Friday, November 20, 2009

Sabbatical Recap III - Solvang to Santa Barbara

I think the tiny California town of Solvang made a cameo appearance in the cult wine movie, "Sideways", but I otherwise didn't really know much about this charming, Disney dwarf-esque village.

Solvang lies among a trifecta of three famous California wine regions: Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and Santa Barbara wine country. Because of its location among world-class vineyards, sprawling farmlands, and abundant orchards, it's downtown is replete with wine tasting rooms, a regular farmer's market, and incredibly delicious restaurants, delis, patisseries, and ice cream shops.
The town's heritage is Danish, and the architecture is an amusing dwarfish and European. When we arrived in Solvang, the weather was perfect: sunny and balmy, in the high 70s, and barely a breeze. Everyone walking on the streets was laughing or smiling. The lush, green trees and landscaping were perfectly manicured. For a minute, we thought we might have driven through a black hole into somewhere like Stepford, Connecticut.

Solvang should be a food photographer's paradise. The colors of the fresh vegetables, fruit, and flowers were stunning. I hope to paint some of these photos someday....

We topped off our visit with a delicious ice cream cone from one of the local shops, before heading off to Santa Barbara, the last stop of our California stay.

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