Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Trip Along California's Central Coast

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'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,



  1. Solvang looks like a fabulous place to visit! Glad you enjoyed your travels! As for what you blog about, well, I am happy to read just about anything as long as it is polite and friendly - which everything on your lovely blog always is!!!! - some things I skip by more than others, but I still enjoy what I find here and on most other blogs too! xx

  2. It looks like a lovely trip you and your husband enjoyed together. We are more lucky with our AirB&B accommodation! I like to read anything. Life is varied and I like blogs to reflect that. x

  3. I enjoy your varied posts, a reflection of who you are and what is important to you! Although my daughters have visited Solvang, I have not. Your interests in it and reflections of it convince me I would enjoy exploring it as well. I'm sorry your rental was disappointing. Last year, [not through AirB&B] I thought I had reserved a room with a fireplace. When I got to my room there was no fireplace. I reported my expectation to the office and the manager brought me a portable electric fireplace :) [not exactly what I imagined, but I did enjoy] Thanks for posting!

  4. Sorry you had to leave as it was unsafe but it did look lovely. am so jealous of your visit to Solvang and those serviettes match the coffee service perfectly. I'm sure we have mentioned this before but I too inherited the same coffee service from my Norwegian grandmother x

  5. I should add Solvang, CA to my ever growing bucket list.

  6. I am a great fan of variety too, no 2 people are the same so it is nice to be invited into you life and interests. I am praying for rain for that state, such a shame to see a dam like that with so little water. Sounds like a great trip despite the rental issues. Take care.

  7. oh i enjoyed this very much! my husband and i were born and raised in san diego...i'm trying to think if solvang is where anderson's split pea soup is? i can't remember if we ever walked around there or not but i do remember as a kid getting excited that we were closer to disneyland when we saw the windmill!

    1. Hi Tanya, Anderson's split pea soup is located in Buellton which is a short drive away from Solvang! There's also an other one in Santa Nella off Interstate 5.

  8. and thank you for linking and have a great weekend!!

  9. Washington is my home state, too! I stopped in Ellensburg SO many times while driving back and forth to W.S.U.

    1. Small world, so you know Ellensburg, Vantage, Royal City, and all the little towns!

  10. I very much enjoyed hearing about the Chumash Indians, and seeing the Danish town and it's wonderful windmill and Jule Haus! What a treat for you being from Denmark! Looks like the trip to Santa Barbara was wonderful in spite of its shaky beginning. All my best!

  11. I'm from Southern California but relocated to Hawaii, and my family and I visited SoCal during the summer. The drought was so bad... really praying hard for some rain this winter. Your stop to the Danish town was lovely! What a beautiful trip to remember and share. Have a wonderful weekend. Aloha!

  12. I hate that you did not get to stay in the place you had chosen...even though our daughter lives in LA, I forget how bad the water situation is out there.

    I like a little bit of this and that in a blog...I quilt and do like that kind of stuff.

  13. Hi Pat! So sorry to hear the booking didn't work out though the views were great! How fantastic that you got to Solvang! My parents visited it but we missed out due to family bereavement but we enjoyed Santa Barbara. Beautiful views along the way. Hope you get rain soon.
    Thanks for sharing. I do like travel and crafts in posts and hope this helps!

  14. It looks like you had a very interesting trip. I like to see what you have to say. I think it's a good thing we all have different things to talk about or we wouldn't be reading each others blogs!
    Barbara xx

  15. Looks a great trip - and that place looks a fab base. Did you try the fish n chip shop? My friend owns it :) #fiveonfriday

  16. A very interesting post. You seem to need some rain and some cooler temperatures, the weather does seem out of sorts this year. I like all the different kinds of posts, it's good to have a bit of everything. Thanks for your messages. :-)

  17. I always enjoy reading your posts, Pat, they show me a part of the world that I would never otherwise know about :-) xx

  18. Sorry your place didn't work out. Sounds like you made the most of it.
    I enjoy reading pretty much anything except really angry or political posts. :-)

  19. Hello Pat. Thanks for your visit and comments. Sorry your rental was not up to expectations. We always find that cottages that have the owners on site give the best service. Ours lived adjoining next door. Also cottages booked through holiday rental companies have to have a star rating so one has some idea. We always go for a a five, the top otherwise four.
    Having a number of friends in Ca we know about the awful droughts there, it must be of some concern.Enjoyed your photos.
    I am glad that you are going to keep coming back.

  20. Sorry I'm late - still catching up a bit from 5 on Fri last week. Thanks for sharing Pat. I love seeing your travels and it looks like overall you had a nice journey - even with maybe more adventure then you were hoping for. Sending positive thoughts for rain and better weather!!
    Blessings on your week. xoxo

  21. Pat, I enjoy reading whatever you feel like writing about! This post was fascinating. I've never been to that part of California, and had never heard of Solvang. When we lived in Illinois for a few years, we used to enjoy going to Bishop Hill, which was a 19th-century Swedish community. America is a fascinating place. Really hope you got some rain. The drought really is awful.


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