Script and show notes:
Oh, Venice Beach, what a place! Great for people watching and I guess it could be a bit of a culture shock for some people with all the medical marijuana being pushed and all the different colorful characters. This is the famous boardwalk, where all the action is. Souvenir stores, medical marijuana clinics, tattoo shops, street performers, scam artists, restaurants and bars… Yeah, that’s Venice Beach for you, fully recommend it for a summer afternoon stroll.
A short drive north is the Santa Monica Pier, especially beautiful at sunset. There is a famous amusement park and the beautiful pacific coast: Santa Monica Beach. There are also a bunch of performers, some ok, some not so good. The ferry’s wheel steals the show.
Time to get one the road.
We are cruising along Malibu with its lavish hilltop mansions. Here we have a fortuitous encounter with the Google Street View car. Towards the north end of Malibu we approach County Line Beach, a very popular spot for surfing. Let’s check out the surfers doing their thing. We reach the Emma Wood State Beach Campground in Ventura County. This looks like a great campground and in our future life as fulltime RVers we shall definitely pay a visit. Our next stop is Summerland, and Summerland Winery for a well deserved wine tasting after such a long drive. The offshore oilrigs are also quite a sight. Our next pit stop is historic Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is quite picturesque. We decide to take a walk along the pier. There is this guy solar carving. The weather is perfect, one of the reasons why Santa Barbara is called the Riviera of the west. We are not going to be here for long, as our goal lays further north, but this place is definitely on our to do list next time we come to California. The most notable landmark we have missed is the Spanish Mission.
We get on the road again as it is our goal to reach the town of Solvang, in the Santa Ynez Valley. We learned about Solvang through the movie Sideways, mostly about two best friends on a road trip of this area drinking wine and breaking hearts. The restaurant the Hitching Post was also made famous by the film.
Solvang, which mean Sunny Fields in Danish, was founded in 1911 by a group of Danes. There are plenty bakeries, restaurants, and merchants, but lets not kid ourselves here, the reason we came to Solvang is to taste wine. There are plenty of tasting rooms featuring the best Santa Ynez Valley wines. We spend the next hour walking around, sampling delicious pastries and fine vinos. However there is absolutely no nightlife in this city as everything closes at around 5:30pm. That’s our cue to drive to neighboring Los Olivos for dinner at los Olivos Café and Wine Merchant also featured in the aforementioned movie. As the sun sets, it is time to call it a night, and get back to our hotel the King Frederik.
We are back on the road, the most scenic portion of the Pacific Coast Highway coming up ahead. In our next episode we will continue on our journey north as we get closer, and closer to our final destination San Francisco. Until then, thank you for watching and see you on the road.