Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas in Solvang

Good morning. Tina here, finally. I seem to have finally figured out how to fix my glitch in my posting get-a-long.

I am going to share some photos of my trip very early this month to Solvang, California.
Starting with one of the lovely windmills. This was one of the first sights we saw as we entered this wonderful town from the highway from Santa Inez.

There were lots of visitors, as it was a special weekend, with a parade planned on Saturday morning and I am sure lots of other special events going on.

Decorations everywhere!
The artist in me (and in my traveling companion Karen) enjoyed this colorfully decorated tree.
Solvang was founded by Danish immigrants in 1911 so this year is their centennial. 100 years of cute buildings, storks, and windmills. (Not to mention good things to eat... more on that later!)
As soon as you enter the city limits, you can tell this town is a little different.
Bakeries on every corner, curvy roofs, greenery everywhere.
Did I mention bakeries???
We couldn't wait to go to dinner at our favorite restaurant. We had been dreaming about it since we went there four years ago.
Bit O' Denmark. Originally built as a school in 1911, it became a restaurant in 1963.
I visited the buffet, feeling like royalty as I chose and pointed and Karen filled my plate so I could negotiate with my cane. Meatballs and gravy, my very favorite sweet red cabbage, macaroni and cheese... Heavenly.
We sat at a lovely copper-clad table at the window and looked back at the bar.
Through those portals under the window sat the buffet, stuffed with every kind of scandinavian food you can imagine.
I couldn't help myself, I had to have a beer. It was great, full-bodied and rich, just how I like it.
Guess what I chose for seconds? I have searched for a similiar cabbage recipe but haven't found it yet. A bit sweet, just the right consistency... one day I will find it.
We arrived at 4:30, still in time to get the buffet at the lunch price, and just in time to see the town at dusk and watch the Christmas lights come on all around us.
Once we were done we walked back to the car enjoying the sparkling lights and the moon.
The next morning we discovered the Christmas parade went right down the street next to our room at the motel, so we settled in to watch at eleven am.
It seemed like the entire community was in the parade, but I guess not, because some of them were here watching!
All the parade essentials were there: music and children.
More children.
Marching men from many different organizations.
More horses and trolleys.
Dogs. And more dogs. More dogs later. Seemed like so many dogs that Solvang must mean dogs in Danish, but it doesn't, it means "Sunny Fields".
Little trucks.
Old cars.
More old cars.
Lots of old cars.
At least ten entries had dogs.
This beautiful dog came up to the sidelines and Karen got to pet her. She said she was soft as silk.
Ladies and dogs.
Dogs and ladies.
Okay, enough about dogs, you get the idea!
More kids. These girls were among the many giving out candy.
The little boy in the striped shirt here with his family watched the parade next to us. He left with a bag of candy that could rival Halloween.
There were high school bands, church bands, middle-school bands.
This gentleman on his chopper sported a santa cap with horns. A senior viking.
A lovely old burgundy woody.
Ride 'em angels!
This former 4H All Star wouldn't leave out the Lucky Clover club. Cute name!
Just as we wondered how we would know it was over, here came the street sweeper.
After the parade, it was time for a break and a sit-down. We found a little restaurant which had really tempting scents wafting from the doors. Inside were shelves all along the ceiling with lighted Christmas houses.
On the walls were paintings of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales. This one at our table was the Seven Swans. The sister rescues her brothers who were turned into swans by knitting sweaters for them, but doesn't finish the last one, so the seventh brother is left with a wing.
This restaurant is famous for it's Aebleskivers, yummy little buns with a raspberry sauce over.
Oops, forgot to take a before shot, but you can see from the after that they were pretty good!
The roof of the restaurant shows the fairy tale look.
I just love the curves and the bricks.
Next stop, Solvang Bakery. As we entered we were greeted by these lovely ladies singing Christmas carols. They were wonderful!
A musical treat as we selected our treats.
I had just recently seen this bakery in a made-for-tv Christmas movie and recognized it. It was surreal to be there with the carols and holiday shoppers just the next week.
I selected a lovely almond and apple bearclaw-type roll and a nice bun with lemon curd. And no, they were not Weight Watcher friendly!
As we left the couple in the middle-right met and hugged, and my heart just smiled.
Keep baking Solvang, keep adopting those dogs, keep decorating your many trees, and keep making that cabbage. We will be back!


yosemite faith said...

what beautiful black and white horses. love the doggies. holland michigan has a huge tulip festival - you would probably like that. frankenmuth michigan is very german - lots of good restaurants and has a huge christmas ornament etc etc store called bronners. thanks for showing solvang.

Lorlore said...

Loved it!!! Looks like it was a wonderful trip!!!!

Heidi Ann said...

Oh, Solvang looks so wonderful! I am so glad you had a nice trip, and I hope that I can go there with you some day.
I am THRILLED that you are able to post again - thank you!!

Paul Duca said...

Solvang...a little bit of Denmark on the California coast (as sayeth THE SIMPSONS)

Rudy Swanson said...

Haha. It’s a sign, Tina! Once you see a street sweeper truck on the road, it automatically means that the event is over. :D But for my kids, watching a sweeper truck passing by is an awesome show for them. They really love it when the truck’s rotating brushes sweeps the street. :)