A day in Solvang, Santa Ynez, & Los Olivos, CA

Man. Some days it is really just great to get out of your hometown and go on some random adventures. Typically this happens after I google  “Best things to do in _______” and then sort through suggestions made by other people. This is what lead to the fun day trip that Devin and I took yesterday, January 23rd.

We pulled off in Los Olivos to stroll around and bring my grandma some plants to keep her company. I brought some roses, I know I know…cliche with my last name…as well as some succulents. I think it was a nice touch. I miss that woman and  her laugh and love for life. Screw you cancer.

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Our first stop in Solvang was Paula’s Pancake House. Great spot with very friendly staff (they actually seemed to be overstaffed for a Friday morning, so if anything they were overly helpful). Devin had the Solvang Burger and I had Paula’s Special, which included two dutch pancakes with cinnamon apples and homemade whipped cream. The whipped cream was really heavy and, being lactose-intolerant, I didn’t have much of it. But, I could tell it was absolutely delicious and way better than the junk you buy at the store. I highly recommend stopping here if you find yourself cruising by, through, or near Solvang.


Then, the absolute best part of the day was going to Ostrichland USA. Way cheaper than Disneyland and I had (probably way way way too much) fun. I mean, how often do you have a chance to feed ostriches and emus and look out upon a wonderful landscape? Well, for normal people, not very often. But, now that I have gone once, I will likely go again. I hope that the next time I go I will have gone wine tasting and be slightly buzzed and perhaps it will be like…twice as fun. You never know. Devin was a trooper and I am glad that he puts up with me and my weird day trip ideas.

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Then, as young kids without a clue of how to play half of the games in casinos, we gave Chumash Casino a try. We had $50 of free play money each as first-timers and Devin left with $35 and I left with $22. I kind of figured out what I was doing, but I bet way too much money on the black jack computerized games. I probably could have done a lot better, but…you live and you learn, and I think that it was a good experience and it was good to get it out of my system. Now I never have to gamble again because there is no way I am going to watch my own hard-earned money slip away like that. No way José.

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Online suggestions told us we’d find alpacas. We found two but they were on someone’s front lawn and not what I was expecting so I was slightly disappointed. I successfully drove on San Marcus pass, which I applaud myself for. It truly was a fun-filled day. Sometimes, you just have to be silly and go feed some ostriches in order to feel young and try new things all of the time. Can’t wait to go spend a few days in San Simeon with the same mindset…you just have to get out and explore!


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