Monday, November 27, 2023

Paso Robles

For a quick read, Places we tried

* Negranti Icecream - loved the vegan coffee flavor. The other flavors - strawberry and cookie crunch were also nice. They make all their icecreams with sheep milk.

* Momotaro Ramen - Amazing Ramen. We tried three ramen bowls, all were good.

* Spearhead Coffee - I think this was just ok, in my opinion

* Brown butter cookie company - its a must. Do taste and buy some yummy cookies.

* Just Baked - pastries were nice. Only tried the lemon bar and the confetti cupcake from here

* Etta Pasta - yummy pasta here.

Blog in detail

Another one of our spontaneous trips this year happened during Thanksgiving. We were in the mood for a quick getaway without overthinking it, so we booked an Airbnb in Paso Robles and hit the road on Black Friday. The 3-hour drive was pretty chill, with just one pit stop at a Mexican joint for lunch – nothing too exciting.

While cruising, we weren't sure if we'd snag tickets to the Sensorio light show. A quick email to the admin office assured us we could grab them at the box office. Sweet!

We rolled into the Airbnb, met the awesome host, Gloria, who showed us around their 10-acre haven with a cool house, garden, the Airbnb itself, and oh yeah, two bisons. The Airbnb, a mobile home on the property, was surprisingly cozy, equipped with a killer kitchen, DVDs, games, and even a washer/dryer.

Quick break, then off to Sensorio. Tickets secured, we caught the stunning sunset and watched as solar lights transformed the area into a magical display. Glass towers made of wine bottles lit up, and we snapped some killer pics before heading back.

Downtown Paso was next, with a stop at Negranti for some ice cream. Vegan coffee flavor – total win. Back at the Airbnb, we checked out the lighted gazebo, played some board games, planned for the next day, and called it a night.

Beautiful sunset 

Waiting for the lights to turn up

Glass towers

So beautiful!

Negranti Icecream - Vegan Coffee

Gazebo in the property

Day 2 kicked off with a lazy morning and tea in the gazebo. Dressed and ready, we headed downtown for coffee, but the place was jam-packed. So, we hit up Brown Butter Cookie Company and a local market for honey and bread before our wine tour booked in Oppol.

The wine tasting got a bit wild with some harsh ones, and with a not-so-full stomach, I was feeling the tipsy vibes. We left the other tastings for a hearty lunch at Etto Pasta in Tin City. A food coma ensued, and we napped for a solid 2 hours.

Around 4:30, downtown Paso beckoned us again for coffee at Spearhead. Tried the Aztec coffee (not realizing it had cinnamon), but the kids' hot chocolate was a hit. More cookies from Brown Butter Cookie Company, a stroll through the general store, and a glimpse of Christmas lights in the park rounded off the evening.

Back at the Airbnb, Sree and I caught a movie, "Something's Gotta Give," put the kids to bed, and once again, called it a night.

Tea time

Saying hi to the bisons

Opolo Wines

Etta Pasta in Tin City

The christmas lights all around in Paso downtown

A well lit play area for kids

Day 3 arrived, and Pappu wasn't feeling great. We took it easy in the morning, sipping tea, having breakfast, and exploring the grounds while Pappu rested. Packed up, said a quick bye to the owners, and headed to Paso Market Walk. Ramen for all – seriously yummy! I also tried an orange peel cappuccino at the coffee shop.

Post-feast, we hit the road back to the Bay Area, reaching home around 4 PM. Trip vibes: nailed it.

Exploring the grounds in the morning

Paso Market Place - Ramen!

Orange peel + vanilla capaccino.

My love in one frame

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Cooldb10 Chronicles: A Nashville Adventure with Best Buddies

If you don’t want to read the full blog, you can just read the below summary for the places to eat and few other tips


  • Great place to hangout with friends. But if you have a family with small kids, it might be difficult to explore the nightlife as most pubs won’t allow kids inside 
  • Music and night life is lovely! You can’t go wrong here. 
  • Highly recommend booking an airbnb very close to Broadway. 
  • Uber is super affordable, you really don’t need a car
  • Eateries and pubs we checked out - Milk & Honey in Gulch, Biscuit Love in Gulch, Lucky Bastard Pub, Jeny’s icecream, Wild Horse Saloon for line dancing, Farmers market & Cafe Intermezzo
  • Activities : Hop on Hop Off - with stops at Farmers Market, Marathon Motor works , and Parthenon  

 In the heart of our Cooldb10 memories lies a vibrant chapter — a Nashville escapade that reunited five of us from across the United States. Hailing from different corners — SFO, St. Louis, Chicago, and Philadelphia — Lily, Mili, Jane, Prathi, and I embarked on a journey to Music City

Upon touchdown, our first stop was the charming Milk and Honey in Gulch, where we indulged in a hearty breakfast, setting the tone for our adventure. Securing an early check-in, we grabbed some much-needed rest before Prathi's arrival. The airbnb we booked was in the heart of Nashville, very close to Broadway and all other eateries around.

Waiting for the flight

At Milk and Honey

A quick DoorDash lunch later, as Mili really wanted to have some Indian food, we eagerly prepared for the exploration of Broadway, immersing ourselves in the lively atmosphere of pubs and unique gift shops.

Enjoying some Indian food


At Lucky Bastard Pub

Live music!

Our evening unfolded at the Lucky Bastard pub, where we savored drinks, small plates, and delightful music. The live music was so fun, and really added to the ambience.

Post this, we also stopped over at Jeni's icecream (Goey Butter Cream) and really enjoyed the returning to our haven, we shared stories, laughter, and called it a night.

Jeni's icecream!

The following day saw us donning our best attire for a hop-on-hop-off bus tour after a small breakfast in the airbnb itself. Our first stop at the farmers' market treated us to delectable delights ( we tried crepes, pasta, crab cakes, boba, and once again Jeny's icecream), followed by a stroll through the artisan's enclave. Continuing the adventure, we visited Marathon Motor Works for whiskey tasting, visiting the Parthenon, and even dancing to the rhythm of a popular Malayalam song.

Just before hop on hop off

Whiskey tasting!
And dancing

We came back to Broadway, and went for a quick coffee stop at Cafe Intermezzo. They had coffee with liquor combinations which we all tried and the soup Mili ordered was so yummy too.

Cafe Intermezzo!

The shades in the sky
Yummy soup

Coffee with liquor

We came back to the airbnb, took a small break, and then went to explore Line Dancing in Wild Horse Saloon. This was super fun, and we had dinner and danced to some really fun music. The live band once again, was super cool.

We came back to the airbnb and put the steps we learnt to the popular hindi song Chaleya:). We also had another hotel guest join us for a while to learn some of the steps and do it with us :)

Line dancing!

The day concluded with line dancing fun, shared reels, and the warmth of our friendships.

As our final day in Nashville dawned, we reluctantly bid adieu to our airbnb, storing our memories along with our luggage. We went to "the wings" graffitti to click our group pic there.A farewell breakfast at Gulch's renowned Biscuit Love bid a farewell to Jane and Mili who had to leave early for their flights back. Post that, the 3 of us, went to explore Pedestrian Bridge which became our backdrop for snapshots, creating lasting memories before Prathi's departure.

At the wings 

Biscuit Love

Goodbyes to Jane and Mili

Pedestrian bridge

I had lost my gift bag I had bought for Sree, and went back into the Cafe that we went in yesterday, to check if they have it. But nope!

With the essence of Nashville lingering in the air, Lily and I revisited the whiskey tasting spot, and I also got another gift for Sree ( some Nashville Jelly). Retrieving our luggage, we made our way to the airport, grabbing some dinner for the journey home. Four hours later, we touched down, bringing an end to a Nashville adventure that will forever resonate in the annals of Cooldb10 lore.

Leaving Nashville