A Travellerspoint blog

Arrive at Napa Valley

Short entry, travel day and setting up camp (RV style)

sunny 86 °F

Strange Day, Saturday. Mom wasn't feeling up to attending church so I decided to head north a day early. Probably would have been wiser to stay until Sunday afterall, but it's too late now (the 1000Trails had a laundry, I since spent 1/2 day and about $10 bucks to do the laundry!)

Anyway, I decided to take I880 up on the east side of the San Francisco Bay as it appeared to be less traffic and maybe a better road than Hwy 101 through the SF Bay area I grew up in. Maybe in a car it would have been OK, but I was driving an RV and towing a car, so east side we went.

The drive wasn't bad, road surface generally OK and not too much traffic. We made good time all day, and through Oakland had some views of the bay. I followed I80 east towards Sacramento, but planning to turn North once we'd passed San Pablo Bay. Before we crossed the Carquinez Bridge, I pulled over at a scenic overlook of both the bridge and Mare Island, which used to be a big naval base. We had lunch here and relaxed a bit before driving further north.

April_20_-..inez_Bridge.jpgApril_20_-_Mare_Island.jpg

The bridge toll was outrageous (by my standards), $20, CA must base tolls on number of axels, the RV has two and the tow behind car has two, so four axels = $20. Hmm, wonder if RV'ers are really welcome in CA? However we got across the bridge and headed north.

We stopped along the way for the manditory vineyard pic of course:

April_21_-_Napa_Vinyard.jpg

Anyway, the drive up through the Napa Valley was lovely, but very crowded. Don't know what was going on this weekend but it seems like a lot of people headed north for the weekend. I had decided to stay at the "Calistoga RV Park", which was really the Napa County Fairgrounds being used as an RV park during the non-fairgrounds times (a lot of fairgrounds do this now). The rates are quite reasonable and it seemed somewhat conveniently located to both the Napa and Sonoma Valleys that I wanted to visit. I had called ahead, which was good since there were only about two spots open when we got there. We set up camp and actually had a little shade in our spot. They have also planted roses along the fence line here, which Mom thought was really nice.

April_21_-_RV_Park_Roses.jpg

Saturday evening we took it easy. Then Sunday we drove down to St. Helena. Mom is NOT a wine drinker and get's kind of wierd about other people having fun (wine tasting) when she's around, so I stopped at a place that advertised olive oil tasteing (as well as wine tasting). It probably used to be just a farmstead, but I think every single corner of Napa Valley that can be turned into a vineyard or wine tasting spot that can be, has been, so now is also wine tasting. It did have a demo farm garden however, and the restaraunt sign said they used their own garden vegitables.

April_21_-..stead___Mom.jpgApril_21_-_Farmstead.jpg

They also have very beautiful roses here, as has everywhere we've been from Monterey north, the roses are just spectacular. Don't know if I can capture that with my poor camera skills, but will try to throw in an occasional rose pic.

April_21_-..tead__Roses.jpg

My Uncle Bob had been attending an alumni function at Pacific Union College in Anguin, which is not far from here. He lives in Michigan, so we don't get to see him very often. So after their activities were over, Uncle Bob and Aunt Madeline met us in St. Helena for lunch. We met at Pizzeria Tra Vigne and had a pretty good lunch and reconnected a bit.

April_21_-..a_Tra_Vigne.jpgApril_21_-..ia___Family.jpg

Uncle Bob recommended a trip up to PUC to see the Azela's in bloom (and I was curious since I'd heard about the campus many times growing up, but had never seen it.) So after we parted ways (Bob & Madeline were headed south to Pasadena to visit my cousin's family), Mom and I took a Sunday drive up to PUC (east of St. Helena, up a bit of a mountain).

April_21_-_PUC.jpgApril_21_-_PUC_Chappel.jpg

I was a bit too lazy to check the Visitors Center or get out of the car to walk around and find the Azela's (OK, it was quite hot and the car was air-conditioned), so after snooping around a bit, we headed back to the RV.

So all in all, not too much going on today on the trip.

Posted by jl98584 21:09 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

Architecture and Artifacts

sunny 87 °F

Today we drove up to San Jose to visit the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. I am a little ashamed to admit that the last few days I'd been wondering why on earth I had wanted to see this. I'd visited it as a kid growing up in San Jose, but of course don't remember many details. However, as soon we drove by the main entrance I was hooked. We found a good spot in the parking area out back and first checked out the gardens. I hadn't remembered those, but they were very nice!

The statement on an information card says "The Rosicrucian Order is a worldwide philosophical and initiatic tradition that offers time-tested techniques for strength, and inner peace that already reside within each of us."

http://www.egyptianmuseum.org/

The Rosicrucian Order has been collecting artifacts for an Egyptian Museum since the early 1900's, but the fantistic building it is housed in was built in the 1960's. It now houses the largest collection of artifacts on exhibit in western North America. It is the only collection housed in a building authentic to the ancient Egypt in style. It has over 4,000 artifacts, as well as a collection of replicas and scale models used in the educational programs.

We spent some time in the Peace Garden, but my pictures were overexposed since again, I haven't bothered to read the manual for my camera. Next to the Peace Garden was a beautiful but small, open air temple.

April_19_-..mall_Temple.jpg

We walked along the side of the museum where there were impressive columns and a lovely fountain. There are also a number of stylistic statues around the buildings, just as there were in ancient Egypt.

April_19_-..erior__Side.jpgApril_19_-..om___Statue.jpg

There was also a large scale game for Senet, a game very popular in ancient Egypt, plus a sign with rules for how to play it.

April_19_-..erior_Senet.jpg

Then you get to the main entrance!

April_19_-.._Front_Side.jpgApril_19_-..nt_Entrance.jpg

The entry rates are quite reasonable. In addition they have lifts at each stairway for Mom (Caution: You can take as many pictures as you like inside the Museum, but no Flash Photography, so while my camera is pretty good, some of my shots are less clear than I'd like - not using a tripod as I should have...)

April_19_-..Mom_on_Lift.jpg

Inside, in addition to 4,000 ancient Egyptian Artifacts, are a number of paintings, dioramas, and reproductions of artifacts since one of the missions of the museum is education. The reproductions are very clearly identified (they have green information cards, actual artifacts have white cards). This painting is a little dark, but illustrates the quality of the exhibits (this painting was about 6' across).

April_19_-..umification.jpg

The museum exhibits are divided into different sections. The first room covers the afterlife. In addition to lots of other artifacts and coffins are a couple of real mummies.

April_19_-..asty_Coffin.jpg
This coffin belonged to Disure, an 18th Dynasty Priest and Scribe. The mummy is missing however.

April_19_-..rior__Mummy.jpg
This is an actual mummy of an upper class egyptian male, probably from the new kingdom (1549-1064 BCE). It's hard to tell from a picture, but the person was fairly short compared to modern people (with all our nutrition, excess food, etc.) He also had naturally red hair, which I find interesting.

April_19_-..t__Replica_.jpg
This is a reproduction of King Tutankhamun's inner coffin, one of the excellant reproductions at the museum. Since they are clearly marked and very accurate, it didn't bother me that the Museum includes reproductions. Otherwise one would have to travel far and wide to get as comprehensive a view of ancient Egypt.

These are a very poor pic's (no flash photography), but as this is the only full size reproduction of a rock cut tomb that I know of, it is worth including. This is the entrance, a view from inside the first tunnel, (then there is a narrow staircase I don't have a pic of) and the burial chamber below. The wall paintings in the burial chamber are accurate reproductions as well.

April_19_-..mb_Entrance.jpgApril_19_-..Tomb_Tunnel.jpgApril_19_-.._Tomb_Walls.jpg

Another room/exhibit hall illustrated day to day life, then there was one of kings & royalty. I thought this was an interesting take on how the famous bust of Nefertiti was created by the artist, Thutmosis. They also have a very nice reproduction of the bust itself, which should suffice unless you can also afford the trip to Berlin where the actual artifact resides.

April_19_-..__Thutmosis.jpgApril_19_-..titi__Copy_.jpg

There were also a few scale models of places in Egypt (and artists renditions of how a few ancient places may have looked).

April_19_-.._Abu_Simbel.jpgApril_19_-..arna_Estate.jpg

And a few small dioramas, showing day to day life.

April_19_-.._of_Scribes.jpg April_19_-..for_a_Party.jpg

We probably could have spent several days here, but a couple of hours is about all Mom could handle (and all the time we'd allocated), so I bought a book detailing the catalogue of artifacts (and informative descriptions...) and we moved on. We had a 4 PM meeting scheduled with some relatives in Cupertino, so had some time to kill. Mom wasn't particularly interested in driving around where we used to live in San Jose and her old haunts, but she had seen an interesting looking diner as we were leaving Gilroy so I decided to drive back down there for lunch. (The story is worse then this, I thought I'd have time to drive all the way to Salinas to visit the John Steinbeck Center, but didn't take into account how long we'd spend at the restaurant and misjudged how far it was to Salinas), so we wasted a lot of time driving, then turning around and driving back.) In the meantime, we ate at the Black Bear Diner - which was cute and had pretty good food (way too much).

April_19_-.._Bear_Diner.jpg

We eventually did head back up to Cupertino to my father's cousin's house and had a lovely visit with Larry and Joan and some of their family. Mom had never really known them so may have gotten some bad information from Granddad, and was glad to actually meet them and find out what nice people they are! So we had a great visit, came back with some lovely lemon's from their tree, and got ready for the next leg of our trip.

April_19_-..arry___Joan.jpg

Posted by jl98584 19:40 Archived in USA Tagged museum egyptian rosicrucian Comments (0)

Monterey Area

Really Watsonville & Pacific Grove

sunny 70 °F

My plan for today was to visit Monterrey & Carmel, however what good would a travel plan be without a little flexibility?

So we headed west from the campground over Hwy 152, also known as "Hecker Pass" road, and soon found why they don't allow trucks over 45' long on this road! It was a fun & beautiful drive in a Kia Rio however. The road surface is good, but there are a lot of twists and turns and a fairly steep grade. The tightest turn has a 15 mph speed limit, a few had 20 or 25 mph speed limits. The pass is only about 1300 feet, but of course this is from sea level and over total distance of about 13 miles, so is a nice little jaunt in a small car.

At the summit is an old, closed "Mt. Madonna Inn". Lovely spot and view, but this is not the same place as the beautiful Madonna Inn, also in Watsonville. This one is closed.

I'm still having trouble learning to use my camera correctly (maybe because I haven't bothered to look up the directions, which don't come with the camera any more, you have to google them). Anyway, most of my shots from the pass aren't worth posting, so this is the best available.

April_17_-..ille_Valley.jpg

As we continued on and approached downtown Watsonville, we passed a very cool looking old house. I couldn't tell from the sign whether it was a museum or a commercial building so decided to pull over and check it out.

April_17_-_Tuttle_Mansion.jpg

This is the Tuttle Mansion. It isn't really a museum, but is a very historic home (for Watsonville at least) and the main office inside had an information sheet and encouraged me to look around a bit. It was built in 1899 by Morris B. Tuttle, who had grown rich ranching and farming in the area and wanted a home to show off his success. The cost was a staggering sum for that time, $20,000 including $5,000 for the carpentry alone, which included very expensive Hungarian ash, oak, cedar, birds eye maple and mahogany.

April_17_-..n_Staircase.jpg

Ralph Oliver bought the home in 1974 and has restored it as commercial real estate, including offices for his property management company.

We continued on through downtown Watsonville towards Hwy 101, which would take us to Monterey. However I saw signs for Pajaro Dunes. That sounded interesting so I decided to check it out first. This took us through an old business section of town (mostly agricultural plants and warehouses). This one looked like a bunch of small markets until we looked closer! Most of the windows, doors, awnings and people are just painted onto a regular, bland old warehouse. Very Cool!

April_17_-..e_Warehouse.jpg

We continued driving west towards the dunes and again passed lots of fields. It seems even farming has gone mass production these days, these folks were planting (lettuce I think), then harvesting (strawberries again):

April_17_-..le_Planting.jpgApril_17_-..rry_Harvest.jpg

On the way out to the dunes, we also passed several of these very strange, large, concrete structures. We tried and tried to figure out what they were or why they were just plopped by the side of the road along the fields. See if you can guess (I'll put the answer at the end of the blog entry).

April_17_-..ncrete_Base.jpg

Eventually we did make it to Pajaro Dunes. It turns out most of the area is a vacation resort, "Pajaro Dunes", however there is also a small state park with lots of Eucalyptas trees and also some nice, but small sand dunes and a beach. The hike to the top of the dunes is a bit difficult (soft sand), but Mom decided to try it and did make it to the top. The beach is fairly steep and has a clearly visible undertow, so I just took pictures and we both enjoyed the lovely day and view, then headed back to Hwy 101.

April_17_-..ho_Dunes_SP.jpgApril_17_-_Pajaho_Dunes.jpgApril_17_-.._Shorebirds.jpg

So we drove on into Monterey and tried to decide how to spend our limited time. Here is where you get lucky (or not, depending on they type of reader you are - I suppose if you're following this blog at all, you probably aren't too turned off by travel blogs!) - Anyway, for the first time this trip I forgot to plug in my camera last night! The battery died just as we got to cannery row, so no more pictures! Not entirely, my cell phone also has a camera of course, but for some reason I was reluctant to use it until we got to Ocean View Drive - where it worked just fine. So in any event, will just have to describe what we did inbetween.

It had been a long time since I'd spent any considerable time in Monterey and I didn't have a detailed map of the area, so I decided to stop by the information center first. This is in a building that had been the French Consolete during the Mexican period and is also right by a lake, which was quite lovely. The ladies were very helpful and recommended we take the "Ocean View Drive" through Pacific Grove on our way to Carmel.

We decided to skip the Wharf and Aquarium this trip, having done both previously and having allocated limited time for this area. I drove through Cannery row slowly and we decided to eat lunch there. We stopped at a Mexican restaraunt over the water, where Mom really enjoyed watching the Comerants fishing and the waves breaking over the rocks and old concrete foundations next to us. We enjoyed the scenery, but didn't really stop a whole lot but instead made our way up to the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. Boy what a find! Not only was it an interesting little museum, but it was free! (Donations accepted of course). They have displays of most of the species found in Monterey County including one of the largest collections of mounted birds in the county - if not the largest. They also have a nice garden area in the back with different 'region's (types of plants located in the different regions of the county). After enjoying the museum, we purchased a few small items in the gift shop and moved on.

So we headed back downt he hill to Ocean View Drive and turned left. It was a clear, sunny spring day and the views were fantastic, so good in fact that I finally overcame my reluctance to use the cell phone camera. There was plenty of (free) parking along the drive so I stopped several times to enjoy the view and take pictures. One had some very pretty pink flowers (a species of ice plant I think). I got out to take pic's and to my surprise, when I turned around Mom had also gotten out and headed down the path a bit! (I figured she was pretty tired from the museum and had encouraged her to just enjoy the rest of the trip from the comfort of the car.)

April_17_-.._View_Drive.jpgApril_17_-..Drive___Mom.jpgApril_17_-..iew_Dirve_N.jpgApril_17_-..iew_Drive_S.jpg

Anyway, we took the slow route around Ocean View Drive (e.g., many stops) and felt we'd had a good enough time we really didn't need to pay for the 17 mile drive to Carmel. It was getting a bit later and Mom was tired so we decided to head back to the RV campground. This time I didn't go so slow, just got back on Hwy 101 to Watsonville, and exited on 152 East back towards the pass. Just before we got to the uphill section however, I saw a sign for "Apricot Pies". How could I pass that up? So one minor detour to Gizdich Ranch, a couple of slices of pie, apple cider and a jar of the best apple butter I've ever had, and we zipped back and enjoyed a quiet evening in camp)

April_17_-..ch_Gas_Pump.jpg

Mom was pretty tired out from the drive (it was about 50 miles from the campground to Pacific Grove), so I decided to take the next day (Thursday) off and not go anywhere. We did our laundry, dishes, etc. and started a jigsaw puzzle in the clubhouse. The weather was fantastic, warm but pleasant and I had as much fun relaxing as mom did! Friday we'll head up to San Jose.

---------------------
Quiz Answer: The concrete objects are bases for water tanks! We finally saw one with a tank still on top. I guess technology has progressed so they have plenty of irrigation jto support the fields without the tanks, but the concrete bases are much too massive to bother to remove.

Posted by jl98584 10:40 Archived in USA Tagged watsonville Comments (0)

Pismo Beach

Still cold, but still having fun

sunny 65 °F

I've generally planned and managed this trip pretty good, but did flub up this end of the trip a bit. Once we'd hooked up the car to the RV and started out of the Rancho Oso campground, I noticed the RV fuel was a little lower than I'd thought. I had a 1/4 tank when we turned off of Hwy 101 in Santa Barbara and had figured it would get me over Hwy 154 and I would fill up in Buellton on the way north. However, Hwy 154 is so steep and curvy (as well as the other two roads into the campground - which also added distance), that I wasn't 100% sure we'd make it. As we headed down Hwy 154, I kept trying to do calculations in my head about how many gallons I had left and how far it might be to Santa Ynez (which also had a gas station and was a little closer then Buellton). I thought I might make it, but so many stretches of this road had NO shoulder I was afraid of running dry and not being able to get off the road safely. (We'd been over this road several times in the car now, so I had some idea what to expect I thought). Anyway, not wanting to turn a nice trip into a nightmare, I decided to be prudent and pulled over in a scenic overlook we'd seen previously that had lots of room to park, unhook the car, take it into Santa Ynez and pickup up a gas can at the Ace Hardware behind the gas station, fill it up and return. Plan worked perfectly and that's exactly what I did, but just for fun I also checked the mileage - we were only 7 miles from the gas station! We would have made it with a couple of gallons to spare. Oh well, it's still better to be safe than sorry.

In the meantime, Mom & Grizzly stayed with the RV while I went for the gas. It was still morning, so Mom had a bit of energy and decided to walk over to the overlook of the Bradbury Dam.

April_14_-..ake_Cachuma.jpg

Since I'd already bought the gas can and gas, I went ahead and added it to the RV. We stayed a bit and had a nice lunch, then tanked up for real in Santa Ynez and headed out. Somehow, I managed to drive right by the Anderson Pea Soup place (without stoping), get back onto Hwy 101 North and behave myself. After a relatively uneventful trip, we made our way up to the Arroyo Grand exit and just headed west until we ran into Pismo Beach.

We stayed at the Pismo Beach state park north campground, which is just north of the main beach complex. Travelling by RV, it's fairly easy to 'set up camp'. This was a dry camp - no plug in's to worry about, so I just unhooked the car (I have this down to about 10 minutes now, maybe less). We loaded Grizzly & Mom into the car, locked up the RV, and drove back down to the main beach. You can access the beach from the campground, but it's a small hike over the dunes, which would be difficult for Mom. However you can drive right onto the main beach, so I headed there. Mom could enjoy the beach without ever leaving the car seat!

This was a Sunday afternoon, maybe 4 or 5 PM and the beach was FULL of kite boarders! We couldn't figure out how they kept from getting all tangled up together. In fact I overheard one of the beach patrol rangers describing it as 'crazy'. (There was a kite board rental vendor set up on the beach, which probably contributed to the chaos. Anyway, it was all very entertaining to watch.

April_14_-_Pismo_Beach.jpgApril_14_-..ite_Boarder.jpg

We stayed quite some time watching all the activity, but eventually did have to head back to the campground and fix dinner. Mom was pretty tired, so she stayed in the RV while I took Grizzly for a walk over the dunes to catch some waves. Of course, Grizzly tried to catch every shorebird he could find and, of course, never succeeded...

April_14_-..Beach_Dunes.jpgApril_14_-..zzly_Hiking.jpgApril_14_-..h___Grizzly.jpgApril_14_-..each_Plover.jpg

& again later to watch the sunset. Unfortunately, I got busy and lost track of time, so didn't get back to the beach until after the sun was already down, but it was still pretty.

April_14_-..each_Sunset.jpg

The next morning, I was bound and determined to check out the area a bit more, but first had to take Grizzly for a walk and photograph a few birds. The second bird looks rather plain grey when sitting, but has a distinctive grey/white pattern when flying that reminded me of a magpie, but not as black and not as long a tail. Mom and I both kept discussing it and later I had an opportunity to ask some experts at the Pacific Grove Natural History Museum and we all felt it was probably a Northern Magpie, a different subspecies. Hmm, the crazy things you learn when you try not to...

April_14_-_Scrub_jay.jpgApril_15_-.._Beach_Bird.jpg

One of the things that makes this area special is the Sand Dunes, so I figured I'd try to take a Hummer Tour of them. However the Hummer guy didn't want to take only one person out, and he didn't have anybody else interested so I had to give that idea up. Not quite brave enough to rent an ATV and try duning myself, I thought I'd at least try to get a good picture of the dunes. Turns out this was harder then I thought. We had picked up a map from the park ranger and it showed three ways onto the beaches & dunes, the campground where we were staying (low dunes only), the main beach where we'd seen the kite boarders, and another road about 10 miles south that looked like it led into the big dunes area called 'Oso Flaco', or skinny bear (as had been observed by an early explorer).

We drove back out onto the main beach just for fun, there weren't any kite boarders today (Monday). We did get some good shots of the beach, the view to the south, and to the north.

April_15_-..Beach_South.jpgApril_15_-..Beach_North.jpg

However the sand dunes at this part of the beach didn't seem any bigger than at the campground, so I decided to drive south and check out the Oso Flaco area. Ten miles can seem like an awfully long drive when you're not familiar with an area! Along the way, we passed several fruit stands (I indulged in large, fresh avacodo's 4 for $1, tomatoes and a basket of very large strawberries for $2.) Then shortly after, we passed hugh strawberry fields, hundreds of acres I'm sure (this is just a small portion of what we passed).

April_14_-_Strawberries.jpgApril_14_-..erry_Fields.jpg

Some fields had workers out harvesting strawberries. There were other types of crops also, some sort of lettuce I think (there weren't any crop labels and I didn't stop to check).

Anyway, we eventually did make it to Oso Flaco. This consists of a large, dirt/gravel parking lot and some honey buckets. A fairly long, straight road (not accessable to regular vehicles, only ORV - Off Road Vehicles) leads past a lake - Oso Flaco Lake and then up into the sand dunes.

Oso Flaco Lake:
April_14_-_Oso_Flaco_Lake.jpg

I thought I might get a good shot of the dunes if I hiked up the ORV trail a bit. I was wrong. Every time I'd come to a crest, instead of a nice vista, there'd be another crest to hike up. There were a lot of plants, wildfowers and birds in the dunes however hiking through soft sand on foot can be quite difficult. Each step sinks in and slides around, so take the effort of two or more steps.

April_14_-..o_ORV_Trail.jpgApril_14_-..Dune_Plants.jpg

After giving up on any grand vistas on this route, I went back to the lake to try the ADA accessable walk across the lake and through the dunes. There were a LOT of cliff swallows darting around the lake catching bugs, which was also interesting in it's own right.

April_14_-..o_ADA_Trail.jpgApril_14_-..aco_Swallow.jpg

I crossed the lake and started through the dunes again and it was much easier hiking then through the soft sand, however there still weren't any awesome visita's of vast sand dunes and I was getting worried about leaving Mom in the car for too long, so headed on back. So if you want to see pic's fo the sand dunes in this area, you'll have to google them.

On the drive back however, we did pass an interesting looking old building so I stopped to check it out. It is only open Sundays from 1 - 3, so we didn't spend too much time here. It is an old train depot for the town of Oceana.

April_14_-_Oceano_Depot.jpg

They also have a few items on display to help it look more like a train depot, like a baggage cart and a couple of old cars.

April_14_-..Baggage_Car.jpgApril_14_-..t_Rail_Cars.jpg

Mom had been a great sport all day while I wandered around looking for sand dunes (maybe a little dunny in the head?), so I thought I'd treat her to a nice meal. This place looked interesting, so we gave it a shot. Mom is very fond of Flan and has ordered it many times before, but swore this was the best flan she'd ever had (I'd have to agree).

April_14_-..uan_Cantina.jpgApril_14_-..antina_Flan.jpg

So I don't have any pictures of the spectacular dunes in Arroyo Grand/Pismo Beach area, but did get some nice shots of the dunes around the campground and the area in general.

April_15_-..Beach_Waves.jpgApril_15_-..nes_by_Park.jpg
April_15_-.._Beach_Pier.jpg

By the time I was hooking up the car to the RV to leave the area, it looked like Mom & Grizzly were getting pretty comfortable here.

April_15_-..___Grizzly_.jpg

Posted by jl98584 22:51 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Church, Motorcycles and Carriages

We go to church in Santa Barbara, I visit a Motorcycle Museum in Solvang and the Santa Ynez Museum, including Carriages

sunny 68 °F

Well, Mom had asked to go straight north to Washington and I was the one wanting to include sightseeing and visiting. So I thought I'd surprise her along the trip and take her to different churches as part of our trip. She is a Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) and Saturday is her Church day, so Friday night I googled SDA Church Solvang and got an address. So Saturday morning we took off for Solvang, using Nav to find the listed address, no such thing. There was a Lutheran church at that address and a lady in area said there were no SDA churches in Solvang to her knowledge.

Plan B - I looked up SDA churches in Santa Barbara, typed that address into Nav and 54 miles later got to the church just as the main service was starting (having missed Sabbath School on our false lead).

April_13_-.._SDA_Church.jpg

I was a bit surprised when we walked in, there was a small string group playing with the organist. The church is apparently very musical, but not with the drums and electric guitars as some churches now use. However it was quite nice.

April_13_-..ch_Ensemble.jpg

After the service, all guests were invited to lunch in the gym behind the church (I guess it has a school attached, as many do). There was quite a bit of food that was all very good, all vegetarian of course (this is an SDA church afterall). There weren't really a lot of guests, but a few and it looked like the musicians and other church volunteers ate there as well.

April_13_-..hurch_Lunch.jpg

By the time we left the church lunch, my mind was already thinking ahead to the next phase of the trip. I'd seen brochures about a couple more things that looked interesting and I thought maybe I could slip in one of them on way home - maybe the other on the way out of town on Sunday. So instead of driving straight over Hwy 154 back to the campground, I circled around on Hwy 101 back to Solvang where there is a Motorcycle Museum that looked interesting:

April_13_-..ycle_Museum.jpg

These are from the private collection of Virgil Elings, who was a physics professor at Cal Tech (?) and collected and restored motorcycles for a hobby. This currently consists of one, large room with about 93 vintage motorcycles. Each bike has a display card giving a little information about it. Most of these are fully restored and in good operating condition. He fancied racing bikes, so that's what he tended to collect, but there are a lot of very old bikes as well. The oldest one I saw was from 1904 and the newest was from the '70's or '80's. Of course, I took a lot of pictures - but will only paste a few here to give an idea what it's like. Other folks have been there as well and you can google it for more information.

April_13_-..rect_Drive_.jpg
1914 Indian direct drive

April_13_-..C_Sopworth_.jpg
1920 ABC Sopworth

April_13_-..1923_James_.jpg
1923 James

April_13_-..Harley_JDH_.jpg
1929 Harley JDH

April_13_-..Moto_Guzzi_.jpg
1947 Moto Guzzi

So that's 5 out of 93, and this time I remembered to photograph each sign along with each bike I photographed! Since it was already late when I got to the motorcycle museum, I rushed through it (figuring I could always look at the pic's and cards later) - so lo and behold it wasn't that late yet! So we drove on back towards the RV campground, which took us through Santa Ynez where the other stop was I wanted to make, a Carriage Museum. It was open until 4pm, and we got there about 3pm, so I figured if I took it in quickly (inhaled it?), we wouldn't have to stop on our way out of town, which Mom would prefer.

It was a combination "Santa Ynez" museum and included a large carriage house/museum. These weren't in mint condition as the ones we'd seen in Raymond, WA, but in a way looked a little more realistic maybe (cars only look new in the showroom?). So Here are a few picks just to give you an idea of what it's like:

April_13_-..__Carrages_.jpgApril_13_-..iage_House_.jpg

I also took closeups of a couple that I especially liked:

April_13_-..School_Bus_.jpgApril_13_-..Stagecoach_.jpg

Having taken the quick route through the carriages, I also had a little time to check out the rest of the museum. It was small, but very well done. They had assembled a lot of 1800's style stuff in a living area to make it look somewhat like it would have been when in use:

April_13_-..1800s_Room_.jpgApril_13_-..00s_Room_2_.jpg

Notice the Bed? The card describes it as an 1847 "Sleigh Bed"

April_13_-..Sleigh_Bed_.jpg

The museum also had a Hammered Dolcimer on display, which is unusual since many people have never even heard of this instrument. What was even more unusual is that it was a consul cabinet, like a box piano, which I'd never seen.

April_13_-..d_Dolcimer_.jpg

In the main entry room for the musuem were a number of cabinets displaying old west ranching type equipment. They had informative cards describing each item and how they were used (for us city slickers I suppose). Again, just a flavor:

April_13_-..its_-_Sign_.jpgApril_13_-.._-_Display_.jpg

I only spent about 45 minutes in each museum and it being Mom's Sabbith (and she's always tired by afternoon), she had waited in the car, so I also wanted to hurry and get her back to camp for the night. On the way out of the museum, I couldn't help snapping one more shot - the little building at the corner of the museum was the town's original branch Library built in 1912 - and still operating as a Library!

April_13_-..nez_Library.jpg

So now were were both really ready to head out of town!

Posted by jl98584 20:30 Archived in USA Comments (0)

(Entries 6 - 10 of 22) « Page 1 [2] 3 4 5 »