Wish We Both Could Be California Girls

Idyllic is the best word to describe the Ballard Inn. General Manager, Christine Forsyth, has managed to keep the small-town feel of the Inn without sacrificing any big luxury. We arrived in the afternoon, to folks enjoying wine and hors’ dourves on the wrap around front porch, complete with lemonade and rocking chairs. It was like pulling up to a giant dollhouse. There were wine tastings available in the Inn, along with numerous sitting areas to relax and enjoy that wine.

Our room was called Wild Flower and Amanda and I thought it was so nice that in the room was a story of how it acquired its name. Apparently, spring in Ballard, California brings thousands and thousands of beautiful wild flowers blooming. Looks like I’ll just have to make a trip back in the spring to see for myself! The Ballard Inn was voted one of the most romantic Inns in the U.S. and we both agreed it would be wonderful to come back with significant others. Apparently several other couples felt the same way we did, because the Inn was packed for the weekend.

Ballard Inn owner and executive chef Budi Kazali. Photo: Ballard Inn

The staff at the Inn was very accommodating. Jordan, was so patient to take photos of Amanda and I on the front steps of the Inn, and because we were feeling a bit under the weather, the chef (and owner), Budi Kazali, make us soup and salad for dinner. Kazali is world renowned for his culinary creations. He’s been on television numerous times and worked on both the east and west coasts, wowing folks with dining delights. You know that someone has skill in the kitchen when they can take two simple dishes, like corn chowder and caesar salad, and blow your mind with them. Once again, we were not the only one’s loving the food. Almost every table in the restaurant was taken. It was also great to be able to eat outside on the front porch. The temperature was perfect.

Prior to dinner we visited the Danish-influenced town of Solvang, which is just a few miles from the Inn. How the people who live there are not all overweight is hard to grasp since there is a danish bakery on literally every corner. They must have more self control than me and Amanda. This little town is so adorable! We took Sid walking in the town, and he continued to get way more attention than Amanda or me. Sid’s a hit wherever he goes.

We would have spent more time there, but after waking up at the Inn and being so close to our final destination of Santa Cruz, we were eager to finish the last few hundred miles of a nearly 4,000 mile journey. Don’t worry, we weren’t about to leave without our last fabulous breakfast. Soon it will be up to us to feed ourselves again. I hope we still remember how to whip up something in the kitchen! We both chose the egg white omelette with crab, cilantro, mozzarella and avocado. Delicious and healthy, a combo we appreciate.

It’s weird to be headed to a final destination that’s not home for either of us. We still have lots to do when we arrive, but hopefully after strategically placing a few family photos, unpacking all of her things and putting the bed together, Amanda will begin to feel a connection to her new place here in California.

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