Our Lady of the Blue Highways

Our Lady of the Blue Highways
Portrait in oils by Jackie Poutasse

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Solvang, California

1. Farmer's Market Solvang
2. Farmer's Market - Carrots and Onions
3. Farmer's market - Flowers
4. Danish Style Buildings
5. Danish style buildings

I left San Bernardino about 10 a.m. to avoid rush hour traffic, headed to Solang, CA about 200 miles away.

I followed directions given by an Uncle of Margie’s – took Hwy 126 off Hwy 5, headed for Ventura, CA. I saw signs for avocados for 25c each. Wow!!! Where? Then I saw a sign for avocados and tomatoes at 10c each. Where? Where? I never did spot a stand selling them.

I drove through orchards – Oranges – Valencia I assume, since I drove through Valencia, Ca along the way.

I decided to take a short cut (read: detour) to Ojai – which added an hour or so to my trip, but was a beautiful drive through winding mountainous roads. I ended up nearly in Ventura, so the short-cut was just a very enjoyable interlude.

I travelled through Santa Barbara and finally arrived at Solvang, at about 4:30 p.m. – so much for a short, 200 mile ride.

First thing I did was locate the visitor’s center, a bathroom, and a campground. I called a campground recommended by the visitor’s center, and made reservations, and started exploring.

Solvang was settled in 1911 by a group of Danish educators, and it has retained it’s Danish heritage, in food, architecture and even souveniers. It boasts 5 windmills, 5 Danish bakeries, numerous parks, and a couple of museums.

The small town has about 150 shops, and I swear every 3rd one is a wine tasting establishment. We are in the midst of California vineyards. Since I hadn’t eaten since breakfast, the next thing I did was visit the Farmer’s Market, which was only held on Wednesday, fortunately, that was the day I arrived there. I browsed all the beautiful fruits and vegetables. This was
Strictly a food market. Fresh brown eggs, shiny red tomatoes, sweet smelling corn, home-made bread, Oh, pardon me – they also had fresh cut flowers for sale. Oh, gosh, look at those strawberries and cherries. I ended up buying some homemade olive bread rolls, some garlickly cheese curds (Oh, yum, I don’t have to wait til I get to Wisconsin to taste fresh cheese curds!!!)

I supplemented my purchase with some sliced ham and provolone, and a small bottle (2 glasses worth) of wine! I wandered along until I located a bakery, and had a wonderful Danish pastry, and a coke (bad habits die hard)

I stopped in a quilt shop – they only sold quilts – no fabric – so I asked about a quilt fabric store. The lady said it was quite away from here – nearly 3 miles! I had to bite my tongue to keep from giggling. 3 miles – far away?????

I found one quilt / yarn shop that carried Nordic table runners by the yard. Really interesting, but I have no need for table runners now.

It was getting close to 6 p.m., and time to set up the tent. I found the campground, and a space and set it up. Once finished, I sat down to dinner of Olive rolls, ham, cheese and wine. Not bad!!!! It was quite pleasant weather-wise. With the sun going down, it became quite cool, and I crawled into bed about 8:30. About 3:30, I woke up – cold. Had to unfold another blanket (I’ve gotten smart – I bring all the bedding into the tent so I don’t have to dig in the car for it in the middle of the nite.) By then, I was wide awake, so started typing up my San Bernardino post.

I finally settled down about 4:30 and went back to sleep. I don’t feel a bit alone here – I feel like I’m sleeping on the shoulder of the freeway though, which is very close by. When I fell asleep, I had a really weird dream – not a nightmare – more like Keystone Kops. I wonder out of which depths of my mind this came from????!!!

I awoke feeling like I’d was in an oven. I had chosen a shady spot the evening before, but it was in full morning sun now. Hot, Hot, Hot. I got up, had a breakfast of what else – olive rolls, ham and provolone. Then I dismantled the tent. It seemed to take forever. I thought putting it up in breezy conditions was a pain, taking it down – without leaving in a couple of stakes is also a pain. But, finally finished, I packed up Madame and headed back to Solvang.

But, first a visit the that quilt store. A really nice store, but nothing unique or calling my name, except---- the bathroom! It was so cool!!!! It had three walls of murals, and a motion activated frog who croaked at me as I placed myself on the throne. On the back of the door was a poem about hidden objects in the murals. I found the dragonfly, certain flowers, butterflys, catapillars, but not the row of ants, and a few other things, too.

I had visited Solvang with my parents about 35 years ago. I remembered it as being inland – but it’s quite close to the coast. I realized later that they must have driven down Hwy 101 when we were there, way, back then.

Hey, check this out!!! A fabric store with 99c fabric! Buttons for pennies, trim for 3 yds for 99c. Looks intriguing. Unfortunately, it’s only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and today is Thursday. There is a T-shirt in the window that says: “My husband lets me have as much fabric as I can hide!!”

I wandered in and out of shops, picked up some more pastries, a slice of dark chocolate, raspberry fudge (for research, you understand) Stopped in a shop full of Danish lace curtains and linens. (Caught my eye cause I have a Royal Danish linen tablecloth, from an Aunt – who’s friend smuggled it out of Denmark decades ago. At the time, this particular design was not allowed to be removed from Denmark)

I must have pushed a wrong button on the recorder cause all I can hear is my footsteps and crinkling and crunching of my bag as it swings against me.

I wanted to see the Elverhoj museum which showcases an 18th century Danish farm, but it won’t open for over an hour, and I have to get on the road. I’m anxious to see the Pacific.
That’s OK – I have to save something for my next visit.

I’m looking at a tablelamp about 2’ tall. It has a shade covered with peacock feathers, the stand of the lamp is a manikin shape with a skirt of peacock feathers. Cool! Not that I’d ever own one, but cool, anyway. I like peacock feathers. Especially when softly brushed along my bare *****Oh never-mind. We won’t go there!!! Not now, anyway – if ever!!!

I left Solvang about 12:30, stopped to get gas and ice, and headed up Hwy 101 toward San Luis Obispo.

Until Next Time,
Bear Hugs

*****Foot, Fool. My bare foot! What did you think I meant?

1 comment:

  1. Oh you silly funny woman! It sounds like you are having a great time. Dont you love just wandering around the shops on your own. I know it's fun to have people to look at things with, but there is something to be said for doing things in "your own time".
    Ok, now I picture a little (not too) rig, with a sewing room, a fudge kitchen and lace curtians. Oh year, a computer rooom too...\and dont forget a bed, and at least a pull out for all of us to come and visit!