Greetings and welcome to my Wednesday morning share session. Noteworthy is that I will start posting on Sundays so yes, there will be a double this week! I welcome your input and ideas for subjects to include as I will be adding lifestyle topics to my collection of randomness.
As I pondered what to write about this week, I ran across a photo and the memories came flooding back. This side trip was 100% spontaneous as I traveled north to a work assignment on the 101 in California. I was in Santa Barbara and I caught a conversation about some town called “Solvang” and all I needed to hear was “Gosh it was just like being in Europe”. I googled. I went. Simple.
“Solvang” translates into “Sunny Field” and taking the beautiful drive there it was quite clear that the town was named appropriately. It is about 35 miles through hills and fields from Santa Barbara on the CA 154 highway. This picturesque town was basically founded and created in 1911 by a group of Danes that headed west to get away from the harsh midwestern winters. It is small, about 2.5 square miles and about 5000 or so people reside there. And the group that started this whole thing did it with the intention of keeping it 100% Danish and Dutch, or as close as possible. A taste of home I suppose. I must say after experiencing this place, they were successful at doing just that.
The first thing that truly catches your eye, is of course. The working Windmill. It is huge and greets you as you approach this amazing place.
You immediately have that European feel, as the streets are lined with merchants, restaurants, bakeries, sweet shoppes and small businesses just like you will find in any European city. You won’t find a Walmart, a Target, a grocery chain or anything commercial here. Just privately owned businesses owned by friendly people eager to share with you stories of their town.
This town is quite small. I parked my car and truly took my time. I walked the entire main road and back again. Talked to people, ate some lunch, meandered in the local bookstores (Hans Christian Andersen is Dutch and very visible in the bookstores), and was back to my car in four hours.
Bet you can’t guess what I chose to eat for lunch here at this adorable pub. Put your guesses in the comments……
This is truly a hidden gem. It feels very popular when you arrive, cars lining every road and the sidewalks sprinkled with people, but it didn’t have that “crowded” feel and the pace was slow. If you happen to be in mid Cali, on the coast, it certainly is worth the 35 miles out of the way to experience a little taste of Europe right here in the USA! It is truly authentic, spotless, well manicured, quaint, and was worth every minute.
A true taste of Europe on a side highway in mid California! Who knew?
Short and sweet this time as I share with you one of the surprises I have found on my many impromptu adventures. I have always maintained that you don’t have to have a bottomless bank account and huge time away from work to have an adventure. We are all capable of creating our own adventures, and getting out there and finding our pretty. I have made this a lifestyle, as adventure can be as close as your back garden. Just get out and GO!
As always, I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your moments with me here today. Please leave a “like” if you liked what you read, and if you would be so kind to leave a comment so I can know you visited my little corner and to leave a suggestion on future content.
As I mentioned before, I will be including lifestyle topics that are near and dear to my heart. By all means feel free to add to my ever growing list. I will go ahead and thank you in advance for doing just that.
See you Sunday!
As always……….be kind.
Wow! When I saw these pictures I thought you were in Holland! It’s incredible that that’s in the USA! I really need to go and explore more of the world…. thanks for sharing 🙂 You can find my blog here: cornishmaidblog.com 🙂 x
Did you had the Irish Guinness Stew? That sounds tasty.
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Fish and chips. Yum
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Ahhh these are amazing, I love California. Oh and fish and chips!
Wow..I wish I knew about Solvang when I stayed in California. Really great pictures of this beautiful town. Loved reading the post. Thanks for sharing,