Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Tasting My Way Through Solvang

 My day started out at Good Seed Coffee. I got an iced almond latte. It was an average coffee.

 Iced latte in hand, I crossed the street to Mortensen's Danish Bakery.

 Along with the standard danish, they had an assortment of other pastries and cookies.

 I grabbed a seat outside after ordering my danish choices.

 I got a cherry one that was really tasty.

 It started to get warm out so I got in the car and drove to Buellton.

 I have driven past Andersen's Pea Soup restaurant many times but had never stopped in. Since I was staying so close, I just had to go.

 I was greeted by this chef when I walked in the door.

 These funny guys were cooking themselves in a vat of pea soup.

 I ordered the famous soup. It was really good. When I cook it, it is chunky with peas, carrots, and potatoes. This one was more of a bisque. It is vegetarian and there is an option to add meat toppings.

They gave us a basket of crackers to enjoy with the soup.

 I had the tuna and avocado salad. It was a good, dry tuna and the crisp vegetables were very refreshing.

I was on a sausage kick so I ordered this sausage appetizer plate. The sauce was amazing, a tomato sauce with sauteed onions. And the garlic toast on the side was incredible.

 This food was all really good and I definitely want to make a trip here again.

 They have a bakery inside. It seems like bakeries are the big thing in this area.

 After Buellton, I drove down Highway 246 and passed Solvang and ended up in the Santa Ynez/Los Olivos area. I saw a casino on the highway so I stopped in.

 They had a cafe inside where they served Starbucks coffee. The weather called for a Frappuccino and that is what I ordered.

 I also tried their cherry gelato which was delicious.

 After my very brief stop at the casino, it was back to Solvang. I went to the Book Loft which has the Hans Christian Andersen museum inside. I took a peek at the displays. 

 I bought some themed books. Since the central coast is big on wine, I picked up some books about it. I also got a book about the area and the paranormal goings on.

 This is a cute bookstore with a very nice person running the register area. She was very friendly and knowledgeable.

I walked around a bit and found this little fountain.

 And then I saw this gigantic shoe.

 I stopped in here for some treats. But since the temperature was so hot outside, I didn't think it would be a good idea to get chocolate. I did buy a soda and sat at the counter. And then I bought some candy ropes.

 They had these bags of rock candy lined up in rainbow order.

 An iced cold soda is one of the most refreshing, satisfying things on a hot day.

After a day of walking, I was ready to get in my air conditioned room and on the comfy bed. I had to rest up for another day of outdoor fun.

Monday, June 10, 2019


Fritidshus is the Danish word for vacation. You might be thinking that I am a silly old bear for using a random foreign word for my title. But once you know I went to Solvang, the Danish capital of America, then you would understand. I went on a vacation to California's central coast and Solvang is where I stayed while visiting.

I left home and drove down 101. I didn't know if it was because of the time of year, or if these vineyards are all new, but there were miles and miles of acres of grapes growing. I had never noticed that before in all the years I have driven that stretch of road.

I got to Solvang after 5 pm. The town was very quiet, but I thought maybe it was because there was a heatwave and people were staying inside. It turns out that many businesses are closed on Mondays, and the ones that are open all close by 6 pm. So if you like the nightlife, if you like to boogie, you will have to go somewhere other than Solvang for that.

 I stayed at the Royal Copenhagen Inn which is within walking distance of the main parts of the cute town. All the Danish stuff is within walking distance, even for a bear like me who likes to take things very easily.

 The exterior of the hotel is very cute and goes along with the storybook Danish theming. The rooms themselves are fairly standard. Bed, chairs, desk, dresser, etc.

 I do love these giant fluffy beds. I can roll all around in them and get lost in the blankets.

 These chairs were in the room, possibly for a couple to enjoy morning coffee before heading out for their day.

 This table was near the bathroom and could be used as a desk. I kept my snacks there because it was very close to the air conditioner.

 After I put my luggage down, I went for dinner. I wanted to get some Danish cuisine, so the Solvang Brewing Company is where I went. Also because it was one of the very few restaurants open, I had to go there.

 Many things on the menu were tempting and I didn't know what to order. I kept looking at the listing for their sausage sampler. I also wanted fish and chips, so in the end I ordered the appetizer platter of the sausages.

 It was tasty. There were three sausages, a baked pretzel, and three dipping sauces. One was pretty much melted cheese, one was mustard based, and one was spicy and I think it had horseradish.

 I was drinking a lot of ice water, the heat was drying me out.

 I did get fish and chips. The fish was a bit on the dry side. But they gave me a bottle of malt vinegar and that helped to enhance the flavor. And I poured it on my fries, too. Wow, the deliciousness of it all.

 The Solvang Brewing Company has one of the four main windmills that decorate the little town.

 This was a neat clock down the street.

 After dinner, I was a bit full and I felt like walking off some of the food. I found these flowers on the walk and thought they were pretty.

 They have a park dedicated to Hans Christian Andersen who is probably the most famous author from Denmark.

After the walk, I went to the room to unwind and rest. I had been in the car for almost five hours, and was a bit full from dinner. So I cranked up the air conditioning and watched some videos. Then it was time to sleep. I had to get up early the next day. I dreamed of getting authentic danish from the bakery.