Category Archives: Anniversary

Thursday Door – Solvang

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Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Dan Antion at No Facility invites us to join in by creating a Thursday Doors post and then sharing the link in his blog anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

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I made a reservation to Banff, Canada in August 2021 for our anniversary. Canada extended the border closing several times. By April, I didn’t want to wait any longer. I canceled the booking and made a reservation to go to Santa Barbara, which is 120 miles from home. While in Santa Barbara, we took a half-day trip to Solvang, which is 33 miles north of Santa Barbara. The last time we visited Solvang was about 20 years ago. I went back with great expectations.

Here is a brief history of Solvang.

Solvang, “The Danish Capital of America” is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Solvang’s origins date back to 1804 when Mission Santa Inés was founded by the Spanish under Esteban Tápis.

In 1911, adventurous Danish-Americans traversed the plains from Iowa to the golden state of California. They purchased 9,000 acres of the former Rancho San Carlos de Jonata and situated their new community next to the historic Old Mission Santa Inés during the Mexican period.

It was not until 1946, after World War II, that promoters of the idea of a “Danish Village” could finally move ahead with plans to redesign the existing facade of the town and to mandate this style for new construction.

To establish a Danish community far from Midwestern winters, they took on its distinctive Danish-themed architecture beginning in 1947 and has since become a prominent tourist destination. Solvang was incorporated as a city on May 1, 1985.

Though only about 10% of residents in the 21st century are Danish, the town attracts many tourists from the Nordic countries and has been the subject of several Danish royal visits, most recently by Prince Henrik in 2011. 

I had planned several places to visit and things to do in Solvang.

1. Windmills. There are five of them. We got the map from the tourist center. The map shows the locations of the windmills. We visited all but didn’t take photos of all of them.

2. Danish pastries and sweets. The last time we went to Solvang was about 20 years ago. I loved the pastries. Yet this time, the pastries were not appealing to us anymore. They looked too sweet, and we cut down at least 70% carb intake since the last visit.

3. Shopping. I stopped any travel collection for many years. We only went in and out of the souvenir shops but bought nothing.

4. Wine tasting. I was going to take a wine tour but didn’t have enough time. Also, we would not spend money on purchasing wine. There was wine sampling in many locations downtown. They all open at 12:00 noon. We passed by one, but we didn’t go back (no photos).

5. Candle manufacture. I remember visiting the candle manufacture. I watched them making candles by dipping into the different colors of wax, then carved the soft wax into beautiful patterns. I found two addresses, but they were closed permanently (no photos).

6. Cuckoo clock shop. I always dream of getting a cuckoo clock or Grandfather clock. I know it will never happen because my husband doesn’t even like to hear the chime under our eaves. Besides, some of them cost thousands of dollars. I still wanted to visit. We found one. I took a video, but the owner stopped me in 15 seconds. There were many items from artists placed there on consignment. They have copyrights.

I enjoyed the colorful Danish architecture. All the buildings have unique styles of doors. It was an enjoyable half-day trip.

Thursday Door – Solvang

I hope you enjoyed the highlights of Solvang and the colorful doors!

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

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LAPC #180 Favorite Images of 2021

The theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #180 is Favorite Images of 2021

The year 2021 was a roller coaster. There were many excitements because we could resume doing things after being restricted for a year or longer. Those moments seemed serene yet felt like wanting to shout for joy. Those were my favorite images of 2021.

My younger granddaughter was born on March 22, 2020. California reinforced the restriction on March 14. I canceled my flight at the last minute to be with my daughter for her childbirth. By March 2021, the restriction of traveling eased a little. We wanted to be there for Nora’s first birthday. I booked the flight with premium seats so that we didn’t have to pass by many passengers. We were so thrilled to see Nora for the first time.

We spent Mother’s Day with my daughter every year except the year 2020. In 2021, we were with my daughter for Mother’s Day and had a wonderful time having three generations of girls together.

Three generations of ladies

The summer of 2021 was my first-time raising Monarch butterflies and there were some casualties, but 20 butterflies made it to adulthood.

This Monarch struggled to open the wings all the way, but it finally made it to leave the cage.

I booked a trip to Banff, Canada in August for our anniversary, but the border was closed. I canceled the trip, and we went to Santa Barbara instead. It was the first long trip since Covid.

Santa Barbara Harbor

We also wanted to take day trips to the beaches, but many beaches were closed during the pandemic. We eventually made a trip to Laguna Beach in September.

Laguna Beach with high tide

We missed Autumn’s 3rd birthday in 2020 but we were excited to go to Autumn’s 4th birthday party in September last year.

Happy Birthday, Autumn!

Last but not the least, we had a white Christmas with my daughter’s family and had fun watching the grandkids playing in the snow and making a snowperson in the backyard. Autumn helped to put the pebbles on to make the eyes and buttons and put the carrot on for the nose. Nora gave the snowperson a big hug.

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LAPC #180 Favorite Images of 2021

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed the images!

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Anniversary Trip

Lynton and I celebrate our anniversary this week. We have been in Santa Barbara since Monday, August 16 and will stay until the 20th. Even though we’ve visited our granddaughters in Portland, Oregon several times during the last eighteen months, as far as vacation, this is the first vacation in almost two years.

Our original plan was to go to Banff, Canada, for our anniversary, but because of the pandemic, we had to change the plan. Santa Barbara is only a two-hour drive from home. The last time we came to Santa Barbara on a train probably was twenty years ago.

We decided to drive this time so that it would be more flexible to go to nearby places. Two days before the trip, I listed of the information of the places to visit. So far, we’re on schedule. We have walked around Santa Barbara downtown, visited the Old Mission, and the Botanical Garden. Today, we drove to Solvang which is forty-five minutes away. Tomorrow, we’ll visit the Natural History Museum and the butterfly garden.

After we return home on Friday, I’ll rest on Saturday. My next trip will go to Portland, Oregon from Sunday, August 22 to Saturday, September 4. I’ll help my daughter to take care of my granddaughters, but basically just take care of Nora. My daughter got a job and started working already. Knowing that I would take a trip for our anniversary, she asked me to go afterwards. She needs me to help until Nora goes to the daycare on September 7th, the day after Labor Day.

I have a couple of posts scheduled for the next two weeks. I’ll also post some news about Autumn and Nora, and try to pop in to check your blogs every so often.

The following photos are Downtown Santa Barbara and our first dinner there.

The drought affects all the plants in the Botanical Garden. The creek is as dry as the dessert.

Santa Barbara Harbor boat docks

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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