The husband and I decided to take a mini-trip up to the Solvang area for a relaxing getaway before he jumped into his new job.  We really enjoyed our last Bed & Breakfast experience (in Julian) and decided to try it again.  I did some searching online and came across the The Victorian Mansion at Los Alamos.    I love Victorian homes and the themed rooms looked to be fun.  Plus, private tub for two?  Yes, please!

When we arrived, most of the guests for the night had not shown up so we got a tour of the rooms except for the Roman one which was already occupied.

On the first floor is the 50’s and Gypsy rooms.  The 50’s room has a real Cadillac that was turned into a bed.  There was a projector and screen set up to simulate the feeling of being at a drive-in.  It was really cool except for the fact that the steering wheel was still attached so whoever gets that side of the bed should be really short or like to sleep in a fetal position.  This room felt the smallest and the bathroom was tiny.  The Gypsy room was really cool; the bed was in a covered wagon (don’t worry, the wheels were placed in grooves in the floor).  The walls were painted with a forest mural and the tub was sunk into the floor and surrounded with stones.

The 2nd floor was the Roman and Egyptian room.  The 3rd floor had the Pirate and Paris rooms.  The Pirate room had lights that were rigged to sway and the walls were covered with wood paneling to simulate a cabin room on a ship.  The Paris room was water-damaged during renovations so was unavailable.

We booked the Egyptian room.  This room ended up being the largest in the house and the only one with a balcony.  They really went all out with the theme.  The canopied bed was on a raised dais in the center of the room.

The walls and ceiling were covered with material and murals to simulate a tent out in the desert.  There was an LCD TV, DVD & CD players and a fridge hidden in the walls as well as a closet with robes.  Each room had movies that were related to the theme as well as a copy of Sideways since that was filmed in the area.

They supplied bubble bath for the tub and there was a bottle of wine from a local winery as well as chocolate-covered strawberries waiting for us.

The King Tut statue was actually a pull-out door to get to the bathroom.  The shower stall was tiled and had hieroglyphics painted on them.

The door to the balcony was also in the bathroom.  There were two benches and you could look out onto the main street of town.  The manager noted that our room was the only one where you could open a window/door to the outside so if you tend to get claustrophobic or like lots of fresh air, you should book this room.

Los Alamos ended up being a lot smaller than I thought.  Almost everything closes at 5pm so we only had about an hour to wander around.  Actually, it takes only about 5 minutes to walk across town.  Heh.  We spent the hour wandering thru an antique shop and stopping in at a wine-tasting room.  With nothing else to do after that, we decided to have dinner.  Based on recommendations by the B&B manager and a store owner, we went to Full of Life Flatbread.  More on that later…

The wine that came with our room was a Syrah from Andrew Murray.  Neither the husband nor I are wine experts so I can’t really comment on the quality.  He enjoyed it more than I did and so drank most of the bottle.  The chocolate-strawberries were excellent.  I had stuck them in the fridge to enjoy as a dessert later in the night and they were nice and cold.  The strawberries were ripe and sweet and had just the right amout of chocolate coating to compliment but not overpower the fruit.

The tub was awesome.  You forget how nice it is to have a deep tub to soak in for relaxation.  The water runs hot here so keep an eye on the temperature, otherwise you’ll end up waiting for the water to cool down.  It takes about 10-15 mins to fill it up.

At night, it can get very quiet in the room.  If you are like me and the husband and need ambient noise (like a fan), I suggest bringing something to assist with that. The bed was comfy…not overly soft or firm and the pillows cushy.  Just be careful when getting out of bed as it’s really dark in the room and you have steps to contend with.

For breakfast, The Victorian Mansion operates a little differently.  Instead of having all the guests meet in the dining room at a specified time, the Vick delivers breakfast to each room at an arranged time.  There’s a little compartment in the wall that’s accessible from both outside and inside the room.  They place the tray of food in it and knock on your door to signal that breakfast has arrived.

Breakfast for the first day consisted of individual quiches and muffins.  The 2nd day was also quiche but with croissants.  Orange juice and coffee (or hot chocolate) are served as beverages.  Neither of us are coffee drinkers so we went with the hot chocolate.  YUM!  It was not overly sweet and had a hint of a coffee flavor to it.  Dan really enjoyed it and ended up drinking most of it both days.  We inquired as to the brand and turns out it’s Ghiradelli’s.  I know what I’ll be looking for at the stores.

The quiches were a little bland but not bad.  I sprinkled some salt n’ pepper and that helped.  The egg filling was fluffy and not over done and the cheese had browned nicely.  The first day quiches had vegetables mixed in – peppers, onions, olives.   For the 2nd day, we had one quiche that was the same and a broccoli quiche.  I didn’t like the broccoli one as it was too…broccoli-y.  The husband didn’t touch them at all because they were “tainted by those evil green things that come from the ground”.

I didn’t get a chance to really enjoy the muffins as I was stuffed from eating the two quiches.  Dan nibbled at the coffee-cake looking one till he discovered there were blueberries in it.  I tried a little bit of both and they were tasty.  Buttery and sweet, they had a “home-made” quality to them.  The croissants were served warm and were good but I swear they were the same as the ones you get from Costco (which are good!) but there was nothing outstanding about them.

Since Los Alamos doesn’t have much in the way of tourist attractions, we went to Solvang and Los Olivos (wine-tasting rooms galore!!!) which are no more than a 15-minute drive away for something to do during the day.

Overall, this was a great place to stay.  Diane, the manager was really friendly and helpful.  The themed rooms were a lot of fun.  Because it is an old house (built in 1864), you can hear people in the room above you walking around if it’s occupied.  The tub is a really nice perk and the local bottle of wine a nice touch.  We found the price ($250-275/night) reasonable considering all that you got.  It’s the perfect place for an intimate, relaxing getaway for couples.

The Victorian Mansion at Los Alamos
326 Bell Street
Los Alamos, California 93440
(805) 344-1300
www.thevick.com

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I’m still here.  I’m backlogged on reviews.  I’ve still got Hellboy 2 to finish up, a Con overview and some restaurant goodies (with pictures!).  Work has slammed me and with less than 70 days left till I get hitched, wedding details have taken over my free time.

I promise something will get posted this week as I’m “on travel” for work and need something to do in the evenings.

I have a “Hellboy 2” review to post…hopefully get to it tonight.  It all depends on how much time it takes me to get my data off my old phone and onto my new used iPhone.  Yes, Dan got his nifty 3G iPhone today and romantically gifted me with his old one.

I’ll be heading down to Comic-con tomorrow night after work.  I hope to be able to get into a few panels on Saturday and resist spending money I don’t have on things I don’t need.  Any interesting news will get posted…and I’m sure there’ll be some pictures as well.  Now if only I had my new camera….which I have not yet decided on.  I’m still torn between getting a high-end point and shoot like the Sony H50 or spending more to get a DSLR.

OMG DIABLO III!!!!

If you haven’t seen the trailers or artwork yet, http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/

Geebus, with Starcraft 2, Wrath of the Lich King and Diablo III coming out, I may have to take a leave of absence from work.

For X-mas, I’m gonna build me a new computer! Hello, better graphics card! UPGRAYDD!!! (If you don’t know that reference, go watch “Idiocracy”.)

…Yes, I’m a G.I.R.L (Gamer in Real Life). ^_^

So it’s been a bit hectic hence the lack of posts. I’ve been planning a wedding, moving (last haul this weekend) and adjusting to telecommuting from my new home among other things.

Anyways, I’ve got some reviews to catch up on…
Movies:
– Indy 4
– Ironman
– Appleseed Ex Machina

Restaurants:
– Pomegranate
– Piknic
– Kung Pao Kitty

And I may be at an advanced screening for “The Incredible Hulk” on Monday.

Neil Gaiman + panda = an adorable photo op. I am quite jealous, both of Neil and the panda. Neil because he gets to have a panda in his lap and the panda because it’s on Neil’s lap. Okay, the latter seems a little dirty. I’d be content with sitting next to Neil with a nice cup of tea discussing the fibrous nature of bamboo. Or something. Click here for more pictures.

YouTube turned up the extended trailer shown at Comic-Con for “The Golden Compass”.

Well, doesn’t that look pretty? I, for one, am looking forward to this movie. I’ve been reading the series and it is quite good. It’s a bit more graphically violent than, say, Harry Potter, and there’s certainly a plot that could be perceived as “anti-religious” though reports say the movie tones that down. We wouldn’t want half the nation to boycott it, now do we? Of course, the folks in Jesus-land didn’t do so well in trying to bring down the Harry Potter franchise. Then again, Harry Potter didn’t discuss a revolt against an entire belief system…or did it?

The movie’s set looks amazing and I’m thrilled at the whole “steampunk” look of it. I have to say, Nicole Kidman is perfectly cast as Mrs. Coulter. Of course, if you haven’t read the book, you wouldn’t know. Go read the book.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQdhMSEqhfg”>She blows Jessica Simpson’s “tuna or chicken” question right off the map…provided she could find where it is first.

Bat’s Day…goths at Disneyland? Wait, aren’t goths supposed to hide in the dark and contemplate death and other morbid things? Why would they possibly go to Disneyland, especially during the hottest time of the year and during the park’s high season (read: LOTS of tourists)? That, I haven’t figured out yet other than it’s friggin’ Disneyland. Who doesn’t love that place??? If you don’t, there is a special place in Hell for you along with the rest of your fellow heartless fiends.

Bat’s Day is a great PR move for the goth community. People see them in full club attire in a very “Americana” setting (not to mention out in the sun, tanning, despite the Costco-sized tube of SPF 60 coating their skin). Some have kids and make it a family event, showing that yes, they, too, can be responsible parents. And when brave tourists approach them to ask what the deal is, they may find that goths do have manners and are amiable. What may even be more shocking is the fact that despite the stereotype, goths can smile. And they laugh, too. They don’t spend all their time lamenting their sad state of living with their hand stapled to their forehead. Well, most of them don’t…

However, what some of them haven’t figured out yet is that vinyl cat-suits and velvet ballgowns are highly impractical clothing for a summer day in the park. Even parasols and fans won’t save you from the suffocating heat, as I personally learned (along with the fact that an air-conditioned ride will break down when you get in line just to spite you *shakes fist at Small World*).

Then there are the shoes. Stiletto heels? Really? But that’s not reserved solely for this crowd. Many fashion-conscientious girls from all catwalks seem to don shoes that seem better suited for sitting than for trekking around Disneyland. But the fashion choices of the general public is a subject that deserves a post of its own so we’ll leave it alone here.

Things to note:
– When on Pirates, during the ship battle scene, when the captain yells “Fire at will!”, one must respond with “Duck, Will, duck!”
– On Big Thunder Mountain, wave at the turtles, snakes and goat. Else Derek will hurt you. And go at night during the fireworks.
– A padded suit is required to ride the Matterhorn without accruing bruises galore.
– Fast pass the big rides or go during a parade.
– The Blue Bayou is now outrageously expensive and not worth the price.
– Fish out of water = sushi

P.S. Hugging cold drinks is a nice way of cooling off.

Me: I was 2 in 1982.
Him: I was 10.
Me: Um, aren’t you only 6 yrs older than me?
Him: I was born in 1974. So in 1982, I was 10.
Me: No….
Him: Yes. 1982 – 1974 is…oh.

I’ve gone and started another blog. Good heavens. why? Cuz I’m just -THAT- bored.

I promise to fill this space with mindless dribble, funny links and on occasion, a review of a game or anime or even *gasp* a book. Yes, I can read. Yay! *clap clap clap*

Okay, go away now while I fiddle around with this. Next time, bring a cookie. Please. Oatmeal raisin with nuts would be splendid.

/salute