Rancho Oso

April 2022
We spent a long weekend in a cabin at Rancho Oso
for Cynthia's birthday.  It was a relaxing time going
around the Santa Barbara area.

We drove up to Santa Barbara on Friday morning.  By the time we entered the San Marcos Pass on Highway 154, the weather changed dramatically with dark grey clouds, wind, and rain.  The original plan was to drive to Los Olivos for lunch, but it was much closer to stop at the Cold Spring Tavern.  The restaurant is an old stage coach stop, with many historical buildings around the area.  They are noted for BBQ and exotic  meat, i.e. Buffalo. We sat outside in spite of the weather and enjoyed our lunch.

It was a 20 minute drive to the campground. We checked into our cabin, which had a full kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and satellite TV! Rancho Oso is not only a campground, but a full horse ranch. It had been over 10 years since we stayed at Rancho Oso, but we had many memories of summer family vacations.

The campground is located in a valley surrounded by the beautiful Santa Ynez mountains.  It is a very relaxing place with magnificent views. The next morning I woke up at sunrise for my walk, and I picked a bouquet of wild flowers for Cynthia's birthday.

Saturday was Cynthia's birthday. We headed to Santa Barbara to explore the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate. The estate is a large complex of greenhouses with orchids from all over the world.  It was a nice experience learning about the many different varieties of orchids. 

After spending time walking through the greenhouses, we worked up an appetite for lunch.  Brophy Brothers Seafood is one of the top rated seafood restaurants in Santa Barbara. It was Cynthia's choice for her birthday.  She had her heart set on the crab cakes, but they were out. We sat outside on the patio and enjoyed our lunch while taking in the great view of the harbor and mountains. We walked around the harbor after lunch and found a fisherman on the dock selling live stone crab that caught Cynthia's eye.  She did not have crab for lunch, but had it for dinner.

Cynthia's birthday celebration was an outstanding and relaxing get away.