By Pamela Dozois

Contributing Writer


The Buellton Senior Center’s “Lunch Buddies” enjoyed lunch recently at the Bakery Farmstand, a quaint little garden setting in Los Olivos.

The 23 guests were treated to a large slice of homemade quiche along with a fresh side salad, a glass of wine, and a scone covered with strawberries and freshly whipped cream for dessert, prepared by Tracy Fleming, owner of the Bakery Farmstand.

“Wow, the lavender-lemon scones were outrageous,” said Kathy Head.

“I didn’t know anything could taste that good that didn’t have meat in it,” said Bud Covington.

“We take our seniors out to lunch once a month to a variety of different locations, showing our seniors all there is to see and do and eat along the Central Coast and in our own back yard,” said Pam Gnekow, executive director of the Buellton Senior Center. “We also like to combine it with some local attraction. It’s more fun to explore when we do it together.”

“The group has traveled to San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, and other spots up the coast and as far away as Los Angeles, in an effort to offer our seniors different experiences and enjoy a lunch together as a group,” Gnekow explained. “Every Christmas we go to the Madonna Inn. On Thanksgiving we travel to the Apple Farm Restaurant and then visit the pumpkin patch in Avila Beach. We’ve gone to Thousand Oaks to the Cineplex. Sometimes we go to the beach in Santa Barbara to enjoy the surf and sand and a day in the sun. We also do a Christmas luncheon at Sherrie Musgrove’s ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley, and everyone seems to have a wonderful time at these get-togethers.”

Buellton Parks and Rec supplies a bus to take the seniors where they want to go, so they can just get on the bus and enjoy the ride.

“The bus usually accommodates 30 people, but we try not to turn down anyone who wants to come,” said Gnekow.

“We’ve taken the train to San Luis Obispo and picnicked on the train and returned by bus to Solvang,” continued Gnekow. “We also went to Cambria to do some sightseeing and shopping.”

This month’s outing will be on July 18 to Kohler Winery on Foxen Canyon Road in Los Olivos.

“We enjoyed our lunch at the Bakery Farmstand and the beautiful surroundings,” said Arne Hansen, who was seated with his wife Telma at a shady table under a tree. “It gives us a chance to meet up with people we haven’t seen in a while and to spend an afternoon with friends.”

Gnekow said that seniors are also invited to the Buellton Senior Center on the fourth Tuesday of every month to enjoy lunch and wine with other seniors. The third Wednesday of every month the Valley Christian Fellowship Church and the Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church provide a free community lunch at the center as well. Everyone is welcome.

“There is lots to do at the Buellton Senior Center,” said Gnekow. “There is no reason to sit at home alone. Come to the center and see what we have to offer.”

For more information on what the Buellton Senior Center offers, call 805-688-4571.