The hubs and I took a little weekend road trip to Solvang, California recently, along with our pal (yet another sister I’ve adopted) Laurie Rubin. I’d only ever driven by this little Danish settlement of a town, never stopped before. What with it being February, the place wasn’t hopping the way it does in summer… which was just fine with me!
I’ve been on the go nonstop for awhile and felt kind of tired, so this was the perfect weekend to just go with the flow and move at a sloowwww pace. Consequently, I came home with photo captures of the little things… like snapshots my eyes took. I did manage to get one or two shots of the town itself… here’s one of them, just so you can see the vibe of the place:
Some of the buildings have windmills… in fact, that’s a trademark of the town. It was settled by Danish folks back in 1911… at this sign attests:
Ahhh, The Pastries
That also means you can find the BEST Danish pastry around! My husband Joe is from Wisconsin, home of both great cheese AND pastry; he enthusiastically and heartily endorsed the baked goods. hehheh. His and Laurie’s eyes both lit up with delight at the fine array that awaited…
I’m not so much a Danish pastry girl… I’m more of a chocolate chip cookie fan, so I’ll have to take their word for the deliciousness of that particular repast. But I did think they were quite photogenic!
The Little Things
One shop we visited had such a collection of tiny figurines, dolls and knick-knacks that I was fascinated. Some people do collect them; clearly enough to warrant a store! I loved the fairy scenes. It’s not that I love fairies in particular… it was more the incredibly detailed “moments” they were each having. I mean, some artisan poured their hearts into them! I always admire that…
Of course, no self respecting Nordic town is complete without helmets with horns! I giggled at what I named the Danish Military Giraffe:
Now, I’ve always been a fan of hats. I have a bit of a collection myself… and used to display them on a wall. It looked so artistic and J. Peterman! I never wore hats like these, though… and enjoyed imagining a southern afternoon tea on a fine spring day in another era;
Of course, no day is complete without silly poses. 😀 Laurie took this one of Joe and me in a village phone booth:
On To The Ostriches
Finally, we’d pastried, strolled, coffee’d and enjoyed enough of town… and were ready to head out to the Ostrich Farm. Yes, Solvang has one! Laurie is a wildlife photographer – Joe and I just love animals – so we took our curiosity and cameras and headed out to visit the Ostriches and emus.
OstrichLand U.S.A. is a sight to see. On their website, they describe themselves thus: “OstrichLand USA is a wonder-filled place for everyone. We have a gift shop with truly unique gifts, all ostrich and emu related. We have fresh ostrich eggs nearly year round and fresh emu eggs during the winter/spring season.” Yes, we saw the huge white ostrich eggs… and the slightly smaller dark green emu eggs. For $4, we bought a dish of ostrich-approved feed and fed the birds. You have to hang on tight, because they’re BIG and quite enthusiastic!
They also gobble with their mouths open, hahaha!
In between waves of visitors-bearing-food, they hang out nearby and keep an eye out for the next willing victim, er, guest to the ranch.
The emus were a bit more polite. At least I think they were… but it might have just seemed that way because they’re smaller. I thought they were quite elegant and not quite so “necky”:
After that, we hit the road for the three hour and change drive back.
Note To Self
I don’t know if you’re like me, but sometimes I get so focused on “what needs to be done”… that I forget to just step awaaayyyyy from the Busy and get out for some simple, fun time with friends. Joe’s the same… so we kind of felt victorious that we’d managed to give ourselves a completely different weekend to experience something new. It wasn’t expensive or fancy… it was just good, simple fun.
Note to self: more like that, please!