Sunday, January 23, 2022

1/21 - 1/23 Adventure in Solvang, CA

Nina has been saying for a long time that she'd love to go to Solvang! She wanted to see the Danish town, the architecture, the windmills, experience the food, maybe stop by a few wineries, but most importantly, she wanted to have a nice weekend just the 3 of us in a hotel leaving the stressors of life behind. It was a bit of a drive from Vegas - about 7 hours - but riding in Bruce the Bronco with the top half down made for a beautiful drive... despite Nina's hair looking like she just weathered a tornado.

We arrived early Friday afternoon, we loved how quaint and inviting the town was surrounded by the rolling hills of the Santa Ynez valley. The town of Solvang was about 4-5 city blocks with unique shops at every turn... of course we stopped in each one! We were amazed with how dog friendly this town is making Winston feel welcome in every store. 

Our first stop was the visitors center for a map of the town the size of our lunch table! Honestly, we could have probably skipped the map since the people were so friendly and gave us so many recommendations of what to visit. Our first winery was Toscana, which specializes in Italian wines. We enjoyed the tasting menu while sitting on their patio enjoying the outstanding weather. With each new pour, the staff spoiled Winston giving him a treat while he pretended to be a good boy sitting on the patio. We bought two bottles of their Pinot Grigio to enjoy when we got home. Before we left, our server told us that we should go to Lewis & Lewllan, a local winery across the street tomorrow where our wine tasting would be half off since we visited Toscana today. More wine? Count us in! We finished the day off with some Gelato and boy it was worth every calorie. Winston even enjoyed a pup cup, ice cream especially made for doggos!

The following day we did some shopping in town. Scott even let me pick out a new outfit -  his new blue flannel and vest that he admits are his new two favorite clothing items. It is so hard to walk out of a store empty handed, all the stores are small family businesses and filled with the most unique pieces. After visiting almost every store in town, it was time for our Lewis and Lewllan tasting which did not disappoint. We decided to do different tastings so Scott did the white wines and I did the combo. We left with a bottle of the special addition red blend and of course Winston left with another treat!

You know that saying you can never have too much wine in wine country? Probably not because I just made it up, but really you cannot have too much wine so off we went to Sunstone Vineyard in the Santa Ynez valley just a 8 minute car ride from Solvang. This was our first time at a vineyard and WOW it was stunning. We walked right into a party - there were tons of people enjoying the gorgeous weather but somehow it did not feel overly crowded. We enjoyed wine and a charcuterie while Winston made friends with a dalmation/great dane mix. After another bottle of wine bought we headed back to Solvang for a traditional danish meal.

We licked our plates clean and headed back to the hotel to enjoy a bottle of wine by the firepit. Winston, being in his "toddler phase" of puphood was overly tired and ready for bed. We had to cut our firepit time short to get our little boy to bed before he threw a temper tantrum and barked at every shadowy figure he saw in the distance.

The next morning we were all refreshed and sad to say goodbye to this beautiful town. Instead of driving straight back to Las Vegas (7 grueling hours) we made a pit stop at Arroyo Burro Beach so puppers could experience the beach and ocean for the first time. Winston was very apprehensive and scared of the waves at first and as soon as he was off leash he was frolicking in the waves, running on the sand, and making ton of fellow dog friends. My college Friend Susie, had recently moved to Santa Barbara, made the drive out to the beach to catch up. It was great to see her but our time was cut short as we had to get back on the road. 

The best thing about the dog beach was the pup bath houses. Much to Winston's chagrin, he got a bath and blow out before we set off to return home. Our trip would not be complete without Scott making me wave to every other Bronco we saw on the road... So after many
random hellos to bronco drivers we finally made it home.

We highly recommend Solvang and can't wait to one day return to this little town for some Aebleskiver. If you don't know what that is go to Solvang to find out, we promise you won't regret it!

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