We took a long weekend this past weekend. We both were in need of some serious R&R. It coincided with Liesl's 9th birthday so we had a festive time. My sweet baboo is originally from Chicago but went to high school in Santa Barbara, so I get to see some pretty cool stuff when I am there. He is a great tour guide.
No trip to Santa Barbara or Southern California would be complete without a stop in Solvang. We had to have a yummy pastry and walk around this amazing little Danish town in California We walk around the town and look in the little shops and get some yummies. I poke around in Thumbelina because they carry nice hardanger patterns by Permin and Oehlenschlager, and Bill likes to look in the Thomas Kinkade gallery. He is a bit of a romantic. :) After a couple of hours we were on our way to Santa Barbara.
It turns out our little trip coincided with one of the biggest weeks in Santa Barbara. It was Fiesta Week, which has a number of cool festivities. We walked down to see the big equestrian parade which was amazing. Beautiful horses and donkies and people decked out in their festive best, calling out, "Viva La Fiesta!" Members of the crowd shout back, "Viva La Fiesta!" We had to laugh because one man on a beautiful float saw Liesl and yelled out, "Look a schnauzer!!!" A typical day with Liesl.
Apparently it is a custom during Fiesta to break a confetti filled egg over people's heads for Fiesta. It is supposed to be good luck. So everyone walks around with confetti in their hair during Fiesta. We did not find a vendor to buy our cascarones from so my hair was confetti free.
My favorite day of the trip we started in the rose garden at the Santa Barbara mission. It is such a beautiful and peaceful place. There is a very special energy there and we like to sit and be silent for a while on one of the park benches after we look at the pretty roses. Then we took a little drive around the city. The nicest surprise was that we ended up at the leash free Hendry's Beach. Liesl was so excited. She went swimming (walks into the surf up to her belly), played with her daddy, then ran with the big dogs. Bill went and got us a couple of hot dogs, which got shared with her. Liesl is not a demonstrative dog, she will give us a couple of kisses when we come home from work, but otherwise this is not something she just does. It was so funny because she came running out of the water at one point onto the blanket I was sitting on and just kept kissing me. I guess that meant that it was the best puppy day ever. She slept for 10 hours straight last night! PS: When we were trying to put Liesl and our stuff in the car to come home, she walked right up to the door of the hotel to let us know she did not want to leave. She wanted to stay for more fun.
We were driving up State Street yesterday on the way back to our lodging, when I saw a Dunkin Donuts! I am a Jersey Girl transplanted to the previously Devoid of Dunkin Donuts state of California. It has been over 10 years since I had my last Chocolate Crème filled. We were too exhausted yesterday but I was promised a stop on the way out of town today and here are my treasures! The Chocolate Crème filled have been my favorite since I was nine years old and they taste exactly the same. I ate one immediately in the car and had a nine year old moment. It was awesome. I looked like a nine year old, too, because I had unwisely worn a black shirt and spent the rest of the day covered in powdered sugar.
So we are back in the best place in the world - home! I love travelling, but I really love coming home to the cozy cottage. Liesl is happy to be home now, too! She ate her dinner, took inventory of her toys, surveyed her queendom in the backyard and went to her puppy bed. And Bill, well, Bill found out that his little grandson decided to make an early entrance into the world this morning, a couple of weeks early! So he is floating on air...