About Me

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I am a new wife and a new addition to the adult world. I have finally started my career as a teacher and I am trying to live my life while waiting for the next step (house and family). I am trying to keep up with my love for writing. I do it because it allows me to relive an adventure already taken or to create an experience I may not have had. I am currently teaching, trying to write a book, working on this blog, and loving on my adorable and awesome husband.

Feb 10, 2011

Vacation: Solvang, CA

Our trip to Solvang, this past summer started out bumpy to say the least.  We had originally intended to stay at Lake Cachuma Campground for the weekend but this campground has a first come first serve policy.  Therefore, you absolutely cannot make reservations to ensure that when you make a 2-3 hour drive you will have a place to stay when you get there.  Thus, as you have probably guessed, when we arrived around 4pm we were met by a "campground full" sign.  I was bummed and My Love was no where near as stressed as I was, he said "its fine, we'll figure it out".  So, that we did.  We drove up to the check in, and asked where the next closest tent camping was.  They suggested Flying Flags RV Resort and Campground.  We called the new campground and made a reservation.  And headed the extra 20 minutes north.
We arrived at Flying Flags where I discovered I had lost my phone.  While I, again began to get flustered, My Love went to check-in.  I called my phone with his, and someone answered and said it was found in our culdesac.  The man who answered was very friendly until the line went dead and I never heard from him again.  My Love came back and we were escorted by a surly old man who would not let us choose our spot, to an open grass lot.  We were placed in a tiny, awfully located spot.  The worst tent spot I have ever been in.  Don't be fooled by the wonderful RV section of the campground.  The tent area is a giant grass lot, with no trees for shade and sardine packed tent spots.  Just big enough for our tent to fit in between the picnic tables, and sit on only your side of the table without brushing up against the next tent.  Not to mention, there is no fire pit, but you can rent one for a measly $10 a night.  You have got to be kidding me.  Oh, and I forgot to mention, that $10 fee is on top of the $28 a night camping fee.  No need to say, but we went without a fire.  Except for the last night where our kind camping neighbor lent us his fire pit when his family went to bed.
After a horrible start, My Love begged me to be in a better mood for the rest of the weekend and I promised him I would be.
The next morning, after a lovely night's sleep listening to the freeway, we got up to go into Solvang.  I was in a better mood, looking forward to the cute Dutch town.  We found somewhere to park fairly easily and the weather was perfect for walking around town.  We were quickly drawn into the abundance of cute shops.  There were cuckcoo clocks everywhere, beautifully handmade (which you pay the big bucks for).  We wondered in and out of a dozen plus shops laughing and smiling at all of the unique trinkets.  And we were quick to get our coveted magnet, which is now one of my favorites.
We found a gorgeous antique shop, the Solvang Antique Center, that only had things for the true collectors.  The prices were through the roof but the merchandise was beautiful.  After spending over an hour in there we were starving.
We found a little cigar shop and asked the proprietor where to eat.  He suggested the Viking Garden Restaurant.  Which was right next to his shop.  We walked up and down the street a bit to see what other options we had, but everywhere had a limited menu or was pricy.  So we ate out on the patio at the Viking Garden.  The food was pretty good, and for a good price.  However, neither of us had any true Dutch cuisine.  We just weren't feeling that adventurous.  After, filling our tummies we walked down the road a bit to one of the many Dutch bakeries.  The Solvang Bakery had an extraordinary selection of danish pastries that we dove right into.  We bought an almond butter ring (yum!) and an apple strudel bear claw (i think).  We boxed them both, since we were so full, and went back to the campground.  After the long, 10 minute venture, we were both read to try the pastries.  As we sat behind the truck for shade we dug right in and enjoyed the impeccable treats.  So yummy!
After a relaxing hour or two, we decided to take our bikes and look for a ride.  We found a bike shop that suggested a 12-15 mile ride.  So we drove South on the 246 a few miles until we hit Alamo Pintado Road.  We parked in one of the shopping centers and began our ride, up Alamo.  It was a beautiful ride, fairly flat and easy enough for my novice riding level.  Minus the wind that was working against me.  But there were amazing vineyards and ranches and old homes to ride by.  Finally, we reached a fork in the road where we went right on Grand Avenue, which took us through a little suburban neighborhood and eventually into a little tourist town called Los Olivos.  There were some very cute restaurants, live music playing at one.  And quite a few antique shops, but they were already closed since it was around 5pm.  We turned around and headed back, for a much easier ride going with the wind rather than against it.  In total it was only about a 10 mile ride but we took about an hour to do it, stopping in the town to look around a little.
After our ride we went back to the campground to get a nice cool shower, in the gross bathrooms.  And cooked hamburgers on the portable stove and went to bed.  In the morning we packed up to go home.  On the way we took a short detour to the Chumash Casino.  Neither of us had ever gambled before so we split a ten dollar bill and hit the slots.  And boy that $10 was gone fast!! But it was fun, we got a kick out of it, and some laughs.  Worth the $10 for the memory!
All in all, even with the bad start, the trip was great.  Spending time walking through the cute Danish streets of Solvang together was so relaxing.  And sharing the bike ride with My Love, something he loves to do, was great seeing him so happy.  I would definitely do it again! But with some minor changes. ;)

Destination: Solvang, CA

Points of Interest:
Lake Cachuma http://www.countyofsb.org/parks/parks05.aspx?id=13440
Flying Flags Rv Resort and Campground http://www.flyingflags.com/
Solvang Antique Center http://solvangantiques.com/
Viking Garden Restaurant http://www.vikinggardenrestaurant.com/
Solvang Bakery http://www.solvangbakery.com/
Los Olivos http://www.losolivosca.com/
Chumash Casino http://www.chumashcasino.com/Home.aspx

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