For a 400-unit condo complex like the Windemere, fumigation is an especially complicated ordeal. Last week, the Merry Family decamped to Redondo Beach while we awaited word that it was safe to return. On Thursday afternoon, I was disappointed, but not surprised, to hear that there would be a 24 hour delay in removing the giant circus style tents from our building.
California is a car culture. Faced with a day of endless possibilities, many of us choose to begin by filling up the gas tank. So it was that the Merry Family drove two hours up the 101 and found ourselves in Solvang, a town founded by Danes in the Santa Inez Valley of Santa Barbara.
|"Solvang" is Danish for "sunny fields."|
I have never been to Denmark, so I cannot attest to Solvang's authenticity. To my eyes, the place looks quintessentially Southern Californian. It's squeaky-clean imitations instantly bring to mind Disney's version of New Orleans in Anaheim or Getty's version of a Roman Villa in Malibu.
|Replica of the Little Mermaid Fountain in Copenhagen|
Since the success of the movie Sideways, the region has become well-known for its wines. The streets are dotted with wine-tasting bars where you can ask for a Pinot Noir and snobbishly reject the Merlot. Solvang is also extremely dog-friendly - almost every restaurant has a comfortable outdoor patio where your pooch can join you and perhaps help you finish the giant apple pancake that suddenly seemed like such a great idea after all that wine.