All I can say about the famous Gilroy Garlic Festival is that the ride up was beautiful. Starting out on the 101, I decided to avoid the coastal route by heading up the 154 just past Santa Barbara. Driving through the Santa Ynez valley, vineyards in varying stages of growth dotted the roadside. The colors were exquisite! The sunlight brought out the best of the dark yellows of the grasses and vivid greens of the trees and plants.
Tying back into the 101 near Los Olivos, I followed that into San Luis Obispo, where I decided to head into Morro Bay. Morro Bay is a working fishing village. Its famous landmark, Morro Rock, was named by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo when he first charted this coast during his 16th Century voyage of discovery. It’s a huge rock and I wonder how it got there. Leaving the coast, I drove through the Morro Bay State Park, and then found my way back to the 101 via Route 46. Passing through Paso Robles, where I saw more wineries and vineyards. No further stops made until arriving in Gilroy.
Checking into the hotel, I showered then headed out to find some garlic!
Driving in 4 different directions from the hotel, I could not for the life of me, find any place to eat! I did find endless strips of outlet malls, rundown neighborhoods, and large industrial areas. Widening my path in the search of a garlic offering restaurant, I found what appeared to be the only decent restaurant in the vicinity and garlic was on the menu!
Having my fill of garlic roasted chicken, garlic bread and a salad with fresh chunks of garlic, I headed back to the hotel to get a good night’s sleep.
In the morning, I decided to make a quick stop after breakfast to the MaidenForm outlet and pick up some merchandise before heading to the festival. After all, how early can one eat garlic and enjoy it?
The festival was small. There were places set up for cook offs, cooking shows, and an area called “Gourmet Alley”, where garlic enhanced foods were cooked right on the spot and sold. While I’m sure the garlic bread was delicious, or the chicken veggie stir fry was scrumptious, all I wanted was roasted garlic.
And not one place had any!
Leaving without nary a bite to eat, I headed home.
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