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Friday, August 15, 2014

Solvang, California

Aloha Everyone,

We first visited Solvang 42 years ago as one of the stops during our honeymoon. Solvang in Danish means "sunny fields". Nicknamed as the Danish Capital of America, many of the buildings are inspired by traditional Danish architecture.

J.J. and I have a strong affinity to Denmark as one of our sons was baptized in Randers, Denmark.  Our granddaughter uses Danish names for us. Far Mor (father's mother) and Far Far (father's father)

Our lunch stop was at Bit O' Denmark. The building built in 1911 was originally used as a school. The restaurant has been in operation since 1963. J.J. chose Danish meatball made of 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground pork served with thinly sliced pickled cucumber, red cabbages and potato salad. I had roast beef Smørrebrød (open sandwich) -- thinly sliced and served on dark rye bread, topped with a portion of remoulade, and decorated with shredded horseradish and crispy fried onions.

At the Visitor Information we met Dean Klitgaard. According to him, while tourism is the number one industry of Solvang, since 1996 the wine industry has more than doubled. Today, Santa Ynez Valley produces one of the finest premium wines in the world. There are over 18,000 acres of grapevines and over 60 wineries.

Honu is a great conversation starter. Strangers often come up to us and ask what is it, who makes it and what kind of mileage do we get. This aftrnoon in the parking lot of Albertson in Buellton, CA, Craig and Cindy and their friend Ken (right), started to ask J.J. about Honu. One thing led to another and we found out that they have very strong Hawaii connections with one of their sons who lives on Maui and another married a girl from Waipahu. Truly a small world.

Aloha -- Cathi