Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Our Family Trip To Cali: Santa Barbara/Solvang (Part Three)

Day three had us leaving our first city and heading on our first road trip portion, but we were excited to be venturing to Solvang. The Danish capital of the US is where we were married. It is where we got engaged. It has been a constant since we began dating back in 2009. It is our magical, safe place where we will return for many, many years to come. To be able to show Adelaide where mommy & daddy were married was beyond special.

But first we had to get there...and a 5 hour drive with a teething, time-zone adjusting 11 month old can be challenging. It requires lots of stops and activities. So the drive took us double the time! All for good reason of course; yet utterly exhausting.

We decided to make a day of it and stop in Monterey at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Amazing! One of the most interactive aquariums that I have been to featuring the most unique sea creatures in the most elaborate exhibits. Adelaide loved seeing the fish, sea horses, jelly fish, octopus, and stingrays. She chirped at the birds and touched the star fish. We spent an hour and a half exploring and could have stayed another two hours. Truly a great stop and experience for her.

Venturing on south a little further, we stopped for dinner in San Luis Obispo. It is a hidden gem that we often stopped at on our way to & from Solvang while planning our wedding. With cute little shops & restaurants it makes for a nice resting point. After grabbing a quick bite, we finished up the last leg to Solvang and checked into Hotel Corque where our wedding guests stayed.

Monday morning we were anxious to get up and walk around Solvang. We enjoyed danishes & coffee from Solvang Bakery while strolling along the main drag of shops. I love the little niche boutiques that line the streets of Solvang. After a late morning nap for Miss Adelaide, we ordered Paninos to go and headed to Lincourt. Sue, our favorite wine pourer, greeted us with open arms and full wine glasses. A gorgeous day with blue skies and warm temperatures, we sipped wine and recounted our engagement & wedding story to fellow tasters. Adelaide played in the grass and enjoyed hearing our stories of the countless times we've been to Lincourt. We didn't want to leave...ever!

For dinner, we headed to the neighboring town of Los Olivos to Brother's Sides Hardware & Shoes. We had never been to this particular restaurant but heard rave reviews and had to been to another restaurant owned by the same people. I enjoyed the lamb with gnocchi & split peas while Ryan munched on their signature burger. The food was amazing and will definitely be a spot we return to.

We nestled back in our room with a bottle of wine and snuggled as a family. Savoring our first trip with our baby girl to our magical place.

The next morning we walked the streets again to buy a few trinkets & such while, of course, getting a danish or two to go. I can't wait to return to Solvang as Adelaide grows up and comes to love it as much as we do.

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