We had a double whammy of weekends away this month from Mexico to a mini family vacation just north of Santa Barbara. A few weekends ago, Mike and I met my grandparents, my mom and my stepdad down in Solvang, CA.
Mike and I arrived at the airbnb we were staying at shortly after my grandparents had. We took a quick tour of the house and were pleasantly surprised with the digs.
When I booked our accommodations a few months ago when I had read reviews about chickens living on the property and the fresh eggs that were supplied from them. I couldn’t wait to try organic, free range (backyard?) eggs AND meet the chickens who produced them.
Sure enough, there were about 2 dozen fresh eggs waiting for us in the refrigerator; plus, organic milk, almond creamer, bagels, cream cheese, orange juice, and organic coffee. 10/10 would recommend.
Since my mom and Andy were still a few hours away and the four of us were hungry, we decided to check out the Firestone Walker Brewery. Mike and I love trying news beers and this place did not disappoint! I ordered the Easy Jack IPA (yum, yum IPAs!) and Mike got a seasonal sour. For food, my grandma and I spilt the ribs with mashed potatoes and veggies and a small plate of mac n’ cheese. Mike ordered the flank steak and my grandpa got a burger with fries. The meal was decadent and delicious.
After dinner we stopped at a local store for a sweet treat. Armed with 3 different cookies, we headed back to the house and waited for my mom and Andy. My grandpa and Mike are both engineers and get along well. It is always nice for me to sit around with my family and Mike and simply just chat. Some of my best adult memories so far are having my grandparents over for the weekend and spending lazy mornings around my kitchen table, drinking coffee (for me and my grandpa) and tea (for Mike and my grandma) while talking politics (luckily we all generally agree with each other!).
Shortly after my mom and Andy arrived we all went to bed, full from cookies and conversation.
Between cups of coffee and getting ready on Saturday, my grandma and I went outside to meet the chickens on the property. Then it was time for FRESH eggs, y’all (one complete with a little feather still left on the shell).
After breakfast, we drove into downtown Solvang. It was already HOT so we were glad to get there early and score pretty good parking. Solvang is a cute little Danish town that – in Mike’s words – resembles the ride It’s a Small World at Disneyland. We popped into a nature museum (random) to start the day. The things you do to beat the heat, ok!
After the museum, my mom was hungry but – having had a later breakfast – Mike and I were no where near ready for lunch. So, instead, while everyone got a bite to eat, we went exploring. A few streets away we found Copenhagen Sausage Garden and spilt a grapefruit beer and a few sweets while sitting outside on the patio. This beer tasted more like juice than a brew and was perfect for a before-noon drink. Also have I mentioned it was hot out?
We met back with my family to go on a trolly tour of Solvang next. Interesting tidbit was the history we learned behind the saying it’s “raining cats and dogs.” Which came from roofs being made of grass and when it rained, outdoor pets will climb to the top of these roofs and start digging and digging to get inside where it is dry. If they were successful in digging, it would be “raining cats and dogs.” Bam!
After the tour, Mike and I were ready for lunch. We went back to the sausage garden and spilt a grilled pølse (a red sausage that I def had to google) and the charcuterie board. So much meat for this veg loving girl!
Next, my grandma, mom, and I hit up a few thrift stores, which is one of the most environmentally friendly things you can do(!), while the guys went to check out a motorcycle museum. We were all pretty tired after so went back to the house for some quick power naps before dinner.
We were celebrating my grandpa’s birthday so dinner was at an Italian restaurant nearby our airbnb called Trattoria Grappolo. We sat outside and enjoyed one of those perfect evenings when the breeze finally kicks in and you get a bit of a reprieve after a scorcher of a day.
The rest of our night was mellow back at the house, turning in again for another early bedtime.
On Sunday morning, Beverly (our airbnb host), taught us all about the chickens on the property. We were able to feed and massage them too. (Who knew chickens love a good back rub?) After our lesson, we packed up and headed to OstrichLand.
OstrichLand has both ostriches and emus. You are given a bowl of food to feed the birds, that is glued to a metal dustpan so you can extend your through the fence. The ostriches are way more aggressive when eating than I thought so I stuck to feeding the smaller emus. We were only here for about 20 minutes but I recommend going. It’s cheap and cool to see those massive birds up close.
Next we went to Anderson’s Spilt Pea for lunch. Mike and I weren’t hungry this early again so we sat and enjoyed the company instead. (Though I did snag a bowl of Anderson’s famous spilt pea soup!) After lunch it was time to say goodbye and get on the road. 😦
Since Mike and I hadn’t eaten lunch we decided to stop at the other Firestone Walker Brewing Co location in Paso Robles (different location, more north). I ordered the Pivo (and liked it so much we bought a 6 pack to take home) and we spilt a chicken burger and the mac n cheese (again).
The weekend was a huge success with a great place to stay, some of my favorite company, and really good noshes. What else could a girl ask for?
Stay tuned and eat your greens!
** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe **