Monday, September 5, 2011

YOU need a craze-cation!

For John's birthday we went on a crazy, last-minute vacation. We drove up to Refugio Beach, which is north of Santa Barbara, for a crazy picnic and some fishing. 

Waaay before kids John and I would take Barkley up to Malibu really early in the morning. He would kayak, (John not Barkley. Basset hounds can't swim!) and I would sit on the beach and read terrible magazines. Then he'd come back and we'd cook out sausages and eat homemade pasta salads and cake. Pineapple upside-down cake, to be specific. 

Usually, because we were so early, it was overcast and sometimes drizzling. So it became Crazy Picnic. Because anyone else would just stay home.

Back to the latest Crazy Picnic, we arrived at the beach around 9 and it was capital "c" Cold! Some kind of freak storm must've been pushing through because it's early September and we were freezing!

To warm up, John helped the boys build a river from the stream to the ocean:
Then he went fishing for a while and we sat at the picnic table and had snacks and shivered.
Bee was the coldest:
After sausages and chocolate cake, we drove to our hotel. The only available room in the area was in Lompoc. What to say about Lompoc? There are a lot of murals. Their downtown area is probably pretty nice when things are open. John coined it Radiator Springs. I think it needs a little love.

We ate at the China Bowl, which has been around since 1946.
It was pretty amazing. Food not too shabby for the middle of nowhere. We actually over ordered and still paid under $40. Mostly I liked the decor and colors. Here is a fountain-ie shrine deal with a giant cherry tree:
Orange curved wall with pink rook tiles? Thank you.
Our most favorite thing was the jukebox. It had Patsy Cline, Rod Stewart and Sisco. Because nothing says "Chinese food," like the Thong Song. Hartwell had fun picking songs and even found fifty cents in the coin return! Yay for free songs! 
I know you want to know how you get $7 of free food. If you spend $40, you get eggroll. We fell for it. Deliciously.

We returned to the hotel and the boys swan while I nearly passed out in the amazing bed while watching Tom Hanks chase Ewan McGregor. That thing was like mama bear's bed. A little too soft, but also just right.

The next morning we went to breakfast in Solvang. Danish pancakes and sausages. 
I went to a Christmas store and bought some Russian ornaments, hung out in a used bookstore, and found a delicious craft store full of dreams!

Oh, and this happened:
and this:
"Would you like a glitter tattoo?"
"Yes."
"What would you like? A skull?"
"Yes! Wait. A rose! A rose!"
"What colors do you like?"
"Pink and purple. And red!"

The lady never asked us. We just sort of sat while the kids were made beautiful.  It made them so happy. 

After that, lunch and aebelskiver. I went native and had a crazy danish open faced sandwich, which I knew would be the thing my Norwegian dad would have ordered.
Then we drove home. Hartwell kept saying stuff like, "Next time we stay at that hotel..."
I think Lompoc is a one time town, sorry Hartwell. But it did remind me of how much fun we would have if we vacationed up the coast with a little trailer. All the awesome California towns with crazy restaurants waiting for spider man and Lydia, the tattooed Hartwell.

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