Wednesday, November 25, 2009

day trip

There is something to be said for just spending a day with no set schedule, and exploring new places. We decided to take a day and point the car north up the coast and meandered our way through the wine country of Santa Barbara.
It was a beautiful drive, especially right now as the trees are turning golden yellow.

This area for years was sleepy, and sparsely populated, until in 2004 the film Sideways made it a destination. Sideways follows two forty-something men with not much to show in their lives but disappointment.  They embark on a week long road trip through California’s wine country. It is said that “never before has a movie caused mainstream audiences to talk so much about wine.” This movie was set in the Santa Ynez Valley just inland from Santa Barbara. Credit is also given to the movie for improving Pinot Noir sales across the country, enhancing Santa Barbara winery tourism and piquing the interest of casual wine drinkers everywhere.

We ended up in Solvang, a quaint city that is home to some bakeries, restaurants, and merchants offering a taste of Denmark in California. The architecture of many of the buildings follows traditional Danish style. Windmills are scattered throughout the town and many of the sidewalks are cobblestone, which adds to the old world charm
There is a copy of the famous Little Mermaid statue from Copenhagen as well as one featuring the bust of famed Danish fable writer Hans Christian Anderson. But the highlight for me was the Aebleskivers that you can buy hot and fresh right on the sidewalk at the open bakery storefront windows. Aebleskivers are a delicacy, supposedly invented by some Dane way back in history. They are a waffle or a pancake formed like a tennis ball. The name makes people think that there are apples inside which is correct- if you put apples inside. Everybody has their own favorite recipe and way of serving them, depending from where in Denmark the recipe came. You can find them served several different ways in Solvang, most often with powdered sugar and raspberry jam on top. Take my word for it…they were awesome!


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