I didn’t want our Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip extravaganza to end. It meant I had to leave California the next morning, to come back to Virginia. But, we made the most of our last day—not surprisingly, with coastlines and delicious meals.
We started off in Solvang, a Danish village about half an hour from Santa Barbara. The town was founded in 1911 by Danish expats. It’s now mostly a tourist destination with bakeries, restaurants ad merchants offering Europe on the West Coast. And the bakery we went to was authentically Danish, and truly delicious. For breakfast, Tom and I each ordered a pastry at Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery. It was one of the best pastries I’ve had, with light, buttery dough surrounding a rich cream cheese filling.
From Solvang, we went to Mission Santa Barbara, one of the West Coast’s many Spanish missions.
Santa Barbara’s pier is the country’s longest wooden pier, and unfortunately, parts of it have burned down a handful of times. But really, what can you expect?
It was another gray day in California, but at least less fog than the past three days. In Santa Barbara, the stereotypical red roofed white houses dotted the coastline, rising up the hill. I think we’ve seen that shot in quite a few movies—and Tom’s current favorite TV show (mine too, when I’m awake), “Psych.”
After our walk to the pier, we headed back into downtown for lunch at Mac’s Fish & Chips Shop, featured on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” on Food Network. The features/travel editor at the paper suggested I check where Guy Fieri stopped along the coast, and this small seafood joint seemed perfect for lunch. Tom said this was the best fish and chips he’s had, including from our time in Ireland. The “regular” serving ended up being the ideal size for the two of us to share. (The mushy peas were very flavorful as well, though Tom didn’t agree, and they weren’t too photogenic!)
And then we drove back through LA’s traffic toward San Diego, which fortunately wasn’t s bad as we expected. And don’t worry, we had salads and veggie omelets for dinner, to counter these calorie-packed meals of the day!
I wish we had each been able to take off a week (or two?) for this road trip, as there was so much we hoped to do but we ran out of time. I’ve already got ideas for my next trip out west: the beach (though apparently the water never warms up, but maybe we’ll rent wetsuits and go for a surfing lesson!) and/or camping at Anza-Borrega Desert. Whatever we do, and whenever I’m able to get out there again, I’m sure we’ll have fun just because we’ll get to be with each other (cue “awww”). The best news though, is Tom will be back in Virginia in just two weeks for a long weekend 🙂