Saturday, October 18, 2008
We drove three hours there and three hours back to visit Solvang. I've heard about this little Dutch-influenced town since about the time I moved to California in 1985.
The long drive probably puts more pressure on the place to please, but I have to say, I don't get it. It seemed mostly like a lot of overpriced shops selling things you could get anywhere with different town names stitched or painted or screen printed on them. We looked for a cowboy museum that was on a map, but which didn't seem to exist any longer.
This sandwich plate Hydra ordered at Bit o' Denmark, which I later found out is the oldest restaurant in town, was nice. So was the one that Kitty ordered.
This tasted better than it looks. It wasn't made of real wax. It was pork sausage and red potatoes.
The cultural highlight of the excursion: the giant bust of Hans Christian Anderson in the museum dedicated to him which is housed in the comfortable and inviting Book Loft bookstore.
I like this painting of him very, very much.
It wasn't a large exhibit, but it told about his unrequited loves and his publishing history, and there were lots of nicely illustrated books lying open inside cases. Would love to see more of the illustrations.
We wandered into an antiques place and wow! There were more grandfather clocks in this one shop than I had seen in the whole of my life before this day. They are amazing pieces of furniture with amazing prices like on sale for $34,000.00!
I tried to open the Louis the XVI cabinet to see if there were any deals on vintage Pyrex refrigerator containers, but it was locked.
Pretty gate on one of the side streets away from the commercial streets.
The drive up there and back through the Santa Ynez Valley was very pretty. Lots of rolling grassy hills dotted with live oaks...some of my favorite California landscapes.
We stopped to have a look at Lake Cachuma, which was created in 1953 by the construction of a dam. Amazing blue in the middle of the tan hills.