Monday, April 15, 2013


My family went on a vacation ever year when I was a kid. Usually, we went to Texas to see my grandparents, but other times they would take us on short trips to see things in California--like Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm--or would go to Las Vegas. One year we went to Vegas for a whole week, which was pretty cool, though I can't remember ever leaving the Excalibur.

But my favorite place to go, in general, was always to central California, and in particular, to Solvang. Have you been? If not, you should go. It's a little Danish town in the San Ynez Valley and I've always thought it was fun. Even as a kid I felt it was full of charm. It's filled with little shops, restaurants, and from what I hear there's a ranch that raises miniature horses near by, though I've never been there myself.

Strangely, now that I think about it, I don't think we ever stayed there when I was a kid. We just dropped in there on the way to and from other places. Maybe it's not the kind of place you stay for any length of time? I remember my folks would always buy us saltwater taffy from one of the little shops and one year my dad promised us these little wooden puppets that danced when you pulled their strings, but we managed to leave without going back for them after breakfast. We never did get those puppets, which for whatever reason is branded to my memory. I barely remember what the dolls looked like, only that they were wooden and that I wanted one. The irony, of course, is that I actually hate puppets.

Now, my folks go and stay in the WorldMark resort there, but I'm almost certain we never stayed there when I was a kid. We'd go up that way to see Hearst Castle (another must see) or wherever, but Solvang was never the main attraction. When I was a little older and I'd drive my ex-husband's sister Missy to and from San Luis Obispo, where she was going to school, I'd drop in there for a little window shopping and because I love the atmosphere.

Finding that post card of Solvang in my stuff has me thinking about all the fun times we had going there. It's really just one of the many things I really loved about California. I miss being able to take little trips to the beach or up the coast to see some of the awesome things there are to see in California, like the Spanish missions--I've see San Juan Capistrano and San Luis Obispo-- or the tide pools at Dana Point, where I went on a field trip when I was little. Or heck, even taking a day trip to the mountains. I'll definitely have to make a point of going again sometime.