Tulum IV is for sale so we’re not spending as much time on her to keep her clean.  So, this year my wife took the initiative.  I usually get bright idea about this time of year to take the entire family to Yosemite for a couple of days of snow camping (as in the snow, in a tent).   She wasn’t into that this year,,,,so we decided to head to Paso Robles to meet a family friend,,,,but we found a different way to get there.  26th of December we took off from Orange County, and headed north up the coast, eventually getting to the Pacific Coast Highway.  Our intended route was up the 101 to Santa Barbara, then to have lunch at Cold Springs Tavern,,,,which is over 125 years old. Then we wanted to head to Buellton/Solvang where we would spend two nights in a “luxury” campground in our tent.  Things don’t always work out how you want them!

About 130pm we pulled up to Cold Spring Tavern,,,knowing it would be busy but figuring even without reservations, we could get in for a spectacular lunch.  Upon arrival, we found out the restaurant had stopped doing take-out, were fully booked up with reservations and we would have to wait over an hour to even get through the line for consideration for a table.  With a four and seven-year in tow,,,,we decided we had to push on to Santa Rosa for food.  Below are some great pics of Cold Springs Tavern, highly recommend it if you’re ever in Santa Barbara, Ca.




Taking off, we headed through the Santa Barbara Mountains, heading to Santa Ynez or Santa Maria.  After some spectacular work on her phone, Michelle found a restaurant that we didn’t have high hope for the food or getting in.  Much to our surprise, we were seated immediately at tables with white linens,,and great food.  They liked kids and the service was superb.  The restaurant is called Brothers Restaurant at the Red Barn and I’d recommend it.  After lunch, we found our campsite at Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground, in Buellton Ca.   The RV campsites and the amenities for RV’s and Trailers here are superb.  However, we were camping in a tent and there were 6 tent sites.  I had been taken in by the pictures of the sites and the bathroom on the internet and was the one who booked the site.  Upon arrival, I was less than impressed.  The site wasn’t flat, had there been rain we would have been in trouble, as the site sloped downward from the parking area with semi-flatness at the bottom.  There was a picnic table, but no fire ring at all and fires were not allowed.   Upon arrival to our site after dark, our assigned parking spot was full (probably by one of the permanent motorhomes right across the street) and we had to take someone else parking spot, and hump the gear from there in the dark.  We stayed another day,,,,as we wanted take the four-year old somewhere special and take in Solvang’s ambiance.


If you ever want to see miniature horses, this is the place to do it, and Quicksilver Ranch didn’t disappoint.  The ponies were great but were well trained not to get near the fence.  The very tired four-year old was non-plussed.


After some time listening to the four-year old wail about how hungry she was, we moved on to Solvang.  Solvang is a town with strong Dutch roots and the entire place is a tourist attraction.   But,,,,be careful is you come with someone looking for this fried dough ball called an Aebleskiver,,,,cause they’re only made in one place in town on slow days.  Even at the one place in town that made them,  you’ll be waiting over an hour to get Aebleskiver’s from the window or the sub-par food from the restaurant.  We opted to wait for a table, and after 45 minutes or so, we were finally allowed to pass into the wonderfulness of the Solvang Restaurant.  This place bills itself as home of everything Aebleskiver,,,and they’re right. Thank goodness I only gained a few pounds just looking at the things, I don’t want to know how my arteries feel.  Moving on, we HAD to hit a bakery while in town,,,,and what an experience that was.  Less than 5 minutes after entering the bakery and getting in line with 100 of my other best friends, our four-year old (perched with her head over Michelle’s shoulder) power puked into the middle of the floor.  Not a small dainty puke,,,since she had just eaten, she cleared her little tummy.  And, we had given her lots of water at the restaurant because she complained that her tummy was hurting.  Four times the little girl ejected stomach contents in the middle of this very fine bakery,,,,to the point that other customers were running away and cleared the entire middle section of the bakery.  Needless to say, my wife got the little one outside and the cleanup process began.  I cleaned, the Manager, Owner and several others engaged in cleaning and clearing the air of the very bad stomach content smell.  The Manager and the Owner couldn’t have been nicer during this process and the pastries are awesome.  Mortensen’s Bakery in Solvang gets my HIGHEST recommendation and THANKS for their approach to what could have been drama.  About this time, the four-year old had dissolved and it was time to get out of Solvang.  Another night of camping brought us to the 28th,,,,when is was time to Road Trip again,,,,but that’s for tomorrow.

Tomorrow:  Road Trip to see the Elephant Seals just outside of Heart Castle,,,,then on to Paso Robles.

If you’ve read this far,,,,we want to hear from you, interact with you and perhaps have you follow us.  As I write this, we’re still road-tripping.  If you want to know specifics about where we’ve been on this road trip, I’d love to hear from you-

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