Sunday, November 16, 2014

California Road Trip! October 9-12: Santa Barbara and Solvang

Thursday, Oct. 9th

We checked out of our hotel in Santa Monica and stayed in town for breakfast at Huckleberry's.

Yes, another pic of their sweets because I wanted to try every single treat.

It was here and a few other places on our trip, that Scott Babe asked, "How do you know about this place?" (Research!)

Mine was hiding under the arugula! -- Green eggs & ham with La Quercia prosciutto, pesto on housemade english muffin; Scott Babe's fancy sandwich was also undercover: Fried egg sandwich with sunny side up eggs, Niman Ranch bacon, Gruyère, arugula & aioli.

With our bellies full, we drove nearly two hours to Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara:
Only in Santa Barbara does the legal system look cool. And wait until you see the court house.

D.A.'s office across from the Courthouse

I was mesmerized by the Burger Bus! We need this in NYC!

That's not all -- steps away is Coffee Cat!

The Courthouse:

This is the Santa Barbara court house. If you have never been here, add it to your to visit list or commit a felony. :-)

I've always adored tiles -- I ate these Tunisian tiles right up!

The Mural Room on the 2nd floor

Views from the clock tower. Too bad it was overcast.

Scott Babe's video of the bell chiming at 1 pm 

The Mission:

After the court house, we drove 5 minutes to the Old Mission
It was rebuilt after the 1812 earthquake, and the towers were repaired again after the 1925 earthquake. On a brighter note, Wendy used to dance/perform on these steps and at the Courthouse during Fiesta/Old Spanish Days. ♥


 La Super-Rica:
You can't be in Santa Barbara and not stop here for a taco! After all, this is where Julia Child ate all the time when she wasn't in Paris! :-) 

2 pm: Scott Babe and I got in the long line and guess who we run into?!?!?! The soon to be Bride and Groom, Wendy and Paul! And that's not all, the guy who was standing behind us was their dear friend Dan, who would be the officiant at their wedding!

Stearns Wharf:

Sailing video

Seagull video

Cute sign for sale at one of the shops

Before the sun set, I drove us to Solvang which was 40 minutes away. Roads were a bit windy and I took it easy.

Solvang was first developed in the early 1900s from Danes who had originally settled in Iowa.

Solvang's 5th Annual Scarecrow Fest was going on while we were there.

We checked in at the Hotel Corque - adorable boutique type. We stayed there for 3 nights -- the longest we would stay in one place. Wendy's wedding was 30 minutes north of here so this was convenient and hip at the same time. :)
Babe being a good sport for my Kodak moment 

View of the hotel's lobby from the 2nd floor

Our spacious room

But first, let me take a selfie!

Scott Babe checking out all the switches!

I enjoyed Birkholm's apple danish. Wendy has been coming here ever since she was a little girl! (She grew up in the Santa Barbara area.)

On our first night in Solvang, we ate at Root 246 which was conveniently located at our hotel. I had made a reservation beforehand and we were seated in the room next to the formal dining room. I later learned that our friends Diane + Adam ate around the same time in the other room! (No idea how the hostess decides who seats in which room!) We had funky chairs that made eating a little awkward! The table was too small for our shared entree, the waitress suggested we move to a bigger table! Kooky arrangement, but we didn't care --- we were on vacation!

At our new table, we devoured the Wagyu Texas Style Brisket - mustard/ house-pickles/ carmelized onions/ bbq sauce (for two). It was phenomenal. The cake of the day was another story.

Irish Car Bomb (Guinness, Jameson, Baileys)
It bombed! Not great! But listen, I'm not gonna hold it against them! We will be back!♥

Adorable signage!

My Mom would have loved this store! Year round Christmas store!

Our favorite breakfast in Solvang was at Paula's Pancake House
Video above

We probably waited a good 30 minutes for a table but it was worth it!

Scott Babe LOVED his Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs with Country Gravy

Paula's Special: Danish pancakes topped with Warm Cinnamon Apples and Fresh Whipped Cream

Wine tastings:

We squeezed in a couple of wine tastings. Above is Demetria Estate which was 20 minutes north of our hotel and once you got off the main road, it was up a dirt, rocky road.

Gorgeous country views at Demetria

 Car shot

 Lincourt winery

I did bring us home a bottle of their rosé. We enjoyed it with Mr. & Mrs. Robinson at Raymond's. ♥

Say hello to one of Lincourt's kitties named Chardonnay!

More Solvang:
Cute ice cream shop! If we had gone in, I would have had the rocky road!
(Do you see the horse in this photo?!)

Solvang Bakery video

If I was rich, I would have bought my girlfriend Melinda this fabulous $4,000 bench from Windmill Glassworks for her Jersey Shore cottage.  The sales woman said how easily it ships because it can fold. I think she needs a better sales pitch than that. How about taking two zeros off? :)

You can't visit Solvang without trying their Æbleskiver  (A cross between a pancake and popover) Our girlfriend Marie had given us a Ebelskiver pan as a wedding gift, so I knew what these were! I may be partial to my own!

California Country store on Copenhagen Drive

Last but not least, my favorite store in Solvang -- it was Turkish; not Danish! :-)
The Bazaar Istanbul by Mendi includes Turkish lamps, dishes and handmade jewelry. I was most fascinated by the light fixtures. I even brought Scott Babe into the store to show him my favorite hanging light. Perhaps next visit, we'll make a purchase! But for now, I'll daydream.

Sadly, I did not take one photo! :( The below photos were graciously provided by the multi-talented Stephanie Croff, who I reached out to via Instagram when I saw that she's been to this unique store and designed their sign. :-)

Above three photos taken by Stephanie Croff

Stephanie's websites:

*Stay tuned for Wendy and Paul's wedding!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had a wonderful time! -- Kamie