Wednesday, April 29, 2009

California Dreaming

I finally landed back in Vermont late last night - where it was a chilly 45 degrees! In all actuality the weather in California while we were there was not all that hot and we heard there was a heat wave back on the East Coast. The hottest it got on our vacation was when we had our layover at the Dulles airport where it was 80+ degrees out and the air conditioning appeared to be broken inside the terminal we were in. Oh well, I guess that is how things go sometimes! Despite the cooler temps, though, we had an awesome time!

Here are some of the highlights of our trip:

My husband and I have been obsessed with trying Sonic since we are bombarded with commercials for it at home and we had hoped to finally try it on our trip to Cali (since an ill-fated attempt a few years ago ended with a disastrous experience at In N' Out Burger). But, it seems as though Sonic does not dot the landscape in the West as we had dreamed. So our good friends Patti and Jamie took us to Fosters Freeze. I immediately fell in love with the old fashioned logo and packaging and simple straight-forward menu. Around since the 1940's, Fosters Freeze is like the West Coast version of Dairy Queen, but better!

Our first full day in Cali we went to check out a Spanish Mission that was right up the road from where our friends live on Vandenburg Airforce Base. I had never been to a Mission before and I was amazed at the vast size of it and the intricate details of the architecture. There was a peaceful feeling throughout the grounds of a simpler way of life.

I could definitely see myself spending lazy Summer evenings sitting on this long, wide porch overlooking the gardens.

The Air Force base our friends live on covers 98,000 acres which includes several beaches. We took a long, windy drive through the rolling hills that encompass some of the missile silohs and launch facilities there and then went down to the ocean. We were the only people there (it was a bit breezy) so we kicked off our shoes and went for a stroll in the soft sand. It was the first time either of us had been to the Pacific Ocean.

My favorite day of the trip was when we went to Solvang a cute little dutch town with flower lined streets dotted with bakeries and shops. We had a hearty brunch at The Little Mermaid and browsed through some of the cute shops before heading out to do some wine tours. We went to two different vineyards before stumbling accross the town of Los Olivos. It was wine tasting heaven with one tasting room after another through the center of town. We ended up buying a few bottles from Wild Heart Winery and I also got some Organic Walnut Oil from Global Gardens which had some of the best tasting olive oil I have ever tried. It was hard to pick, but once I tasted the walnut oil I was in love!

The only part of my trip I don't have any pictures of is our excursion to Santa Barbara. It was a gorgeous day and we had lunch at the Santa Barbara Brewing Co. I also got to go an Anthropologie store for the first time ever! I finally got some of my own latte bowls and I managed to limit myself to two shirts. It was hard, but I managed to be good (relatively speaking).

Now I am home and trying not to feel overwhelmed by my very long to-do list. Coming up: lots of invitations! new designs on my Etsy store! AND a very special Mother's Day giveaway (my first giveaway too!) hopefully going up in the next day or so!