Birthday Spirits and Exotic Animals
This year for my birthday I didn't want to go to a club, drink till memory loss or eat cake. I wanted to be classy and sip wine lol. But seriously, I wanted to be surrounded by people I love and have a great time. Year 26 was full of huge wins and losses. I made a major move across the country and I quit my corporate job. I learned how to cope with being away from my friends and family and met some awesome new friends. I was reminded that life is precious and not to take it for granted. So after a year of extremes, good and bad, I wanted to be surrounded by love — and wine just happened to be a part of it.
One day, I stumbled across Malibu Wine Safari's page after seeing a post from another blogger. Immediately I was sold; I knew this is where I wanted to spend my birthday. I absolutely adore giraffes and to be able to experience them along with indulging in wine was a no brainer to me. I am all about experiences and it was definitely one for the books. Malibu winery is 30 mins from LA and a 2-hour drive from San Diego, but can turn into 4 with traffic so please plan accordingly.
Upon arrival, we parked in a gravel paved parking lot and headed into a quaint wooden lodge with a wrap around patio. We were greeted by the employees, checked in and waited for our ride. We chose the Giraffe tour which was 105 mins long; including a tasting of 6 wines, meet and greet of exotic animals and Stanley as well as a tour of Saddle Rock ranch. Our tour guide, Calvin, was great and told us all about the animals, land and the history of the winery, which once was an avocado farm! He told us about the many films that were shot on the land and even a recent film staring Gabriel Union. We made our first stop to visit Stanley the giraffe and the llamas. I have never seen a giraffe in person and he was the sweetest. We had the chance to feed and pet him; I must admit his tongue kinda freaked me out a bit. The next stop was in a greenery area with a sample of three white wines. In the remaining stops we were able to see and feed other animals — the zebras (a little feisty), llama, camels and bison. We tasted 3 red wines with crackers and a variety of spreads.
The tour was about an hour and a half with plenty of time to explore and take pictures during the stops. I couldn't have thought of a more perfect way to celebrate my twenty seventh. After the tour, we worked up an appetite and found the cutest spot called the Malibu Cafe at Calamigos Ranch just a few minutes commute from the winery. The food and ambiance were divine; they have an open area with large games of chess and connect four. My birthday was perfect and my friends ended the day with the perfect gift; a fashion styling kit for my new journey.