There is something that this part of the country produces well, and it is wine. We enjoyed tastings at a variety of vineyards, from whites to reds, from dry wines to sweet wines (I think the count was 19 wineries or tasting rooms). And, we got to keep most of the wine glasses (each with different logos). ‘Course, the challenge there was packaging them and getting back to Texas with them unbroken – carry on! (Won’t tell you how many we ended up with!) Our “command post” was Solvang, CA – a charming old world Danish town (established by Danes in 1911) full of a variety of shops, bakeries with delicious pastries, and several windmills. Solvang is a “walk-about” town. The wineries, though awaited us.
We enjoyed the hunt for the wineries, sometimes wondering if we’d ever find one after following the winding two lane roads. But, lo and behold, the terrain turned to vineyards and there was a winery! Sometimes, more than one appeared. Near the end of our visit, we did manage to locate a lavender farm from which we procured some of the produce. Some of the winery highlights included visiting Fess Parker Vineyards (yup, owned by the person who played Daniel Boone – Fess Parker is now deceased, but the winery is still in his family), Firestone Vineyards (yes, a branch of the famous tire family) and meeting Andrew Firestone (okay, so I happened to watch some of The Bachelor that season.) Los Olivos was a favorite spot – yes, the town featured in the movie Sideways. Seriously, now, I meant to keep this brief - so, head that way if you can. Santa Barbara has great beaches, too, and bicycling seemed to be very popular out there. Oh, I did try to visit a library, it was closed. Fancy that!