Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Groundhog Day 2016 in Solvang, California

Unusual Family Traditions . . .

Most families have them and we are no exception.

It all started in 1968 when I was attending and Laurie was working at the University of Washington. We had a quarrel over who knows what at this point and made up on February 2nd, Groundhog Day.

Ever since then we have observed Groundhog Day instead of the somewhat more traditional Valentine's Day as the day to celebrate our love.

In the long run we have found that this practice saves us money on hotel reservations, flowers and restaurants, rather than how people are gouged on February 14th.

This year we opted to celebrate Groundhog Day in the Santa Barbara County's picturesque Wine Country around the Danish themed city of . . .


Solvang was founded in 1911 by three Danish-American educators who believed that their culture could prosper near the California's central coast. The settlers thrived in Solvang while carrying on Denmark's traditions of language, folk dancing, music and cuisine. 

 Our Hotel was a bit foreboding but . . .

We found it to be quite nice after passing by these stocks.

 LOTS of Windmills in Solvang

 That reminds me . . .

 How did this place get into Solvang?

 Holger Danske

Legend has it that this sleeping Viking will awaken anytime that Denmark is threatened to protect the Mother Country. We saw the original statue in Denmark.  Quite impressive in the dark recesses of a castle.

The Movie "Sideways"

A fun movie that used the local Wine Country as the basis of its story.  We had breakfast in this booth and noticed the plaque. 

 We noshed from time-to-time
as it turned out

 Aly's for Groundhogs Day dinner?

It was recently named one of the USA's 100 Most Romantic Restaurants. It was the obvious place for us to dine on this glorious day!

Except that they are not open on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday during the Winter.

What do we do now?

 Also a "Sideways" movie sight

They plied us with what we both agreed were the best BBQ sirlion steaks that we had enjoyed in a long, long time. 

 Another Windmill

 A replica of Copenhagen's
Little Mermaid was a MUST!

 Father Junipero Serra founded
one of his Missions long before
the Dane's arrived

Wednesday's Sunrise near the Mission

Cold, but I liked it

One more breakfast nosh and
our two night Groundhog Day
getaway was complete

It turns out that we like our goofy Family Tradition a lot!

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