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Family weekend trip to Solvang CA

Family time is so important to us. The girls are growing up so fast and I want to make sure that they have the best childhood we can give them. So we try to do little trips or family days just the four of us to make sure the girls know that we love and care about them and want to spend time with them. This time we did a weekend trip to Solvang. It was a quick trip we only stayed one night at a hotel. We ended up staying in Buellton which is five minuets away from Solvang, but the hotels are half the price, we stayed at Pea Soup Anderson’s Inn and it was only $100 for a Saturday night, felt like a steal.

We headed up Saturday morning leaving our house at 930am and we only hit traffic in Montecito since they had only reopened the freeway there a few days ago after the mudslide that happened. It saddened me driving through there seeing the aftermath of what the residence had been thru, I can’t even imagine.

We reached the first winery, Lincourt (if you have read my other posts we are member here and we love it!) We had a picnic on the grass area right in front of the tasting room where there is plenty of room for the girls to run around. We had not been in a little while so we had two shipments of wine to pick up. ūüôā The girls had so much fun, they love picnics! Emerald especially loved it since it was all food she had picked out the day before at Trader Joes.

The picnic was followed by dancing and rolling down the grassy hill (Brock and I did not participate in I think it might have been frowned upon if Brock and I rolled down the hill lol)

Next we went to Quicksilver Ranch which is right next to the winery. This place has so many mini ponies! This is another one of our go to places (even when we don’t have the girls with us when we go to Solvang) this time the girls got to walk with one of the mini horses while it was being brought over to a pin to be groomed. The girls were so excited they got to pet the horse for a little while although Violet kept asking the man if she could brush the pony ūüôā

After the mini ponies we went to another winery, Firestone Vineyards. Here we got a table outside and let the girls run around again while we tasted wine. This is another one of favorite places, it sits up on a little hill that overlooks the vineyard and is beautiful (although January is not the most beautiful time for vineyards) I unfortunately did not take many pictures at this place . . . sometimes I need a break from picture taking and I try to just enjoy the moments, but we did take pictures inside the wine tasting room on the huge chair they had.


After this winery we went to our hotel, Pea Soup Anderson’s Inn, for a nap the girls were very tired from all of the running around and lets face it Brock and I were pretty tired too. The hotel is pretty clean and a nice enough room for one night plus we don’t spend a ton of time in our room anyway. After naps it was too late for the Ostrich farm so we walked around Solvang for a few minutes before heading to dinner at Hadsten House Restaurant.IMG_20180127_190029618¬†I have been going to this restaurant for years . . . it has definitely changed through out the years and I miss the large ravioli that they used to have, but we made it for happy hour (early dinner when you have kiddos) The girls were completely wild the whole dinner . . . Emerald making hats out of her napkin and Violet singing her heart out. Brock took the girls on a couple of walks during dinner so they could get their wiggles out. After dinner we headed back to the hotel because the girls really wanted to go swimming, we mostly stayed in the hot tub since it was pretty cold out plus Emerald can stand up in it on her own which makes her so happy. Then it was bed time, it was a long day and we had more to do the next day. We had breakfast at the hotel which was just pastries and juice from one of the bakeries in Solvang.

Our first stop for the day was the Ostrichland USA we got there right when they opened which was pretty nice there were only a couple of other people there. The girls had so much fun feeding the Ostrich and Emu. Brock was having the girls pet them and sure enough first Emerald got bit on her arm and she thought it was funny because Brock told her they were trying to eat the butterfly on her jacket and then a few minutes later Violet got bit on the finger and she screamed her head off. There was no calming her down so her and I went and washed off her hands and she was done but Emerald went and got more food to keep feeding these crazy birds. When we left Violet said she had fun but did not want to go next to one again. Next we headed to the Folded Hills Farmstead, but they were not open. Their website said they opened at 11am, but no such luck. So instead we had a picnic in the back of our car and let the girls pet the animals that are there. This is one of Emerald’s favorite things, if animals are there she loves it. Violet was over the animals pretty quickly and just wanted to eat. Emerald told us the only way she will move from our house is if we move to a farm were she can pick all the animals we will have lol.

We stayed at the farm for awhile before hitting the road. We headed to Ventura for in-n-out lunch and a bathroom break. Then back to our little home we went. It was a short trip, but we packed it as full as possible. I love doing life with my family.

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Mommy needs a break . . . ladies wine trip

A few of my close friends started a tradition several years back of a ladies wine trip for my birthday. I love my friends they are so amazing! This year since I will be out of the country for my actual birthday (I’m going to Italy!) we went a month early to celebrate. We always go to Solvang, Ca which we love so much, however over the years it has changed . . . We remember when wine tasting was free and a few places $5 and they would give you the wine glass, now it is $15-20 and no wine glass. Crazy how in the last several years it has changed anyway besides the point. 133We met at my house Saturday morning so we could all drive up together . . . ROAD TRIP! We stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Solvang because they have a room with THREE queen beds! This is our favorite place to stay when there is a group of us going it is walking distance to everything in Solvang.

120We started off the trip by stopping at Shoestring Winery for wine¬†tasting and there¬†happened to be jelly and flavored salt tasting too. I bought some of the salt, its Rose Sriracha flavored and so delish! The wine was wonderful and we were happy to be visiting on the weekend since this winery is only open on weekends. This was a perfect start to our ladies wine weekend.¬†Second stop was Lincourt Winery which I absolutely love clearly since I am a member here. I fell in love with the wine and the way this place made me feel so at home. It is an adorable 1926 craftsman home (incase you don’t

128know I am a sucker for these homes, um you know I do live in house built in 1921) We were here for a little while just relaxing in the chairs that overlook the vineyard.  And yes that is me running through the vineyard so happy loving life and enjoying time with my friends. Also I might have been a little tipsy at this point after all it is not that often that I dink more than a glass or two of wine and the two places we had gone already were very generous with the pours and even gave a few extra tastings. 42

Next stop was the little town of Los Olivos for some lunch (and a little more wine tasting never hurts) Our typical spot is the Sides Restaurant however this time we decided to try a little sandwich shop Panino (this place was just ok to me however I am not a huge sandwich fan so probably not the best critic) The wine tasting room next door to Panino, Tensely Wine let us sit inside to eat . . . well and wine taste which was nice to not have to eat outside since it was so warm, we are talking 100 degrees all day YIKES!

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By this point we were a little tipsy but having a wonderful time being silly ladies and kid free. To the hotel we went to freshen up and relax before heading to dinner. We ended up at one of my favorite little places Hadsten House Restaurant. By the time we finished dinner it was around 10pm and I was so tired but ended up going out with the ladies for a beer and live music at the Solvang Brewing Company. I am not gonna lie after a long hot day of wine tasting I am typically not in the mood for more alcohol but for some reason I was in the mood for a beer and I was glad I got one (well shared two different beers with the ladies) We ordered a stein which is why we shared that is little too much for any of us. The first was the 1957 Brown ale and it was so good the second was the Odin Stout, which stout is

152typically my favorite the darker the better when it comes to beer for me. We ended that night be completely entertained by a group of guys we met who were also up visiting from Los Angeles but for a guys weekend.

After getting some sleep lets be honest I was completely awake by 730am and headed down to the breakfast at the hotel so that I would not wake the other ladies. It was nice I got a chance to talk to Brock and the girls before headed back to the room to get ready for another filled day. Once all the ladies were ready we left for brunch at the Succulent Cafe which was so good but way to big of portions mostly because I had eaten a cinnamon roll and yogurt a couple hours earlier at the hotel. Brunch was followed by walking around Solvang and window shopping plus sampling the fudge at Old Danish Fudge Kitchen. We ended at Solvang with getting some yummy treats from Olsen Danish Village Bakery. On the drive out we stopped at Firestone Vineyard for one last tasting and this place has a beautiful view.  Another wonderful ladies wine trip in the books, hopefully another one will be planned soon since I love getting my crazy out and having a little mommy break.IMG_62391