Tuesday, July 27, 2010

California Vacation 2010!

Part I -Santa Ynez Valley (Santa Barbara-Solvang)
July 17-18

We returned on 7/21 from our vacation to California. We wanted to take the kids to Legoland, north of San Diego. But I wanted to start out in the Santa Barbara area. I had never been there, and I wanted to go somewhere I hadn't been. We stayed in Solvang, which is about 45 minutes from Santa Barbara. It's a rather quaint and authentic Danish town in the Santa Ynez Valley. Being that Chris's side of the family is rich in Danish history (Chris is close to being half Danish), this seemed more than appropriate to spend our first part of the vacation. And Legos and Legoland originated in Denmark, so it wall wrapped together!

The picture on the top left is where we had lunch in Solvang on July 17th. Yummy meatballs and other Danish food! Well, being that I'm pregnant and still not feeling too hot, I didn't opt for exploring foreign food. I stuck with a club sandwhich and fries.

Our cute little hotel in Solvang:
Across the street and down the way, in front of this little hotel, the kids got into the fun. You can see Mikelle's feet at the bottom of Christian's picture. Mikelle wasn't too thrilled that he had to stand on top of her for us to achieve the picture.

I had to laugh though. Solvang and Santa Barbara were experiencing a what they called a "heat wave", apparently (upper 80s at the most) and their papers referred to it as 'scorching' and 'baking'. Now that was funny. We loved the cooler weather (which was most of the reason we left town)! Sure, there were moments that I needed shade, but once in the shade, it felt great! Scorching and baking? Pul-leeze. Those people don't know how good they have it.

The Santa Ynez Valley is a beautiful place. It would have been nice to see more clouds there, but plenty of that waited for us in San Diego.

While in Santa Barbara, the kids enjoyed two of the beaches. The first one was Carpinteria, just east of Santa Barbara, and then East Beach in Santa Barbara. Carpinteria has calmer waves, thanks to an offshore reef. We opted for the kids to play at that one - especially since Mikelle had a bad and scary experience back in 2005 at an LA beach. She was apprehensive at first, but as you can see, she "accumulated" just fine to the fun!

Carpinteria Beach - 7/17/10

East Beach - 7/18/10

Since the next day was Sunday, we told the kids we were going to the beach, but not to really play around too much. We were eventually going to get down to San Diego that day. You can see the little bit that they got away with. I also wanted Mikelle to see the difference in the waves, so she could see how some are a little more "dicey" than others. East Beach waves were definitely more appropriate for surfing and had larger waves.

As we left Solvang, headed down Santa Barbara and then ultimately San Diego on 7/18, we stopped for this photo op near Solvang in Buellton. The night before we ate here:

Next destination? San Diego-Legoland! Stay tuned for Part II!


  1. love it....especially the Danish part/

  2. Yay! It's great to see you posting. I'm in Southern California now, and I'm happy you got to see parts of it. Solvang is really pretty. Looks like you had a great time!