After we said our goodbyes to the miniature horses, we intentionally picked a random road to drive, just to see the local neighborhood and countryside. We took a detour onto Sagunto Street, which led us to a delightful old west town with shops and museums. And, as luck would have it, one of the few museums in the area happened to house a collection of over 35 horse-drawn vehicles that date back to be early 1800s. Although we didn't plan to visit this museum on our trip, we had to stop to check it out before heading back to our hotel for some needed R&R by the pool.
Later that evening, we headed west on the 246 to Buellton (a couple of miles out of Solvang) to experience the open-flame cooking at Hitching Post II. The Hitching Post II was made famous in the 2004 Alexander Payne movie, "Sideways." "Sideways" was about two friends that spent the weekend in the valley going from bars to wineries before a big wedding, and finding themselves along the way. There are local tours that will take you to all the local spots where they filmed the movie. The bar in the Hitching Post was one of those locations. The Hitching Post is also known for its great open-flame grill that is viewable to most of the dining area. My friend and I dined on juicy, tender steaks, grilled shrimp, and sampled some local wine (my nephew had plenty to choose from on the kids' menu) before heading back to the hotel for the evening.
After fulfilling our breakfast requirements at Paula's on the third morning, we worked off the strawberry and whipped-cream toppings by strolling down the streets in the town center. We visited a few candy and ice cream stores (and sampled their wares), got lost in the toy stores, and managed to take in some fine art and a little literary history at the Hans Christian Andersen Museum.