After spending 10 months on the road and two months in SoCal to take care of some appointments, clearing out our storage and spending time with mom we are back on the road again!!
We took off on January 12th and joining us for the first month of our travels are my Aunt and Uncle, Charlene and Dennis. We drove a whopping 136 miles up the coast of California to the Santa Barbara Elks Lodge where we camped for 2 days/nights. We hadn’t stayed there in a while and the Bims hadn’t been there in years so we drove them around the town showing them the wharf area and downtown Santa Barbara. The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful, perfect for touring this beautiful seaside town. We spent a ½ day touring the Reagan Ranch Center which gives insight into Rancho del Cielo, President Reagan’s second home for 25 years and considered to be the western White House. The ranch, which is in mountains above Refugio Beach, isn’t open to the public but you get a feel for why Ron and Nancy Reagan loved this place more than their Bel Air home. President Reagan rode all 688 acres of his ranch on his beloved horses, built all the fencsz and even chopped wood to keep the modest ranch home warm.
We took a drive up into the foothills of Santa Barbara to look at the gorgeous coastline views and to remember Mt. Calvary, an Episcopal retreat center where my parents would stay at least a few times a year. I was fortunate enough to stay there once and I never forgot my first views of the California coast from now gone, due to a fire, retreat and monastery.
Next we then ventured up the coast to Buellton, a small town known for their split pea soup and the neighboring town of Solvang. We had breakfast with a high school classmate of mine and then ventured into Solvang. Solvang was established in the early 1900’s by a group of Danes who traveled west to be far from the midwestern winters. It is a cute town filled with Danish architecture that house bakeries, restaurants and shops.
Our next stop after a couple days in Buellton, was the Santa Maria Elks-the Elks is famous for its Friday night “Cook Your Own” BBQ of beef, chicken and fish. The indoor BBQ is immense and is sectioned off for each choice of your entrée. We were joined by our friends, Russ and Trina from Arroyo Grande, Fran and Dan from Pismo Beach and Fran’s mom and nephew, Grace and Scott from Nipomo, what a fun evening!! We took some day trips around the area but mainly relaxed and caught up on chores before heading just 30 miles north to Pismo Beach…..fun start to our next adventure seeing this amazing country we live in!