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Sunday, August 15, 2010

California Roadtrip Day 4: Santa Barbara to Santa Maria

This was by far the best day of the vacation and without a doubt one of the best days of my life! We were staying in Santa Barbara at the Casa Del mar Inn...

Brent woke me up very early and I was a little confused as this was our only day to sleep in for a bit. He told me that he wanted to dip his toes in the Pacific Ocean and would like to take a walk on the beach. As it was about 6:30 or 7 in the morning, it was still quite chilly outside so I quickly bundled up and we scurried outside.

We walked around for a while but made it back in time for a free breakfast with homemade blueberry muffins that I savored with a hot cup of coffee.

When we got back to the room, Brent and I cozied up by the fireplace (it was on... unlike the picture). I thought he'd been acting funny all morning and suddenly it all made sese...

(The answer was yes of course)
Per Brent: it is an estate ring made between the 1920s to the mid 1940s. It is of the art deco style, predominantly yellow gold with a white gold accent just below the diamond settings.

Gorgeous. I cried of course. I couldn't believe it - and what a ring! I wouldn't even be able to pick out a piece of jewelry that better suits my tastes.

I couldn't have asked for a better morning! With the entire day left to celebrate, we hit the road and headed toward Solvang, a little Danish village in the Santa Ynez Valley.

We were perusing the merchandise in a cuckoo clock shop. They had some really fun and eclectic collectibles as well.

What a great day it was - perfect weather.

Bit o' Denmark

Lunch at Bit o' Denmark. Then we meandered to a few bakeries and I decided on an almond macaroon with french chocolate for dessert. Delicious!

After Solvang, we drove through parts of the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail and made our first stop at the Fess Parker Winery.

Of course when my mother saw the list of wineries on the foxen canyon trail, she insisted upon visiting Fess Parker, not because of their wines mind you, but because Fess Parker used to play Davy Crockett.

The vineyards at Fess Parker

There were lovely roses everywhere! We decided on a bottle of Chardonnay to save for later and we were off for Zaca Mesa Winery.

My mother, enjoying the tasing at Zaca Mesa.

We decided to pick up a Cuvee here, one of the best wines I've ever had.
We had reached our destination for the day in Santa Maria and got to stay in the Santa Maria Inn. Est. 1917, this old glamorous hotel played host to many a star, including Jimmy Stewart, Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, Charlie Chaplin, and Marilyn Monroe!

Courtyard and gardens at The Santa Maria Inn

At the Inn, we stopped at the Wine Cellar for a bit more celebration before dinner.

A toast was in order - champagne!

After dinner at the Inn's restaurant, we had a nightcap in the english Tap Room. What a day!
Travel Tips:

When you are planning on getting in and out of the car all day, wear something that doesn't wrinkle. I chose this comfy dress made by Jenny and V. The fabric is slightly textured which really helped me to have a worry free day so I could focus on enjoying the sights.

Jenny and V have a fantastic Etsy site and I believe they have some new dresses going up for sale soon! The dress is extremely well made and even better in person. Certainly check them out, they are extremely sweet as well!


  1. HURRAY! This was the post I was waiting for! That ring is PERFECT! Gorgeous. I'm so excited. Call me soon so we can chit. and chat. ohmygodiloveyou.

    (p.s. "I'm perusing the moichandise!")

  2. Yes, the ring is PERFECT! Gorgeous! Your Dad & I are so happy for you, & we welcome Brent who is a super guy to our family!!

    Great pictures! Thanks for posting and sharing our fabulous vacation together in California.