We can’t wait for January to roll around as it means another anniversary adventure. This year would be slightly different————engaged a week prior and our 5 year anniversary. Our mini vacay started out with celebrating the Whiskey House’s five year anniversary on Wednesday the 15th, a movie day on Thursday the 16th and topped it off with a road trip on Friday the 17th.
“The Road to A Friend’s House is Never Long”
Friday morning…Is that rain? No, the rain was supposed to arrive yesterday. If you know San Diego weather then you know the weather doesn’t act accordingly. Getting out of bed, I check the clock, it’s 8 something in the morning. I grabbed my cell phone and sure enough, it shows rain in the forecast but to clear at 9 AM. This is great news since it would take us 5 hours to get to our destination and we didn’t want that journey to include rain. Time to get the day started! Ryan and I both put off packing until the day of. We had reservations for 2 nights so packing was easy.
11:11 AM and we head out gas up the car and grab some McDonald’s, don’t judge me, I love the sausage burritos. Okay, okay it’s the picante salsa. Anyways, after forgetting some toiletries and having to double back home we finally hit the road. I need to have some tunes if I am going to ride for 5 hours straight in the car. My fave Sirius radio station while road tripping…Can you guess it? Yep, Ch. 301 Roadtrip Radio . The 1st song that was on was “Steal My Sunshine” by Len. This was fitting since it was partly cloudy from the rain. 5 hours and 8 different freeways later WE ARRIVED!
Solvang (Sunny Field) , California
We arrived after 5PM to a quaint little town filled with wineries, restaurants, bakeries, hotels/inns, museums and stores that resemble Danish architecture. There was something odd that I noticed more on that later. After the long drive, it felt good to check into the Hotel Corque.
Walking up to the hotel we were greeted by concierge and escorted to check-in. We booked 1 King Treetop room with French doors. Before we headed up to our room, our concierge handed us a “Welcome Packet” . The packet included a list of Solvang restaurants, complimentary wine tastings in the valley, a list of Solvang bakeries, shops, museums, and 2 for 1 wine tastings in Solvang. After grabbing our luggage from the car we headed to our room. Upon entering the door my breath was taken away. There is always something special about staying in a nice hotel room. By the television was a note from the hotel manager welcoming us to the hotel and happy that we chose to spend our anniversary in the Valley.
As we were getting settled, there was a knock on the door. Ryan opened the door and concierge was standing there with a tray of complimentary snacks for our anniversary. We weren’t expecting that and I joked we should’ve mentioned our recent engagement , we probably would’ve had a bottle of champagne or wine. Since we were only here for a short amount of time we hit the Solvang Streets.
Remember when I told you that there was something odd ? Well, Only certain stores, restaurants and wineries were open after hours and the town pretty much closes down at 5 or 6 PM. The great thing is practically no one is out and about. Ryan and I wandered around looking for a restaurant to have dinner. Walking through the town we stumbled upon fire pits in a courtyard surrounded by an inn and shops. We sat down for a bit to warm up since it was cold outside.
By now we were getting hungry so we wandered some more to find a place to eat—— Alas, Succulent Cafe Wine Charcuterie. Inside the restaurant was full but outside plenty of open seating and no wait. Once we were seated fresh biscuits and jam were placed on the table. For drinks, I had 2 glasses of Prosecco while Ryan had 2 Firestone Walker Mind Haze IPA.
As a starter, we had mac n’ cheese. Entrees, Ryan had the 8oz top sirloin steak with sauteed green beans and mashed potatoes topped with bacon. My entree was the spicy hen, bacon-wrapped jidori chicken breast stuffed with sundried tomato spinach chevre, fresh mozzarella, creamy chipotle sauce with sauteed green beans and mashed potatoes. Dessert,signature bacon sundae, McConnell’s salted caramel ice cream, pecan bar crumbles,caramel sauce, topped with candied bacon and fresh whipped cream. Dinner was absolutely delish. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel for the night.
Let’s Drink Wine and Judge People
We woke up knowing we had a busy day ahead of us. Saturday was our last day in Solvang and we were ready to make the most of it. We started the day with breakfast at Brekkies. We chose to sit outside again due to inside the restaurant was completely full. I had the veggie omelet, mushroom, spinach, onion, and avocado with tater tots and sourdough toast. Ryan had the protein bowl, brown pork patty, scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, avocado, and sourdough toast. We both had the lemonade spritz to drink.
After breakfast we decided to do some wine tasting at the Royal Oak, however, they were closed so we headed across the street to the Book Loft. We walked around checking out books and then headed upstairs to the free Hans Christian Andersen Museum. The museum is small but interesting none the less. There are first prints and other books of his on display, storyboards of his love life and even a replica model of his home. As I mentioned the museum is free but the museum does collect donations onsite. Next, we tried the Royal Oaks Winery yet again and it was still closed. Off to the next winery.
We stopped in at the Crawford Family Winery and had 4 to 5 tastings. What is unique about the Crawford Family Winery is that it shares a space with Cailloux Cheese Shop. Cailloux sells fresh cheeses, bread and charcuterie. Many patrons decided to have a charcuterie board with their wine. We ended up buying a small box of toasted onion crackers and Gouda cheese, fantastic!!! By this time we figured that Royal Oaks winery should be open and off we went.
Solvang Olive Press and The Beef Jerky Experience
Just kidding we got a bit sidetracked and found a couple shops. Ryan found the The Beef Jerky Experience and I found the Solvang Olive Press. If you are a fan of jerky then The Beef Jerky Experience would be right up your alley. They offered an assortment of flavors and meat. They also sold insect lollipops. Now the Olive Press was my fave. I absolutely love olives and to have a whole store full of olives and olive oils was a little slice of heaven. Ryan picked up some jerky and I didn’t get any olives this time around. Okay now the Royal Oaks Winery.
The Royal Oaks Winery had two options to choose for the tastings— dry or sweet. Ryan chose the sweet and I had the dry. They also offer chocolates to pair with the wines but we passed but picked up some bleu cheese dijon mustard. Another great tasting under our belt. Next up, Sort This Out Cellars , which had a Rockabilly feel. All things had Bettie Page vibe to it down to the pics on the wine bottle. The most memorable wine tasted like warm apple pie, yummy!!! Our third tasting was at Lucas and Lewellen Vineyards.
By this time we were starting to get hungry and we planned on eating at the Copenhagen Sausage Garden but I got sidetracked and into another winery, we went. Our final tasting was at Cali Love Winery. This was a cute tasting room that offered karaoke, cookies and props. I had to cut my tasting short , I was just a little bit too tipsy at this point lol. After all the tastings we stopped at the Solvang Bakery to pick up Danish cookies, the Old Danish Fudge Kitchen for fudge. Following the winery tastings and shopping, we ended up at our final destination for the evening.
Copenhagen Sausage Garden
Copenhagen Sausage Garden was our final stop for the days events. As we entered the garden above the cashier was the menu of assorted sausages etc. We placed our food and drink order with the cashier and grabbed our drinks at the second window before sitting down at the family-style picnic tables. At this point we expected our food to come out not too long after we sat down but that wasn’t the case. Come to find out they forgot to put our order in, Sigh.
The waitress apologized profusely and we even got a free pretzel for the trouble. Not too long after we received the pretzel our food arrived. Ryan got the sampler, currywurst, bratwurst and hot Italian sausage with pickles on the side. I got the chicken apple sausage with a bun. The food was delicious but the best part was the variety of mustard. After we finished eating we headed back to the hotel.
The time had come to say goodbye to our 5th anniversary mini getaway. Before we leave town we stop to eat our last breakfast in Solvang at Fresco Valley Cafe. After eating we started the 4 to 5 hour trek back home. So long Solvang and up next with another adventure.
If you like this adventure come back to read about our other adventures.