Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Solvang is a Seven Letter Word

Yesterday we left the house at 9:30am and didn’t arrive home until way after 10:00pm. It was an exhausting, long, fun filled day so you would think a day of rest might follow. OH NO. It was Ms. Ivey’s official last day and we needed to get out for one last adventure. Besides yesterday in Ms. Ivey’s quest to find the weird and unusual around LALA land she found a Dutch town and well it sounded too good to pass up.

We got up bright and early and packed into the car for another road trip. But first we had to get breakfast. Mrs. Dancer had been talking often about the amazing breakfast burrito joint around the corner from her place. A burrito that calls her name a few times a week, a burrito we all had to try. I do love Mexican food but I am not a big fan of Cilantro. Thankfully they could make my vegetarian burrito sans the bitter green herb. And let me tell you Mrs. Dancer does not lie. These burritos were MARVELOUS!


After breakfast we got on the road. I took the back seat and spread out all my gear. It was a long two and a half hour drive and I was perfectly happy letting someone else drive. Normally I am all control freaky I have to drive, but after yesterdays all day extravaganza I was tired of sitting behind the wheel. Mrs. Dancer offered to drive so that way I could take more photos of the scenery and just relax.




Solvang is a Danish town in Santa Barbra. It was created by a group of Danes who wanted to establish a true home with a better climate. Our first stop in this little unique town was Mission Santa Ines, a mission of California, and a national historic landmark.


It is a Spanish mission that was founded to help colonize California in 1804. Today the building serves as a museum and a church. We began in the beautiful gardens outside the building.



We opted to take the tour, an audio self guided 20 minutes that took you through various rooms of the mission and let you browse works of art. There were some beautiful pieces. I wouldn’t say it was the best tour ever but it was interesting.




The tour ended in the courtyard behind the mission. Here we wanted through more exquisite gardens, trickling fountains and the old cemetery out back.


By the time we were done exploring the mission we had worked up an appetite. Part of what makes Solvang so unique is that the all the architecture is in the traditional Danish style. Walking through these streets I felt transported to Europe.


Seriously we were hungry and this town boasts some fantastic restaurants and bakeries. Ms. Ivey spent some time on her smart phone and found a tiny little pastry shop bursting with EVERLASTING DELICIOUSNESS. Walking in that place you were enveloped with the smell of everything yummy. If I hadn’t been so hungry at that point the smell would have gotten me there. Everything looked so yummy we had a hard time trying to decide what to get. In the end everyone got two, and then we split them all three ways. That way we each got a taste of a bunch of different things. I think Ms. Ivey picked my favorite, I cannot even remember what it was, which is what happens to me when I try something amazing. All I can remember is the feeling I had when I ate it. AHHHHH chocolate goodness.


It has to be mentioned that being a friend of a blogger is difficult. Poor Ms. Ivey had to wait before every meal, at every interesting thing that was found, and sit for SEVERAL photos. I am a photo documenter of life. Anyways at the pastry shop the table next to us, two couples of older people were giggling up a storm and ended up commiserating with Ms. Ivey while the photos of our pastries were being taken. Patience is a virtue when you hang out with me and my ever present camera.

After consuming our pastries we decided to wander around town for forty five minutes of our remaining time. We popped into several stores, I almost bought several purses but restrained myself. We visited a few jewelry shops to ooh and ahh over the various shiny bits of frosting. And then I got dragged into the most HEINOUS shoe store in the world. I love shoes, but this store bastardized them so much that they were like little lumps of ugly coal. Not cool people... not cool. I will give the Danes good architecture, I will give them fantastic pastries, but people it’s time to get on the fashion train.

Leaving the shoe store we made our way through a busy farmers market where Mrs. Dancer got drawn toward every single booth as Ms. Ivey and I tried not to look impatient. Mrs. Dancer is so curious and likes to look and we love her, it’s part of her charm after all.




But wait, the funness is not over, oh no we still have a ways to go. Our next stop was a waterfall I had read about as something you had to see when visiting Solvang. Nojoqui Falls is located only a few miles south of the town, which was on our way back toward LALA land. We weren’t exactly dressed for a hike in the outback but it was only a half mile hike round trip.


Sadly we noticed that the river that the path followed up the mountain was pretty dry. I knew that the falls was going to be a bust but I was hoping for the best. No luck, the waterfall was more like a water trickle. You know when you turn on the water faucet and then don’t quite shut it off all the way. It was sad, but not all adventure can be perfect.


Hours later in the car ride toward home it was time to eat dinner; our lunch of pastries wasn’t exactly a meal you know. I found various options checking their rating on Yelp for a pre-filter of our choices. Ms. Ivey had taken me to a Tapas restaurant when I visited a few weeks ago in Charlotte. Since it was mentioned a few times as an option since she has been in town and since I ended up finding a pretty decently rated Tapas place on the way home we visited Toi.


Although I was pretty disappointed in their wine list, I am becoming quite the wine snob I suppose, the menu looked amazing. The service was slow but we weren’t in a hurry. We ordered slowly savoring each course as it came out; delicious food and delicious company.



It was the end of our day and we were almost home. It was sad to think that we would be losing Ms. Ivey early tomorrow morning. We didn’t want the fun to end, it was just too depressing. So when you cannot let go, when you are sad, when you want to continue the fun despite the best intentions to get home responsibly early... you visit a super yummy dessert place. Sweet Lady Jane was the perfect end to our perfect day. Each of us ordered a different delicious cake concoction and we all took nibbles of each others. I have to say I have eaten more food in the past week than I have in the past month but it has been on YUMMMMY ride.


Goodbye Ms. Ivey, we will miss you!


Jennifer Arens said...

Its fun being a tourist in your own state isn't it?!

Jess said...

It all went by so fast! I think I blinked and it was over :(

paul peggy zeus said...

OMG all that food looks so amazing. I think I need to go to bed before I raid my fridge. THere's nothing in there that can compare anyway, so why worry!

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