We then wandered down to Solvang which in Dutch means “sunny fields.” This is a  Dutch town which was founded back in 1911 by some Danes who wanted to get away from midwestern winters. (Why would anyone want to get away from midwestern winters?  I don’t understand?)

Anyhow, the town looks very Dutch with windmills and a Hans Christian Andersen statue and a Hans Christian Anderson museum. Solvang is also the home of Mission Santa Ines, one of the National Historic Landmark Missions.

Our first goal was the Book Loft being that that’s where the Hans Christian Anderson museum was located – which we found. The museum itself is on the second floor of the coffeshop/bookstore and is a small room which reminded me of some of the antique shops I’ve been to – stuff all over – first editions, original artwork. (As someone described it: a cute museum in a cute shop in a cute town). They could do a lot more with it – actually fixing it up would be a a fun and challenging project.

No one was around – just a cluttered display of memorabilia.  A review by a visitor said, “You learned he wasn’t a handsome man, judging by his statue – a large nose, a top hat and a talent for loving ladies who didn’t like him in return.”  (By the way, he is the author of The Ugly Ducking, The Little Mermaid, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and dozens and dozens of other children’s stories. He also wrote travelogues.)

(From the museum brochure: “It was to this naive and direct approach that he owed his world fame: anyone anywhere could, and can, understand him. Of all the writers of this world, Andersen is the only one to be read everywhere.”)

After meandering among long-ago-tales, we went back outside and wandered around looking for somewhere to have lunch. We ended up at The Mustard Seed, a restaurant with a pretty patio (and very bad reviews on the web, but we didn’t know that until later).  I had the French dip and it was good – especially compared to our supper (more about that later). Mostly I remember the yellow jackets.

The other thing we decided to do was stop at one of the Danish bakeries – having lived in one of those probable midwestern cities from which the Solvang citizens escaped – I know about Danish bakeries. We went to Mortensons and bought some treats. (Could I just say here – we ate very little junk food on this trip! This, however, was a worthwhile bakery stop.)

And that was our experience in the Dutch world of Solveng.

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