Before we even got on the road, we had to wait for Grandpa at this office building. To keep the kids entertained and to tire them out, I had them doing a ton of races outside. Running, hopping, skipping.
Lots of windmills everywhere.
Our condo was several blocks away from the town so we walked there every day.
Look, a map!
This cool wood cut was on the side of one building. It had a figure to represent every monarch from Gorm the Old to today. Supposedly an unbroken line!
Danish flags everywhere.
A lot of the buildings had little statues of storks on the top. The stork is a symbol of good luck in Denmark.
Grandpa taught the girls their map skills to figure out where we were and where we wanted to go.
We loved this landmark. It's a replica of a famous statue in Copenhagen. It's the Little Mermaid. Because, ya know, Hans Christian Anderson was from Denmark. It's got a green hue to it, just like the Statue of Liberty, because of the copper.
Here's a bust of him we found in a park nearby.
All the street names were in Danish. One street was Atterdag. On Atterdag street, we saw this legend about King Atterdag posted on a building. Atterdag means "another day," by the way. One evening I found a list of all the street names in Solvang with their translations and had Primus look over them. She thought it was really cool and kept saying "atterdag" every chance she got.
We stopped for lunch at this park. The kids had a blast kicking a ball around in this bandstand. Primus also practiced some tree climbing while we were here.
There's a popular shoe store in town that has this large red clog out front.
The girls thought this huge ice cream cone outside the ice cream shop was cool.
We were there for the annual Christmas Tree Burn. Everyone brings their Christmas trees and the have a huge bonfire on the land next to the Mission Santa Inez. But before they lit the big pile, the firefighters lit a single dried out tree to show us how fast it catches and burns. Then they lit a wet tree to illustrate how important it is to keep your Christmas tree well watered.
Then they lit the big pile. Man, was it hot!!
Here you can kind of see and get an idea of the huge crowd that was there.
One day we went to this cool wooden castle-themed playground outside of town.
This is a puppet theatre area at the playground. The kids used hats as impromptu puppets.
The Elverhoj museum. Mission Statement: To collect, preserve and exhibit the history and
Danish culture of Solvang and to promote the arts. Small, but free (suggested donation) and very cool.
Learning about Vikings. The kids were given papers that taught them how to write their names in ruins.
This sweet old lady taught us about, and gave a demonstration of, making lace using the bobbin method.
Cool artifacts and recreations.
That sampler on the wall shows the Danish alphabet. They have no "w" and have 3 extra letters added to the end.
On the drive home, we stopped at Pismo Beach. We noticed some sedimentary rocks and collected sea shells.
This little live crab freaked out Tertius.
We went to a spot in Pismo where we could see migratory Monarch butterflies. So cool!
See what looks like orange dead leaves? Those are clusters of monarchs!
Outside Solvang is an ostrich and emu farm. We bought some food so we could feed some. It was the coolest experience! To feed them, you get a metal dust pan that has a large bowl attached to it filled with feed. You are instructed to hold it by the handle and hold on tight. Those ostriches are strong! And kind of scary; Primus was too scared and had Grandpa feed them for her. I had to help Secundus hold hers. Those birds almost knocked the pan out of our hands and tried to grab the edge of the bowl to pull it away from us.
The emus were much more gentle!
Solvang was more fun than I thought it would be. If we are ever in the area again, I would like to visit the cute little town again and eat some more delicious pastries. Also, we never did make it to the small Hans Christian Anderson museum.