Our drive back home from Ventura took us inland on Highway 101 through Buellton and Paso Robles. Rather than overnight stopovers, these are destinations all by themselves.
and you don’t have to fight for a parking space. 🙂 The ride starts out along a shaded road flanked by ranches with horses and…ostriches.
The ostrich farm has been here for years, but always worth a stop to observe their behavior.
On this trip, we stopped by a local museum, the Elverhøj Museum. Admission is free. They have great exhibits on the history of Solvang and the heritage of Denmark,
including the fine art of making lace by hand,
and the Viking alphabet (This is Al in ancient viking :-).
They also have a detailed diorama of Solvang back in the day. Solvang was founded as an authentic Danish village in the 1911, during a time of economic hardship in Denmark when 1 in 10 Danes found their way to the United States. It was founded next to the Mission Santa Inés, and the town and the mission have always been good neighbors.
After the museum we rode to the mission and stopped to relax and take in the surrounding countryside.
Of course, while in Solvang, definitely try the pastries and other unique shops in the town.
A short drive from Solvang is Los Olivos, a small town with several great wineries and restaurants. We enjoyed a casual walk through the town before dinner.
We spent a lot of time exploring J. Woeste before finding just the right addition to take home for our backyard.
We ate at a wonderful farm-to-table restaurant, Sides Hardware & Shoes. Here’s a photo from Google Maps.
They had this amazing bacon, which was very thick and buttery creamy, which they used in a variety of dishes. I had their turkey and bacon sandwich for lunch and it was an experience.
Sadly, when I went to find a link to their website, I found this. Next time I am in the area, I will definitely stop by Brothers Restaurant at the Red Barn and I hope they have the same amazing bacon!
Our next stop on the way home was Paso Robles, fast becoming one of our favorite destinations. We stayed at Cava Robles, a new RV Resort close to downtown. It is thoughtfully designed, wide wide sites, respect for the local terrain and California Live Oaks growing on the property, and excellent amenities. The Bistro at the clubhouse has restricted hours during the winter months, but the pool areas and other amenities were all open.
I also had no trouble finding good bike lanes to get a little exercise and take advantage of the great February weather we were having.
The park was only about a quarter full, so it felt like we had the place to ourselves.
We took a day trip to Cambria, which is just over the coastal hills to the ocean. It is one of the most beautiful drives in the area, and I recommend pulling over to enjoy the vista at the top of the hills. Note in the top center fo the photo is Morro Rock, many miles to the south.
We had lunch at Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill. The fish tacos were excellent again.
We then went for a nice stroll on the beach and boardwalk, right across the street.
Lucy loved the rocks, as her breed of terrier likes to scramble up the rocks looking for some kind of critter. 🙂
We enjoyed the trip home.
Of course, a few weeks after we returned, we learned the significance of the Corona Virus, which would soon upend all of our lives.
We cancelled our 10-week trip to Missouri, starting with the Family Motor Coach Association Rally in Tuscon, AZ, and then moving East through Carlsbad, NM, San Antonio, TX, Austin, TX, Waco, TX, Branson, MO and finally reaching Republic MO where we would spend time with relatives.
Planning the trip was fun, but cancelling it was hard because I had to call each RV park and cancel individually. Most were KOA’s. Amazingly, every RV resort we had booked at refunded our complete deposit, with no fees charged. In fact, Distant Drums in Camp Verde gave us a complete refund even though we were outside of their cancellation window. This says a lot about the RV industry. I am looking forward to visiting each of these places in the future as we reschedule our trip for sometime in the future.
Now, we are sheltering in place with everyone else, and getting caught up on many projects around the house. We are looking forward to the day we can plan our next trip, likely a short getaway to a nearby beach.
For everyone that is impacted by COVID-19, I pray for your wellness and safety. I hope this difficult time brings out the best in us as we protect those most vulnerable and help our neighbors who are in need.
Blessings to you,
Al & Deb