california, on the road

8/02/2012

windmill
lake

A few days ago, Donald and I took a break from busy summer days and went on a mini California road trip. We live about an hour away from Santa Barbara, so we like to visit frequently to escape city life. We felt slightly more adventurous this time and decided to drive further north into the mountains; to explore hidden lakes, rolling vineyards, and a Danish-influenced city.

vineyards

California landscapes can vary. The Santa Ynez Valley is very dry, and yet there's a sparkling blue lake in the middle.

donald lake
copenhagen st
bit o denmark

Our first stop was in Solvang, a city we both have visited before, but we wanted to enjoy some of the kitsch and have a nice stroll through the tree-lined streets. The reason there's a Danish city in Southern California is because a few Danes purchased the land in the early 1900s, and tried to create a colony. There are many homages to Denmark in the architecture, and references to Hans Christian Anderson of course!

greenery
x4

My last long-hair days, before getting it cut this week. Au revoir!
tea spot
tea time

Tea time, with Danish pastries.
cute wall
dolls

I could have stayed there all day, especially at the year-round Christmas shop (best idea ever) where there were endless wooden dolls. After Solvang, we had dinner at a quiet vineyard in Santa Ynez. I took no photos since I wanted to enjoy the perfect summer evening. Then Donald suggested that we drive back to Santa Barbara for ice cream. He's a keeper indeed!

x2
x3

Sigh, such a pretty city with the best atmosphere. We ate gelato on the steps of the beautiful Santa Barbara courthouse, and then drove home, alongside the foggy ocean at night. As much as I love going to foreign lands, nothing beats a relaxing California day.

Just a small mention - the winner of the shabby apple gift card was Emily, and Livia won the sunglasses. Both were selected using a random number generator! x

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32 comments

  1. I guess nothing beats your homeland! <3 I loved that danish-inspired town, how cute! I miss copenhagen. You and Donald are so perfect for each other XD
    And thanks for your sweet comments, I do tray to have fun evrywhere I go! Who doesn't? You always look like you're having a lovely time yourself XD

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    1. Being at home always feels best since you know all about it. Donald takes some pushing and prodding, but then he's up for our adventures haha :) Copenhagen is such a lovely city - so clean and fresh, and their beautiful buildings are so much better than the little mini ones in Solvang hehe. We have to take what we can get over here! ;)

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  2. I had no idea this city existed in California, I've never heard of it before! I love the idea, it looks like an awesome place. Sounds like you had a lovely roadtrip day.

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    1. There are plenty of surprises in California - a Danish city seems pretty random though haha. It's mostly a tourist type place, I wouldn't say it's authentic in any way (aside from the aebleskivers)!

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  3. woah, who would have thought that was in california, that looks so european. you take the most fun trips, i love seeing all the pictures :)

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    1. Thanks Marlena! I'd say the majority of my week involves tedious errands, but I do like to share the fun bits :)

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  4. I love Solvang! Have you ever been to the Sock Loft there? Also, the ice cream looks delicious.

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    1. No I never have :) Usually I go for the ceramic dolls and pastries! x

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  5. This place is amazing, you wouldn't think it is in America.

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    1. Hehe, America is a pretty special place sometimes (actually many times in California!) x

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  6. What a crazy cool little place, I can't actually believe this is in America!

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    1. I'd say American architecture runs the gamut, that we're good at replicating things - so in a way it fits perfectly haha!

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  7. How quaint! That's certainly a side to California I haven't seen and will have to experience first hand.

    http://the-makingofthings.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. They have so much more to do there also - like see ostrich farms, alpaca farms and miniature horses. Oh and the wineries of course hehe x

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  8. isn't solvang such a trip! When I went we only stayed for like an hour before we headed back to Orange County. It looks so quaint, I bet it does look super awesome during the Holidays. If you ever do another california mini trip you should head up to San Luis Obispo/ Central coast--it is BEAUTIFUL! :)

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    1. I've only ever passed those areas in transit to San Francisco (by car, train, etc) but I'd love to do a proper stop one day! During the holidays would be interesting, I hope people would be wearing absurd outfits too :)

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  9. Thank you again Valerie and random number generator! :)

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    1. No problem! They were mailed last week :)

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  10. i love the pics of solvang. i use to vacation there as a kid, so your pics bring back memories.

    -jenn

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    1. That seems like a fun place to wander as a kid...I saw so many there running around!

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  11. This little town look gorgeous, love the architecture! I really need to get back to more local road trips instead of always dreaming of faraway lands! Can't wait to see the new haircut, I just cut mine off yesterday!
    Happy weekend!
    xo Hannah

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    1. Local trips still offer so much to see I bet :) My hair was too long for the hot weather so it was time to trim it! I hope you like how yours turned out too! x

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  12. Gosh, California is so beautiful. I love the idea of visiting a little Danish town; it's nice that those types of cities still exist in the U.S. It sounds like you and Donald had a wonderful day. I love that teatime photo - the arrangement is exquisite!

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    1. Every photo should have a flower in it, or so I think! I'm sure there are even cooler places across the U.S. (but I've driven through many and nothing's like California) so it'd be fun to discover them one day. A Danish town is extra special though since I love the Hans Christian Anderson references, like a store called Thumbelina and a museum all about him :)

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  13. California is still on my places to visit list- San Diego, Santa Barbara, LA and even Disneyland/California Adventure Park, etc. Actually, a roadtrip through the US is on the top of my list. (Mexico too, but with all the drug cartels I'm a little scared...).
    Solvang looks like a fun time :)
    Oh, can't wait to see the hair cut!

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    1. Sheesh you're telling me! My family and I used to go down to Ensenada to meet family multiple times a year. That hasn't happened in years because of the violence, and it's so sad because it's spread to areas in the south that my other family lives in. I can't wait to be able to go one day - but I think bus travelling between cities is over for me. There's so much to see in California so I recommend that visit! I must sound like a tourism official by now hehe :D

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  14. Solvang is indeed a fun visit; although, I don't terribly care for how much it's become commercialized. But that's a common complaint for a CA native :)

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    1. Hehe or as an American - what don't we commercialize?! The town has lots of small parks and squares as well to just enjoy without spending a dime :)

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  15. wow, that's incredible that you've got a little danish village to visit in the middle of california! i would never have imagined it, but the architecture is so danish! what a wonderful way to spend a summer day. :)

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  16. i found such a pleasure on your photos! California, to me, is a dream to be realized!

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