Monday, March 24, 2014

Meet in the Middle

With my wife's maternity leave ending shortly we decided to attend as many VW related events before our time was up. We managed to drive to Irwindale to attend the "Hot VW's drag day" which turned out to be quite a large event with some awesome rides and incredibly fast cars. I heard that the temps would hit record highs so we tried to prepare but couldn't leave Brooke in the sun for too long unprotected:
My wife (and hopefully Brooke) saw their first official VW wheelie as well, only an 1/8th mile strip but we still witnessed a 5.81 @ 118mph which is crazy quick for any vehicle:
After hearing about a large VW meet near Solvang California, we decided that we had to attend. As this was a one-day event, I looked up the possibility of making it into a camping weekend and sure enough the VW community came through with a somewhat organized pre-meet at Refugio State Beach making it an entire weekend of fun.  We were lucky to meet some great people at our last big VW event so called upon our friend Ric to see if he might be able to attend, and we were fortunate he was able to join us. The iPhone told us that Refugio was a simple 1.5hr drive but of course that turned into a 2.5 hour journey in our "super fast" camper where we arrived 30 minutes late. The good result of this was our friend Ric managed to meet up with a proud new Westy owner Aaron that just happened to be there and we ended up spending the weekend sharing a campsite!!

Here we are in a great spot right by the ocean representing some quality Vanagon action in our site!
And all the other VW's that enriched our experience while at Refugio:

Refugio park offered us some great scenery as well:

One downside of this beach was the amount of super sticky tar all over the sand and in the water. After doing some research I found out that offshore Santa Barbara has the second largest natural marine oil seeps in the world with an estimated oil seepage of 10,000 gallons of oil each day and has been doing so for centuries!! Another interesting fact I learned was the air pollution that these oil seeps cause contribute over 6,000 tons of reactive organic compounds each year which significantly contributes to the creation of smog

Our incredible day right by the beach complete left us with an amazing evening with our Vanagon friends and I was able to show off some of our new LED lighting action!
With two camping days complete, it was time to head off to the Meet in the Middle VW show but of course had to take some pictures of our camping friends Ric (with Brick) and Aaron (with Jake). The Vanagon community lives strong with us all.......

We then left for the 30 minute drive to Nojoqui Falls park where we found yet more friendly, welcoming, and interesting VW people.
A ten minute hike in this beautiful park took us to the majestic waterfall but it had obviously seen better days.

The show was free as well as a nice lunch and the great weather brought out over 300 cars. Of course I was interested in looking at all the other vehicles and forgot to take pictures of the amazing cars but did take one shot of our small Vanagon contingent as well as us representing my hometown Ontario plates
To finish our awesome weekend, we decided to visit the nearby town of Solvang on our way home. Danish for Sunny fields it offered a taste of Denmark in California with several bakeries, restaurants and merchants. The architecture of the buildings reflect traditional Danish style and here we are in front of famous fable writer Hans Christian Anderson.

Another set of great memories for our new family in the books, our next adventure awaits.