The place to eat is…

coldsprings6

One of the things I never get around to organizing in a pleasing and nice way, is tips on good restaurants. I guess a well-organized person would have a wonderful book with neat clippings and entries, I just jot something on my ever-present index cards. The upside on that is that the advice is in my purse when I need it, sometimes. The best way is probably to do what my husband does, just check it out and go, as soon as possible.

coldsprings4His way of doing things makes some wonderful and surprising outings, as this  sunday trip to somewhere dubbed “the most Romantic Getaway”. We drove on steep mountain roads in the most stunning scenery up the Old Stage Coach road ( from Santa Barbara through the San Marco Pass) and arrived in time for lunch at the old Cold Spring Tavern.

coldsprings5

To me, that name sums it up, what pure bliss it must have been to come to a place with abundant shadow and a cold mountain spring after toiling and sweating up the valley. The historians think this has been the preferred route through the mountains as long as people have lived in the Santa Inez and Santa Barbara valleys, which is around 10 000 years. The tavern has been there since 1865, I guess the hosts must have been just as nice and welcoming all the time as they are still in business?  While the food is traditional and plentiful, the reason to go is the atmosphere, the occasional live music and the friendly service.

solvang bridge

Leaving the tavern you see an interesting historical juxtaposition. The stage coach road was a major improvement when it was engineered, even so, the hills were as steep and the canyon as deep as before, until 1964, when the Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge was completed. The bridge  spans elegantly over the canyon as part of SR 154. A major engineering feat which has won awards for both engineering, design and beauty. It is a Historic Civil engineering Landmark. The technical term is a supported deck arch bridge, and it still is among the longest of its kind in the world. This information is on a plaque an the most beautiful viewpoint down the road. My  praise today goes to the American Society of Civil Engineers who makes these signs. I love to know this things, who made it, what is it, the longest, the best and so on, just when I am experiencing it. Thank You! And thanks to Wikimedia Commons for their picture of the Plaque. ( all other pictures by me, as always!)

Civil engineering Landmark

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