The time had come to say goodbye to Anaheim, CA. We were really going to miss the weather and the fireworks but we were pretty excited about seeing more of the California coast. Originally, I had planned to go from Anaheim to Monterry but that was a really long drive so I started to look at a half way point and found Solvang.
Solvang, which means sunny field, is just a bit northwest from Santa Barbara and was settled by the Dutch back in 1911. The city is full of bakeries, restaurants and wineries. Of course after reading about this small Danish town I knew we had to go. My first choice in campgrounds was full so I called Ocean Mesa at El Capitan State Park and they had us a spot. You couldn’t beat the location of this campground. We got registered and found our spot.We like to call this “between the hedges”. It was tight but the views were pretty amazing.See the ocean? I just turned around from the camp site and this was our view. Now, when we get to a campground we like to wonder around and check out the park.This was the pool area and you can see there are more sites below us.
We were told that we could walk to the State Beach and see creatures in the tide pools. Neat, but first Max has to go check out his area.Once we got to the dog area, Max was taunted by prairie dogs. It was the funniest thing to see them pop up out of their holes and squeak at him. He really was confused!Here he is sniffing out a hole. Those little boogers were so quick I couldn’t get a picture of them, but I can promise Max won’t forget them!
We got Max settled back in the camper and headed down to the beach. We walked about 1/2 mile through a couple of trails and finally came to the beach.We saw the rocks on the beach and headed over to them to find some creatures.First one on the rocks is…….Haha…..Mike loves to climb and explore. Micheal and I were a bit more cautious about stepping on the rocks but we made it out there too. We looked all around and the only thing we saw was this.It probably isn’t anything but it looked squishy. This was a really pretty beach.It was very different than the Gulf Coast but still had it’s own beauty. Once we were done, we made the hike back up to the campground and just spent a relaxing evening looking at the stars. I didn’t get a good picture but this was the most beautiful nighttime sky! It was almost as if we were sitting in an Imax theater full of stars. It was absolutely amazing!
The next morning we get up and head to Solvang. I found a place that served Swedish pancakes and I couldn’t wait to try them. The drive to the city was gorgeous!We had the ocean to our left and the mountains in front of us.
We got to Solvang in about 30 mins and went straight for breakfast. Micheal has to have breakfast every morning…..even if its lunch before he gets up.
Welcome to Paula’s Pancake house. We waited about 20 minutes and got a seat inside. It kind of reminded us of a grandmother’s house with its pink flowered wall paper and mismatched chairs. The pancake, however, was amazing.It is a little bit thicker than a crepe and was so sweet I didn’t even eat my syrup with it. Plus I hate when the powdered sugar gets washed away! I don’t know what the guys got, I was to busy eating my breakfast and yes I ate the whole thing!
After we finished eating we began to wonder around town.Just like I read, this place is full of wineries, bakeries, and some restaurants. The wineries were little shop fronts that offered tastings and some even had club memberships. We did go into one for a tasting but it wasn’t that good and I didn’t even get a picture of it.
Now we did get our souvenir ornament from this gorgeous Christmas Shoppe.Then we walked down to the town square where the Hans Christian Anderson museum was.The museum was free and on the second story of a coffee shop. It really wasn’t a museum, it was more like a room with some pictures and a few facts.Micheal was not impressed….At least it was free.
Down the street was a replica of the Little Mermaid statue from Copenhagen.And of course no Dutch town would be complete without…….a windmill. This was really a fun town to explore and if I hadn’t eaten that big pancake I would have had some sweet treats to share with you.
After a few hours we decide to head back home. I was hoping to stop in at a couple of vineyards on the way out but sadly everything closed early that day. Oh well, I guess it gives me a reason to go back. We really took our time going back to the campground. This was the street that took us into Solvang. It was lined with grapevines on either side. I guess I was really enjoying the view because I didn’t get any pictures of the wineries or the vineyards.
Then once we were back on Hwy 1 we got the ocean view again. I saw a few cars parked on the side of the road, so we stopped (mostly because I am nosey) and we saw a trail that took you to the water.This is looking toward where we parked. We had to cross over train tracks and then down this path. Sometimes Micheal needs a little push to do new things and that’s why we were taking so long to catch up to Mike. We eventually made it to the edge of the cliff.You could never get tired of a view like that!
Mike found a trail that took you down to the water, so naturally he went.Once he got down, he realized there wasn’t much beach.Here I am making sure I don’t have to call 911 for Mike. This was looking to the right. It almost doesn’t seem like the same coastline, but it is.I would have liked to stay until sundown, but the boys got hungry.I did get Micheal to do something daring. Well for him anyways.
We had a another great starry night that night and then hooked up the next morning. We got out of our tight campsite and headed to Monterrey, CA.