Solvang, and Other WTF???? Places
Solvang Travel Blog› entry 4 of 18 › view all entries
That stretch of southern central / northern southern California gets really campy. You know how when places have not much going for them, they make up bizzare tourist attractions? Like those little towns in Nebraska or whatever that build "the world's largest donut statue" or whatever? It's like that. It's home to the Madonna Inn, probably the most famous theme-hotel ever -- you know, the kind where you can spend a wild night in the "Tarzan Room" and whatnot. There's a whole bunch of weird farms in the area including ostrich farms, emu farms and llama farms. And Buellton has decided to jump in the game and declare itself the home of split pea soup. Yes, split pea soup, which wikipedia says "has been eaten since antiquity; it is mentioned in Aristophanes' The Birds".
By dinnertime, Atousa and Deniro had fallen asleep in the backseat of the Yaris.
The Buellton Ostrich Farm is a campy little place selling tours and ostrich and emu related paraphenalia. I bought a cheesy tshirt and and a ostrich steak. We opted out of the tour, because you could see the ostriches from the side of the highway.
And then, of course, there's the king of all ridiculous tourist attractions, the city of Solvang, which claims to be a little peice of Denmark right in the middle of Spanish California. Except, not really. Solvang is one part Brothers Grimm, one part Disneyland, no parts Copenhagen and 100% ridiculous. Supposedly, its founding by Danish settlers in 1911 explains the German village style architecture, but I'd date the plaster looking buildings with painted on "wood" panels to, say 1972 or something.
We got dinner at a "Danish" restaurant (which served Kebab). We couldn't stop giggling over how cheesy the place was and how everything was "Danish".
Me, to waiter: "What's in the Danish Platter?"
Waiter: "Danish salad, Danish sausage and bread.... Danish bread"
Me: "OK, I'll have that."
Waiter: "Sure, you want french fries with that?"
Me: "... Are they *Daaanniiishhh* -French fries?"
Waiter: "... Um, sure. If you want them to be."
Me: "Are you Danish?"
Obviously Hispanic waiter: "... Southern Danish."
Apparently a lot of tours actually make this place a stopping location. Poor foreign tourists. I'd want my money back. Another awesome thing was this big SUV that kept going up and down the 3 block long downtown bumping hip-hop.
Solvang made us so giddy we decided to write "Honk if You're Horny" on the back of the Yaris in toothpaste. Yah, I know, I know, we were that loopy. Our shame quickly caught up with us as people actually started honking at us.
By nightfall, we finally reached the Motel Six in Ventura. We got some booze at a local bar, put in our earlpugs to defend against De Niro's snoring and drifted off to sleep.