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Buellton, CA – RV Trip #50

This trip was our 50th in the Big White Box (BWB), a milestone for us. šŸ™‚ We’ve had a lot of fun camping in her over the last 5 years (since June 2012).

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We travelled south to Buellton, just north of Santa Barbara, and stayed in the Flying Flags RV Resort. This is a great place to stayĀ in an RV, but they also offer cabins and vintage trailers (Air Streams, etc.). Because of that, it’s also a great place for groups to gather, even if everyone doesn’t have an RV. The amenities, including bocci ball, pool, restaurant, etc. offer something for everyone.

Flying Flags was our base as we spent time in Solvang, Mission Santa Ines, Nojoqui Falls,Ā Cachuma Lake, Knapp’s Castle, and the Chumash Painted Cave. We spent a little time along the coast, but mainly explored interesting places in the Santa Ynez Mountains just to the east.

Solvang, a Danish community, is always a great place to visitĀ for baked goods. We tried the KringleĀ this time at Olsen’s Bakery and it was delicious. Along the route to Solvang, you also pass by beautiful ranch land, which also includes an Ostrich farm.

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Right next to SolvangĀ is the Old Mission Santa Ines, founded in 1804. It’s beautifully maintained and well worth a visit. In fact, you can take a stroll there after finishing your Kringle, like we did. šŸ™‚

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Our next stop was a visitĀ to Nojoqui Falls. A short hike from the parking lot through through the forest leads to the seasonal fall. The fall seems to jut out from the surrounding rock, and the faceĀ of the fall is covered in ferns. It makes for a peaceful place to spend some time. When we are there, there was just a little water flowing, but still a nice walk. It’s also a popular place for dog walking, and Lucy loved meeting new friends along the trail.

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For dinner, we decided to try Industrial Eats in Buellton. You can see the menu on the wall written on a roll of paper. We tried the clay oven pizza, which was awesome, but the plates from the four-item menu also looked great, and I’ll have to try something off that menu the next time we visit.

The next day we headed to the mountains. Our first stop was Lake Cachuma. The water was Ā still really low at the dam, but hopefully the recent rains have started filling it up again. We had a really nice walk down to the water before heading to our next destination.

Our next stop was the ruins of Knapp’s Castle, which hasĀ an incredible view of the Santa Ynez Valley. The mansion burned down to the foundation in 1940 and was never rebuilt.

Our final stop for the day was the Chumash Painted Cave, located on a winding one-lane road about a mile from Knapp’s Castle. You hike up to the cave, protected by an iron fence, and are rewarded with beautiful drawings made by the Chumash hundreds of years ago. They are so ancient, even the Chumash people do not know the meaning of the drawings, but to us, theyĀ seem to relate to the cosmos. What do you think?

We then found our way down the mountain and drove north, back to Buellton, in time for a coffee break.

Another enjoyable RV trip in the Big White Box, and we are looking forward to our next trip, which will be on the coast of theĀ Monterey Bay.

Al & Deb

p.s. Our days in the BWB are numbered, as we have a new Winnebago on order for arrival some time in early April. It’s a 2017 Winnebago Adventurer 35P. We will always appreciate the BWB, and the many great trips and lessons in RVing in her, but also look forward to new adventures in the Adventurer!

 

New Years at New Brighton Beach – RV Trip #49

With a few days off work forĀ the holiday, we went to New Brighton State Beach on the Pacific Coast Highway to usher in the new year in a very relaxing and enjoyable way.

Lucy is starting to get used to these RV trips, because she loves the long walks and getting to meet all kinds of animals (including pet pigs!)

Lucy and I took a walk to the beach and were greeted with this beautiful sunrise. Since New Brighton is a south facing beach, you get to enjoy both a sunrise and a sunset each day!

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New Years Eve we went on a nice drive in the surrounding area by Pigeon Point Lighthouse.

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We also stopped for lunch at Aptos St. Barbecue and their killer pulled pork.

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We spent the rest of the day in Capitola, walking along the pier, shopping, watching the surfers, and finishing the day with a cappuccino at Mr. Toots.

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As we walked away from the Capitola beach, we noticed this great rainbow over New Brighton State Beach where we were staying…a fitting end to the day. I guess it was nature’s way of celebratingĀ the new year. šŸ™‚

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We had a great day, but a quiet New Year’s Eve. We decided to enjoy it on New York time (9pm our time) so we could get up early and enjoy the morning the next day.

We had a good time at New Brighton, and we are already looking forward to our next trip to Flying Flags RV Resort in Buellton, CA.

Al & Deb

Half Moon Bay in the fall – RV Trip #48

We recently visited Half Moon Bay for the weekend this fall. The park was booked solid, but there was a cancellation we scooped up. šŸ™‚ It turned out to be a nice spot, even if it wasn’t our favorite ocean front campsite.

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Here’s why we love coming back here. A beautiful picturesque beach nestled between San Francisco and Santa Cruz.

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The sea was rough and mesmerizing to watch.

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About 10 miles south is Bean Hollow State Beach. We love the drive there as well as the beach.

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Named after the pebbly sand, it is also known for it’s very interesting rick formations, called tafoni.

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Our friends stopped by the next day to celebrate my birthday.

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We enjoyed dinner at Sam’s Chowder House, my favorite seafood restaurant. Great friends, good food and live jazz band made for a great evening. 

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It was a nice 3-day get-away, and we are already looking forward to our next trip to New Brighton State Beach.

 

Apple Hill (Placerville, CA) RV Trip #47

Late October we headed to the Gold Country in the Sierra Foothills to visit Apple Hill during the annual apple harvest. We stayed close to Placerville at the KOA. It has a nice park with a very rural feel to it.

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Lucy loved the walks, as she could encounter goats, geese, and horses along the way. She was really intrigued by the different animals and wasn’t sure what she should do.

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Apple Hill is the largest concentration of apple farms in California, and there are over 50 different farms you can visit during your stay.

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They grow practically every apple known to man, and you can enjoy them in pies, fresh cider, and even donuts!

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Apple Hill apple donuts

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We also visited the nearby town of Placerville, which was a booming town during the Gold Rush. It has some good coffee houses and restaurants, and is a nice way to spend an afternoon.

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Placerville, CA

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Interesting board in downtown Placerville, CA.

We had a good time at Apple Hill in the foothills, and we are looking forward to heading back to the beach next month!

Al & Deb (and Lucy)

 

 

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