After our fun (and funny) visit to Ostrichland, we headed back to Solvang.
Solvang was founded in 1911 by a group of Danish teachers. I hadn't been there since ... high school!? Or maybe just after. So basically, it had been forever. What I remembered about it, mostly, were the aebelskivers, and that the architecture looked like a cute little European dollhouse town.
It was pretty much as I remembered. Lots of little Danish bakeries and giftshops, and ... the aebelskivers. Oh, and there is wine tasting now too.
Some of the gift shops were full of cluttery things, chotchies and the like, but I found a couple of gems! (Literally, and figuratively!)
This shop, below, was called The Mystic Merchant, had all kinds of wonderful stones, and geodes. The huge amethyst, below, was pretty incredible, being that it was cut on two sides.
I got Ben and I each a little Fluorite pyramid. He collects all sorts of rocks, crystals, shells, small fossils, and other natural wonders, for his "museum," that he keeps under is bed.
Solvang Antiques, was a place that my mom and I could have spent hours! They had really beautiful things in there, and a huge variety. Gorgeous clocks and watches, estate jewelry, lace, huge antique music boxes and phonographs ...
And there were even some things that my nephew Benjamin enjoyed looking at. He was very interested to know how a small child would be able to dial the police, when the phone booths were so tall!
Turns out it was the farmer's market day in town, as well! (Wednesday) So, I'd say that was the perfect day to be in Solvang.
And now, for the main reason I wanted to journey to Solvang (Other than Ostrichland) ... Aebelskivers!
This is definitely the place (according to many) to get your fresh made, warm aebelskivers, sprinkled with powdered sugar and drizzled with rasberry jam!
They even have pans for sale, so you can go home and make your own!
Tadaaaaaaaa! They are kind of like a round waffle/pancake but a little eggy and not too doughy. Does that make sense? I'm not really a pancake person ... but these? OMG. Just as good as I remembered!
By reading our menus, (all kinds of interesting info on that menu!) at the Solvang Restaurant, we realized that the Mission Santa Inez, was right on the edge of town! We had just enough time to see it before they closed!
View from the Mission parking lot!
Mission Santa Inés, was the 19th of 21 California Missions established by Franciscan priests from 1769 to 1823. This mission was founded in 1804 by Father Estevan Tapis, in honor of Santa Inés, or Saint Agnes. Yet another Christian martyred by the Romans, in 304 AD.
Mission Santa Inés
Agnes was a beautiful Roman girl, and when the son of Roman big shot wanted to marry her, she refused. She was already betrothed ... to God. The guy was not happy with this (understatement) and forced her into a brothel. They stripped her naked, but overnight her hair grew so fast and long it covered her ... other miracles ensued and she was beheaded in 304 AD as a sorceress.
St. Agnes, Santa Inés, is the patroness of bodily purity and chastity.
Santa Inés Hermosa
Andres Lopez, Mexico 1803
Ben with the big Spanish Colonial Empire map ...
Polychrome wood; 18th Century Mexican
(Our Lady of the Journey)
Polychromed wood figure
Saint Francis ...
Beautiful statue of St. Agnes, from the 1700s over the main altar. Isn't it beautiful?
My favorite thing about the missions, other than the Spanish architecture, is their courtyards and outdoor spaces. This arbor and grotto below, as especially beautiful.
I love visiting the California Missions, but I definitely have some issues with the history of Spanish colonialism, the church, how Native Americans were treated ... then how the Chumash Indians labored for the padres, after being evangelized.
If you'd like more history about all that, you can go to the Spanish Missions Wikipedia page, but there is obviously a lot more to it, than what they can cover on that page.
Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, built by John Gebhard, who lived and worked in these gardens for 30 years, and died December 15th, 1978.
Below, in the photo, you can see a little California Mission. Kids all over California make little "missions," for school projects in grade school. (Usually, with the help of a parent!)
For the official California Mission Resource Center, click here.
For the City of Solvang, click here.
A & E special on the Missions
I feel lucky to live in California. I hope you feel the same about wherever you live. I think we have to remember how much there is to explore, in our on back yards ... or just a few hours away!
California is always in my mind.
Blessings and light!
Have a beautiful weekend!