I had another post written and ready to share with you this week but instead I thought you might enjoy seeing these pictures. It's Friday so I'm linking up with Amy over at Five on Friday. And, I'm joining in at Willy Nilly Friday. My husband and I drove up to Santa Barbara this week. It's only about 150 miles one way but you have to "drive through" Los Angeles and that is what takes the time due to the horrendous traffic.
We booked a cottage near the ocean through Airbnb. I love Airbnb but this time I wasn't dealing with an owner directly, I was dealing with a third party management company who had put their listing on Airbnb. And, the experience was not fun.
Here's a photo of the living room which has a lovely view of the ocean off the outside deck. We arrived early afternoon and were so looking forwarding to spending four nights in this place.
But after the first night it was so unbearably warm in the unit we struggled. We woke up after the second night and asked for our money to be refunded. There's more to the story but basically it was not safe and secure. Although, we enjoyed the lovely sunset from the deck on our last night there.
We did have the opportunity to visit the Danish town of Solvang, CA on Tuesday. Being Danish, I grew up in a Danish farming community in Ellensburg, WA. As a child I used to hear about Solvang and my first visit to this lovely little place was back in 2009. The closest thing we have to Solvang in my home state is Leavenworth, a Bavarian themed town in central Washington.
On our last visit, we ate Danish food and this time I wanted to do the same. We found a charming little cafe and we both ordered Danish meatball opened faced sandwiches with red cabbage and fresh cucumber pickle garnish. We also drank a glass of cold Danish beer :)
One of my favorite places there is Jule Haus, a year round Christmas store. I bought an advent calendar from Germany and some Danish themed napkins from Sweden.
Below is the Dannebrog (Flag of Denmark) napkins along with the seagull napkins I bought. The seagull napkins match my Danish Bing and Grondahl china that I inherited from my Grandma.
I was so pleased to buy these seagull napkins only to find when I returned home that I had a new set in the china cabinet! Now, I have two sets which I'm sure will last me for years.
Does your town have a windmill in the center of town?
Last time we were in Solvang we were on Highway 101 (it goes north and south along the coast of California). This visit, since were were in Santa Barbara, we went over the San Marcos pass. It was a beautiful drive. It reminded me so much of my home state of Washington. Down here in southern California I never get to see nature in it's natural setting. All power poles are underground, all areas are landscaped, all developments are planned. I drank in all the beautiful natural sites that I haven't seen in a long long time.
As you may know, California is in the midst of a terrible drought. It has really shown its ugly face this year especially. We stopped at a vista point along the road and we discovered this reservoir.
Below is a photo of the dam. I have never seen a dam without any water. It's such a shame. You can make out a black line to the right of the photo...it's a large hose that is connected to the reservoir which is located to the right. They are having to pump the water through the hose.
Here is the reservoir. If you look at the light coloring near the water, this is where the normal waterline should be. It is so very, very low.
Here again you can see the light colored area near the dam. It's as though this reservoir is almost empty. And there are many more like this in the state. It's really heart breaking.
I wanted to share with you some information about the indigenous people of this area:
1. The Chumash are a Native American tribe that has lived in the central coast area for thousands of years. (The word "Cachuma" mentioned above has Chumash roots)
2. The name Chumash means "bread maker" or "sea shell" people.
3. The only Chumash Band reservation is the Santa Ynez Reservation located in Santa Barbara County.
4. Before the expansion of the Spanish missions in the 1800's, the Chumash numbered into the tens of thousands with their territory encompassing 7,000 squares miles along the central coast of California.
5. Today the Chumash are a thriving community with economic self-sufficiency. They earn their revenue from the Chumash Casino Resort which is a popular entertainment destination. (I know because I stopped there for an hour...)
I really enjoyed discovering this beautiful part of the central coast of California. Although we cut our trip short and came back home, we did tour the lovely city of Santa Barbara and ate lunch at the Fish House. We hope to return again in the near future.
It's always a pleasure to hear from my readers. If you wish to give me some feedback in regard to my posts that would be most appreciated. Do you like reading about travel, needle arts or recipes? I was looking at my statistics lately and the needlepoint post had a lot of views. But, I don't think it appeals to everyone. It like me looking at a quilting blog. I love seeing the quilts and their designs but never in a thousand years will I quilt. But, I can admire the handiwork of others.
I'll sign off today by sharing my favorite photo of the day. Gray skies and clouds have appeared for today and I am keeping my fingers crossed for rain!
Wishing you the best,