Starting the New Year in Paso Robles


On the first of the new year, Alex and I drove down to Central California to meet up with our friends Cassie and Michael for a little getaway in Paso Robles. We found this little airbnb on a farm property and spent a couple days relaxing, puzzling, cooking, and visiting a couple nearby wineries.

Home for a couple nights.

Persimmons on the tree, and a very friendly cat on the premises.

This was a funny old house, full of weird quirks like this old spit in the middle of the kitchen. Very interesting, not necessarily bad, but very interesting, haha.

Dinner on night one was a home-cooked meal, including corn by Cassie and smoked and grilled tri-tip by Alex.

So good! Then we played the Parks game that Cassie got me as my secret santa gift.

Not sure what Cassie and Alex are both contemplating. The kettle corn?

Day two began with some work on this Costco puzzle, haha. We really enjoyed this. Would recommend for the multitude of details and the really specific Costco observations and references. It also comes in 1000 pieces but 500 was enough for us.

Paso Robles is a wine region like Napa or Sonoma but less famous. No trip is complete without at least visiting a couple of the wineries! Here’s one of the bigger ones, Daou. They have such beautiful grounds, including an abundance of lavender this time of year.

Afterwards, lunch at Fish Gaucho and a stroll around downtown Paso Robles.

Then it was on to the second winery of the day, Justin. I took the same photo of a yellow-billed magpie the last time I was here with Alex in October, 2020.

At night it was freezing, with temperatures in the low 30s. But we headed over to the fire pit anyhow with the s’mores kit the hosts kindly provided!

And I made Alex get up with me at 3am to look for the quarantids meteor shower. We saw four meteors. It was kind of cool but also very cold and very early.

Final morning in Paso! We finished the Costco puzzle just in time to take it apart and pack up.

Then we got to walk down to meet the Texas longhorns! The hosts just own these cows for fun, not for food. We got to brush and pet them.

Very cool. Definitely a highlight of staying on the farm!

Then we went for a quick visit to the Paso Market Walk. It was a bit empty like last time. Granted, it was a weekday morning, so not much was open. But I think this space has more potential!

There was a very cute shop by Gather Garden Co though, which operated on honor system even when no one was there to operate the shop. You just text the owner a photo of your item and she invoices you online.

On to Tin City, an industrial park full of breweries and wineries. Again, I feel like they could do with a bit more diversity in terms of other types of retail and more restaurants in this area. There is only one restaurant and one food truck in the whole park. But we enjoyed our food from the one food truck outside Barrelhouse Brewing! 

And of course Cassie made friends with the rooster and with a strange looking squirrel too.

That was it! A lovely little retreat to open 2022.

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. She compulsively documents and blogs all of her daily adventures. Follow her on instagram and view more of her professional work at