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

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Walk Around the 'Hood

Well, another Thanksgiving has come and gone. I used my convection oven (for only the 2nd time in 5 years) to cook our turkey, and it was delicious - only took 2 hrs. 20 minutes to cook the 13 lb. bird. I should really cook more things that way! Anyway, I had some "down time" before the turkey went in, so we took a walk around the neighborhood. Walked down by the "little lake" and circled back to our house along the road. It was a really beautiful fall day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Have you heard of Zentangles? I ran across them awhile back and did a little surfing to find out more! The "official" site is www.zentangle.com, but you can find other sites if you just google "zentangle". It's just fancy doodling! I've always loved doodling.....I think I'm addicted! Here are some of my zentangles.

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!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chocolate Cakes, cactus, and colorful leaves

Saturday was the annual holiday bazaar at our church in Morro Bay, so I baked some Black Russian Cakes to take and we loaded up the car and headed toward Morro Bay. These are delicious cakes - and so easy to make. (I sold one before I got out of the house.)

Afterwards, we headed home the "scenic" route (Highway 1 north, then Highway 46 east), stopping along the way to snap some photos. I was fascinated by these cactus (cacti?) along Villa Creek.

Harmony is a very tiny place (that's an old sign, so I doubt there are even 18 people living there now). Must be hard to live in Harmony.

This is a view off Highway 46 looking toward Morro Bay - notice the hills are getting a little greener thanks to that nice rain about a month ago.

And there's Morro Bay way off in the distance.

Turning off on Vineyard Drive, we passed some very colorful vineyards. This is about the only fall color around these parts as the native oaks either stay green all year, or turn brown and drop their leaves, depending on the variety.

And then home for lunch - we bought some chili at the bazaar, scrambled some eggs, topped them with the chili and cheese....pretty yummy. Oh yes, we bought 3 pieces of homemade coconut cream pie for dessert! Even yummier.