Date 15 of 52 Charming Towns & Winding Roads

Date 15 of 52 Charming Towns & Winding Roads

Mood: Adventurous

Cost: $60 (babysitting) + $78 (Food & Drinks) = $138

Time = 4 hours

Fails = Killing the engine on the U turns with stick shift

It was time to retire our 231,000 mile Honda Accord.  The windshield wipers banged with each swipe, the bumper fell off with the slightest touch, and the breaks, well, were no longer breaking.  With the Honda gone, we both longed for a car that was practical, but fun to drive. We landed on a 4 door, good gas mileage, all wheel, stick shift car.  The first weekend we got the car home, we knew exactly where we wanted to drive it, down Latrobe Road to Amador County. The single lane winding road through the hills just felt like the perfect place to switch gears and really feel the ride of the car.  Mr. Smooch had spent many hours teaching Mrs. Smooch how to drive stick shift when she was a teenager and Mr. Smooch’s Grandpa taught him on tractors on his Grandparents’ farm. However, both of us are pretty rusty, because we hadn’t driven a manual car in over 10 years.  Mrs. Smooch did not trust herself at first and made loops in an empty parking lot, but it all came back to her pretty quickly. She thought she was just going to drive a few miles and then let Mr. Smooch drive the rest, but she forgot how much she loved to listen to the car to know when to switch the gears. So she drove all the way to Amador City. Of course, she squealed with delight each time the car smoothly accelerated after she needed to drop a gear because she picked the right one.  Driving through the vibrant green hills of Amador County in the springtime is just beautiful.

Our first stop was Andrea’s bakery. We sat outside over a charming creek and ate our yummy mini quiches and hot cross buns. Then we grabbed their ready made sandwiches and other goodies for our picnic later.  Walking through Amador City made us feel like we stepped back in time. We visited lots of great shops and really enjoyed the Amador City Museum. We are extremely grateful for many of the perks of living in more modern times.  Just check out the rules teachers were expected to follow in Amador City back in the day!

Our next stop, was Sutter Creek. While only a short drive, it had one bad U turn.  In the middle of the U turn, we killed the engine.  Anyone who has ever killed it on a busy road making that left turn or U turn know that panic feeling.  Luckily, we were fine, but having to restart your engine while on a fast moving windy road is not fun. Once, we got to Sutter Creek and enjoyed another very charming town that made us truly feel like we were far away from home, we began to relax again.  We got to Bella Grace Vineyard with our sandwiches and loved the friendly atmosphere. Playing bags (cornhole if you are from the Midwest) outside, tasting different types of wine, and eating our delicious sandwiches, under a blue sky was the perfect way to spend the day.  We loved having that time to just connect and maybe get a little competitive at bags!

Date Playfully!

Mr. & Mrs. Smooch  

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Mr. & Mrs. Smooch