..........A little blog about the little things in life..........

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sideways in Solvang

Last Thursday we headed south on Highway 101 - destination the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara. We had tickets to a "Celtic Woman" concert at the Chumash Indian Casino in Santa Ynez on Thursday night, but we didn't want to drive back home at night, so we had reservations at a motel in Solvang.

This is a lovely area, well known for it's more than 70 wineries and tasting rooms, horse farms, and apple orchards and made famous when the movie "Sideways" was filmed there. (It's a funny movie, and has spectacular scenes of the area). Also, somewhere in the near vicinity is Michael Jackson's famous "Neverland".

There are several small towns within a 10 mile radius - Los Olivos, Buellton, Solvang, Santa Ynez and Ballard. Our first stop was the very small village of Los Olivos, where we had lunch at Fess Parker's Inn (think Davy Crockett). Fess has a winery in the valley, as well as several hotels. (You can get tiny coonskin caps to top your wine bottle at his winery.)

The main street of Los Olivos

Fess Parker's Inn in Los Olivos
View of the area near Los Olivos

After lunch, we checked into our motel in Solvang. The Solvang Gardens Lodge is a small older motel that has been renovated in the last couple of years, and is very charming. Solvang is a quaint Danish town, complete with windmills, European style architecture and shops, and many Danish bakeries famous for ...............Danish pastries!

We visited the small Elverhoy Museum, just a block from our motel. It's in the former house of Viggo Brandt-Erichsen, a Danish-American artist and sculptor, and his wife Martha. He built the house himself over several years. It resembles Danish farmhouse and was donated by the family to be used as a museum.

There was an exhibit of textile and fiber art which was quite interesting. The following 3 photos are of some of the fiber art examples in the exhibit.

After our tour of the museum, we drove 2 miles into the small town of Buellton, home of Pea Soup Anderson's restaurant, as well as The Hitching Post, a steak restaurant which was shown in the movie "Sideways". My goal was a fabric store, The Creation Station, which is housed in a former bowling alley!

The next morning we drove around a bit, stopping at the Mission Santa Ines (1804), and then headed north, passing by another mission, La Purisima (1787). La Purisima is now a State Historical Park, where rangers and docents recreate mission life. There are 21 Missions in California, built between 1769 and 1823. They were built along a route known as El Camino Real (The King's Highway), stretching from San Diego north to Sonoma. (El Camino Real is now Highway 101)
Mission Santa Ines in Solvang

On the way between Solvang and Buellton there are many beautiful horse ranches - the most famous is "The Flag Is Up" ranch owned by Pat and Monty Roberts - he is the "horse whisperer".

We stopped for lunch at the Far Western Tavern in the little town of Guadalupe - also famous for it's steaks, and western decor.

Besides lots of animal heads on the walls, the curtains are made of cowhide.

Last stop before heading for home was to peek at one of our favorite views of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes.

And that was our 2-day, 1-night trip. Oh, and the concert was fabulous!


Kath said...

Lovely photos! I loved the museum, we have a lot of buildings here in England,too, with decorative brick and wooden frames. It looks like a wonderful place to visit.I particularly liked the textured panels, I would have like to handle them and get a closer look! I envy you the sunshine today. here in England we have been enjoying gales ans rain. Yesterday I sat looking out at my garden and the rain was blowing almost horizontal!

Janie Taylor said...

I love that area and have fond memories....what a nice trip! hugs and kisses.....

Emma said...

that little wall hanging looks cool..and my mom happens to have a quilt shop..