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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wednesday...a rather full day!

In fact it was so full, I'll write 2 posts about it!
DH really wanted to visit the so called Hearst Castle, which is on the central coast of California. Not wanting to drive on this holiday our options were limited to finding a tour...and a day tour at that!! Our relatives here in Huntington Beach thought it wasn't the best idea as it would be a very, very long day. 
( a one hour drive from Huntington Beach to LA and then 4 hours drive to Hearst Castle...2 hours at the castle... and back again!)  But we didn't have time for a more leisurely trip to this attraction. So that's why, yesterday morning, we arose at 4 am and with our cousin driving, we set off from Huntington Beach at 4.45 am, heading for LA where we would meet the tour. This meeting point was Starbucks, in Farmers Market complex  in West Hollywood...note the time on the clock...yep! 6am. 
We were supposed to leave on the tour at 6.30 but we left a little later than that. It was just a small tour...2 couples. Our driver and guide was Chicago born Rich, who has lived in California for 44 years.

We travelled through a number of towns with mostly Spanish style buildings...

Our first stop was at the Old Mission (Spanish) in Santa Barbara...


The towers on the church at the misson have been destroyed by earthquakes 3 times. The last time the towers were rebuilt, bricks/blocks were not used. Instead the solid walls were painted to resemble the bricks of the rest of the church.

Love those old steps and the doors!

An old structure where local indigenous people could collect water, do laundry in the days of the Mission.

There were a number of large pepper trees dotted around the grounds of the old Mission.

One thing we noticed on the quadrangle in front of the buildings was a number of chalk drawings on the bitumen...
They were done on Memorial Day in late May. They are very clever drawings...starting to fade of course..

I loved the sign in the ladies' restroom.
Two more photos...a new vocation in my retirement??? Lol

And Rich offered to take photos of each couple...

Our next stop was the charming Danish town of Solvang...
And what a quaint town it was...

Complete with a statue of the Little Mermaid!


Such beautiful old buildings...

We had a cuppa in a lovely little cafe...(DH also had a slice of bread pudding...)



We even had time to check out some shops; DH bought a souvenir T shirt and I had a marvellous time checking out a shop that only sold socks!
I also found Rassmussens...a gift shop with fabrics and yarns upstairs...yes I do have inbuilt 'radar' which helps me find such shops! 
And that's where I'll leave this recount of our long day...stay tuned for more :-)

6 comments:

Alison Holstein said...

Looks like it was well worth the early rise Maria :)

margaret said...

such a long day but so worth it, how comfortable too to have a car rather than a coach for the trip

Dorothy said...

What a lovely town .. sounds like you're having a great holiday.

Nanette said...

I love the diversity of the towns through California. I hope your next post shows us all the goodies you bought at Rassmussens :)

Rizky Ismail said...

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Lin said...

Great trip so far Maria. xx