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Sat. Apr. 21 to Fri. Apr. 27 Rancho Oso /Santa Barbara CA

Saturday-  We went over and had breakfast at the resort. I had the blueberry pancakes and Bob had the Mini Oso. We left and traveled into Santa Barbara. Our first stop was a car wash, as the car was filthy. It was the most expensive car wash we have ever done at $20. It was a hand wash, then they run you through a short car wash, then a hand dry. The car really looks awesome, but wow, was that pricey!

We went to the Farmers Market. At least that was what Bob put into the GPS. It took us to the corporate office of the Farmers Market. So we tried again!

We eventually found the market. Then it was time to find a parking place. We found a city parking lot, on the next block, which was free for 75 minutes. Perfect! We parked and walked over to the Market. It was about 3/4 of a block, with 4 two sided rows, plus the ends, so it was fairly large. It was also a real farmers market, with just fruits,  vegetables, and baked items.They also had some honey stands but everything was food oriented. There were two jewelry stands, outside the Market on the street. There were also musicians on each row.

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There were so many great items, we had to make a decision on what and where to buy. We bought some Romaine lettuce, as it was from the local farms, not the recalled Yuma AZ Romaine. We bought some fresh California strawberries and oranges. 

We left and drove a few blocks to a Crepe restaurant where we had crepes for lunch. This time, we parked on the street for the free 75 minutes. We stopped at a gas station and purchased gas for $3.69 gal, better that what they were saying on TV about gas being almost $5 a gallon in the LA area. There is a Costco just north of Santa Barbara, but it does not have a gas station.

We left and returned to the RV park. We ran over to the camp store and signed up and paid for the BBQ dinner this evening. We went to the Stone Lodge at 3 for the ice cream sundaes.

At 6, we went to the Stone Lodge for the BBQ dinner. Bob had the chicken and I had the tri tip. The dinners came with a slice of garlic bread, baked beans and  a half corn cob. While it was tasty, we felt that the price was too high for what we were served, on paper plates with plastic utensils. Almost $30 for the two of us. So we will not do that again. We returned home and watched some TV. 

Sunday- A quiet day. We went to the breakfast, and both had the Mini Oso. Bob had the hash browns ( never again, he did not like them) and I had the biscuit.

We did laundry, our budgeting and filled our pill boxes. Because the internet was so slow, I took my laptop and went over to the Adult Center and used the internet there to download the information that I needed.

We stayed busy all day and ate dinner at home. We watched Hacksaw Ridge, which we had downloaded on the free HBO/Cinemax weekend. It was an excellent movie! Wow, the conscious objector had saved 75 soldiers, all by him self. What a hero!

Monday- I am having to vacuum almost every day because there are briars all around and the dogs keep brining in the thistles on their fur and paws. We have to clean them off every time that they go out.

We left around 10 and drove to Santa Barbara. Our first stop was at the Post Office to pick up two packages. One was our mail and the other was pills for Karlie. What a mess! I dropped Bob off and tried to go around the block. There was lots of  construction and many one way streets, going, of course, the wrong way!

Bob walked into the PO and said to the employee, we have 2 packages for General Delivery. The guy said yes you do and retrieved them. Guess they do not get a lot of General Delivery packages, so we stood out!

I picked Bob up and we went to Trader Joes. Then to a car repair place. Bob had looked at the Ford dealership, and the reviews were very bad. So he found a facility which had good reviews. We stopped in and he made an appointment for next Monday, the first appointment they had available.

For quite awhile, when you hit the button to turn the car off, intermittently, you get an alarm. The car does not recognize that the transmission is in park.  Over the last few days, it was every time either of us went to turn the car off. Of course, today it did not do it at all. What a pain! So hopefully it will be an easy repair.

We decided to go to lunch. We chose the Santa Barbara Seafood Company. The restaurant had excellent reviews. It turned out to be a good choice.The restaurant is on Stearns Wharf, one of the places we wanted to visit. We drove the car right out onto the pier. Free parking for 90 minutes. Below is the view from the pier.

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We had an excellent meal! Bob had an assortment of fried seafood. I had the lobster roll. Both came with coleslaw and two onion rings. After lunch, we wandered around the pier. There were some nice little shops. I saw this on a T-shirt in one of the shops and thought it was a hoot!

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We left and went to the Visitor Center. We had wanted to stop in before lunch, but there was no parking. This time, as we went by, there was a free parking spot. So we stopped in. The gal gave us suggestions. We decided to head home from there. So we drove back to the MH.

We sat out reading until the wind picked up. For some reason, around 4, the winds pick up and we end up going into the MH. We had dinner at home and watched some movies we had recorded.

Tuesday- We decided to go to Solvang. This is a Danish tourist trap nestled in the mountains between all the vineyards! It is 35 miles from Santa Barbara. The town was founded in 1911, when some folks of Danish ancestry were looking for a place to settle. In 2017, Expedia named the town of the 50 cities to visit in North America.

We stopped at an overlook, on the way, of the Cachuma Lake and dam.

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As you can see above, the lake is low and the dam has no water in the spillway. The drought is very bad in this area. We even drove through areas that had some fire damage.

We continued on to Solvang. We stopped at the Visitor Center and were given some directions. Our first stop was at the Solvang Restaurant / Bakery to try the Aebleskiver. They are described as ‘light and airy Danish pancake balls dusted with powdered sugar and served with raspberry jam”. A serving is 3 of the balls.  They were delicious!

There are numerous wine tasting rooms. We tried two of them, and I found a wine that I really liked, but I was not paying $28 for a small bottle of wine. It was not even a regular size bottle! Of course, I can pick the expensive one!

We walked around the town, and over to the Santa Inez Mission.( It is interesting, the Mission is spelled Inez and the valley and river are spelled Ynez).  This picture of the stage coach route was there. We cross Stage Coach road every time we leave the park. More on that later!

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Above is the trolley tour, which we did not take. This shoe was outside the shoe store.

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Bob in front of the “Little Mermaid” bronze statue. 1/2 the size of the original in Denmark. We walked to the Mission.

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Out in front of the Mission was this reservoir.

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This is the view from the Mission. It is a very pretty area.

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The Confessional and Bell.

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Inside the church.

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The gardens.

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Flower arbor. Those are not grapes…

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This is the cemetery.

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We walked back into town.

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We wandered into the Amber Museum.  This guy was sitting there!

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This lizard is in this piece of Amber.

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Here are carvings of the founders of Solvang.

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Lunch was at the Brewery.

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After lunch we went to the Wind Harp. Oddly, it is located in a retirement facility parking lot.

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We drove back to the MH. We tried to sit outside, but the winds are too bad. WE watched NCIS LA tonight. The plot of the episode was located in the Los Padres National Park, which is right what we drive through to get to the Thousand Trails park.

Wednesday- We had a quiet day at home.I worked on articles and Bob worked on Ancestry. We took a short nap, ate dinner and went to Santa Barbara to Square Dance. We were welcomed by the dancers. Originally there were 7 clubs in Santa Barbara, now they are down to just one.

There was a Mainstream class from 6-7:30, and then dancing from 7:30 to 9. We had 2 squares to start, but dropped to one square. The caller was a substitute, and not all that great. But we still had fun. The drive back after dark was not too bad. We are getting used to the road.

Thursday- We drove down the hill to Santa Barbara. Our first stop was at the Historic Courthouse. This is still the Courthouse for Santa Barbara county. Below is the entrance.

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We arrived at 10:45 and the tour started at 10:30, but the gal at the desk said just join it up the stairs. So we ran up the stairs and joined the free tour. The Docent, Diane, was very knowledgeable. We joined them in the stairwell, looking at the tile walls and lamp.

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Below is the Rose Window.

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Below is the old jail. It is 4 stories, with the first floor for the office, the second floor for the Sheriff and his family to live in, then the 3rd and 4th floors were the jail. It is connected to the courthouse.

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The floor below was interesting. When the Courthouse was built, they took dirt and rock from all areas of the county, so that they were represented in the Courthouse.

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These maps were in the law Library.

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I thought it was interesting that they were still using these original pieces of furniture.

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Some door!

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This door, below, was directly across from the Library. If you look closely, you can see a door within a door, on the right lower area. This door leads to the courtyard, and is where “Santa Barbara”, the patron saint, goes out into the courtyard, during their yearly celebration. It leads to a balcony.

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They seemed to do that a lot, putting a smaller door within a large door. The tile floor below is original, and seems to be holding up well.

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All of the lamps had dragons on them. This one was from a local area,. On the ones from Italy, the dragons do not have wings. The local dragons have wings.! Or I might have that backwards…

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We went outside. This is the back of the Jail, with the walkway where the prisoners would walk to court. They no longer have prisoners here.

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This is the main entrance from the courtyard.

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Entrance to the tax office.

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The planter above is the heater and air conditioner. Below is another old piece of furniture while they still have in use.

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Below is the glass roof.

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Below are plaques on the wall outside. The one on the far right was for Queen Elizabeth, who visited with the Reagans in 1983.

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Below is the compass near the front of the building. The arrow is pointing north.

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This is a map of the area. Santa Barbara is unique, as the mountains run west to east rather than north to south.

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Court was going on while we were there. But this was an empty courtroom. It was very ornate!

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The tour ended, and we rode the elevator up to the Bell Tower overlook.

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In this final picture, you can see the mission to the right in the back.

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Here is the jail and the balcony. None of the fountains are running due to the drought.

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Our selfe with the ocean in the background.

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Then we went down the stairs, one floor, to the clock room. The clock rang every 15 minutes.

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We left and went to lunch at La Superica Mexican take out. This was an authentic Mexican taco stand and was a  favorite of Julia Child. It was okay, but we would not go there again.

20180426_122446 Then we went to the Ronald Reagan Ranch Museum.

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We expected more about the ranch and less conservative politics. There was a terrible movie, which took the events of the 80”s completely out of context. It was by Steve Bannon, need I say more?

The parts about the ranch, where interesting.

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Ronald Reagans boots.

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A piece of the Berlin Wall.

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This is a privately owned museum, which is free, but be prepared for the propaganda if you visit. I do not think that President Reagan would like what is being said or done at this facility in his name. We do not recommend a visit. The Reagan Library was much better and much larger.

We returned to the MH and had a quiet dinner at home. The weather has been windy and temps during the day are in the 70’s. It is 40’s to 50’s at night.

Friday- We went to the park breakfast, both having the Mini Oso. We decided to visit the other towns in the Santa Ynez valley. The Valley is interesting. The drive from Santa Barbara takes us up through the San Marcos Pass, and into the valley. The Reagan Ranch, which you cannot visit, looks down on the valley. Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch is in the  valley foothills somewhere.

We looked at the map and tour books for a scenic drive, so we went down the mountain to Santa Barbara and turned north on I-101. We traveled along the coast to the town of Los Alamos. There was not much there. So we decided to drive through the valley, to Buellton. We took a back road, which rapidly deteriorated. When we came to a spot in the road to turn around, we did and back tracked. We took the interstate back to Buellton.

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We stopped for lunch at Ellen’s Danish Pancake House in Buellton.  Ellen’s is an old restaurant in the valley. I had the Danish Pancakes, which were excellent. They are much thinner, but larger than American pancakes. Bob had a triple decker,which he thought was going to be a club sandwich, which turned out to be a triple burger.

We stopped at the Firestone Walker Brewery. Bob sampled 3 beers. Only one that he would buy, which was the milk porter. Since it only came in a six pack, he did not purchase one.

We drove back through Solvang and drove through the town of Ynez. There is a brewery Bob wants to try there. We returned home and had a quiet evening.

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