Saturday, May 3, 2014

Solvang and Buellton

Clouds creeping over the mountains from Flying Flags Resort.

From Ojai, we traveled up US 101, moving away from the coast and into wine country.  We wanted to stay at a campground near the beach, but $60 a night was way over budget.  But we were happy with the place we DID find in Buellton, California.  (Be-yule-ton).

Flying Flags RV Resort was affordable (I think it was something like $38 or less), and proved to be a very beautiful resort.  Well-maintained, they had a pool, jacuzzi, movie lending library, shower houses.  They are perched on a slight hill that looks down onto the highway (though you can't see it), and up toward the coastal range of mountains.  Clouds ooze up from the Pacific and creep over the mountain tops where they slink down into the Santa Ynez Valley. 

I was booked into the Mystic Merchant in Solvang--a quaint little town built by Danish settlers in the early 20th Century.  All the buildings are of Danish architecture, very picturesque.  It reminded me of Bishop Hill, a similar community built by Swedish immigrants in Illinois.

The Mystic Merchant in Solvang, CA.
We stayed a week there in Buellton--just a couple of miles from Solvang.  This gave us time to rest and de-stress from the madness of southern California traffic.  I had underestimated the ferocity of drivers and the sheer volume of cars in the greater Los Angeles area.  Between the traffic and the climbs and plunges of altitude, I was a nervous wreck.  It felt good to get some down time.

While we were there, we visited Monty Roberts' ("The Horse Whisperer") ranch and an ostrich farm for fun.  If one wanted to live near southern California and still be in a peaceful area, Solvang / Buellton would be a good place to look.  But for us, it was not the destination we were seeking.

Flag is Up Farms, Monty and Pat Roberts, Buellton, CA.
Ostrich riding at Buellton.
Rick makes a poor Arabian princess!
Ostrich Land USA was fun, except it was raining that day, so the ostriches were all muddy.  They are preternatural creatures, moving with a languid, fluid movement that reminded me of small dinosaurs.  They seem prehistoric and a little menacing, but fascinating.

The sign reads: "Yes, we like to bite!" Yikes.

Directly behind Flying Flags Resort is the Windmill Days Inn Motel featured in the movie "Sideways."  In fact the entire movie is set in this area, so it was fun to watch it while we were there.

Some more pictures from our stay here.

Solvang architecture.

Solvang clock tower.

A different kind of windmill along the highway between Solvang and Buellton.

Always, those amazing clouds bringing much-needed rain.

Vintage trailer row at Flying Flags--no age restriction here!

Curling up by the "fire" in the Flying Flags Clubhouse.

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