miraculously feels empty, but the hotel restaurant is closer than driving back to Los Olivos in the rain, 
so that wins. Tonight it's Caesar salad, then fish and chips which turns out to be much tastier than it looked, and surprisingly good 
done with sea bass instead of cod, accompanied by a local Firestone Pale Ale. Back to the room for a soak in the giant jacuzzi, 
and falling asleep to the sound of rain.

Nice leisurely morning. Head down in the rain for eggs and tea, then packing, then a nice two hour drive back down the coast 
with the sun peaking through and shining on the Pacific. Absolutely gorgeous. Made THEVALLEYAHMAHGAWD by 12:45, 
completely avoiding all traffic.

IDOL - 7
Cats are happy, mummy is home. Switch on the fireplace. Turn on TIVO'D Idol. 
Can't believe I'm actually watching this after such a great wine getaway.

Theme (I am so tired of these stupid themes...): "Inspiration". 
WTF does that mean? Inspiration.... to what? Eat? Write? Fuck? Bake cookies? 
Throw the TV out the window and vow to never watch insipid shows like this again? WHAT???

I like Alicia Keys - but not enough to listen to the drivel when I wish I was still wine tasting in Santa Barbara County.

Casey J.  - Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow - I liked it. Brought back awesome memories of Clinton's win. 
Judges did not. WTF do they know, they practically bought Kris Allen a plane ticket home before the Idol finale last year. Fuck 'em.

Lee Dewyze - The Boxer - OMG. THE WORST SONG CHOICE FOR THIS SHOW EVER. Why on earth would you
take a song that has a slow building arc that takes a FULL SIX MINUTES TO GET THERE and try to cut that down to 
90 seconds and even hope it comes out anything remotely like a decent song someone might want to download? IDIOT. 
It's okay - he's still in the top 4.

Tim Urban - Better Days - WTF. The Pod People have abandoned him, and his boring twin is back. 
I am sad that he makes me sleepy again.

Aaron Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly - zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzwhen is he  going home?????

Siobhan Magnus - When You Believe - So far, other than Casey J's selection, these are the most boring songs in the universe!!!!! 
Why is Siobhan the only singer that continues to pop her Ps into that mic and inhale so loud it sounds like she is singing in Denver? 
I used to like her. I do not care now. I do love her lip gloss though, can someone find out exactly what it is so I can get some?

Big Mike - Hero - oh baby no. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz Too bad we can't send everyone but Lee, Casey, and Crystal home.

Crystal - People Get Ready - Rocks it as usual, even getting emotional that her dad is finally able to be there (for whatever reason.)

Start writing this review and my cell rings. It's Bart.

BART: Hey - you watch tonight's Idol yet?
ME: It's 7:30 here.
BART: You going to?
ME: I don't watch the results shows - life is too short and time is too precious for soul sucking insipidness.
BART: Sally and Buzzcook are writing reviews of tonight's show so you need to too.
ME: ..............
BART: Just do it.
ME: Ok - but it will be the CliffNotesTIVO™ version. I haven't watched last night's LOST yet, OR Sunday's Treme.
BART: I also need you to be an official Bartcop Awards Show Reviewer.
ME: Why?
BART: Because I like your writing, and you know what you're talking about. 
ME: Ok. (But I hate those shows as a rule) But okay. 

Thankfully, awards season is OVER. I vote on the SAG awards. I've been on the Film nominating committee once, 
and the TV nominating committee once. Those shows have gotten more depressing every year because it seems like 
my taste must SUCK ASS. 

Example: Best film of 2009? Star Trek, and it wasn't even nominated. Yes, I've seen all the nominated films. I was sent most of them 
for the SAG awards. Still, Star Trek was the best film I saw in 2009, followed closely by Sherlock Holmes. Best film of 2008? Wall-E. 
Best TV shows of the past several years? Battlestar Galactica, ROME, and The Daily Show. Two of those won Peabody Awards. 
One was honored by the United Nations. But apparently, the industry doesn't give a shit.


POTUS & FLOTUS look hot. It's so nice they can speak in cohesive sentences and don't look like they belong in Stepford.  ha ha
I also love that they look COMPLETELY IN LOVE AND INTO EACH OTHER. 

Nice that The Black Eyed Peas are live - but the sound mixer at the Pasadena Civic should be fired. 

I agree - what was up with that horrid sound?

Joss Stone may be the hottest singer ever. She's always been hot. 
Remember when she and Melissa sang  Piece of My Heart on the 2005 Grammy Awards?

And she's just getting hotter as she gets older. She is what Katie Stevens needs to grow up to be. 

Never been a fan of Carried Underwood.

Love Annie Lenox.

Interesting song for Mary to sing, (Stairway to Heaven) and nice to see Randy actually get up and play.

Was Elton's number at the end? Because my TIVO only recorded the two hours worth. (The show ran really long - at least 45 minutes over)
How did Aaron Kelly survive to insult my ears for another week?

Aside from Joss I could not have been more bored (and angry that Goldman Sachs is giving out over $5 BILLION in bonuses 
for the first quarter alone, while there is so much abject poverty in this country - which they are partly responsible for, let alone 
the rest of the world, and that there are people against HEALTH CARE REFORM!!! WHAT THE FUCK??) [/soapbox]

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