Monday, June 13, 2011
Good Thing I Wasn't Wearing Wooden Shoes When I Stuck My Foot in My Mouth
This past weekend, I attended a very lovely wine-tasting bachelorette party in one of my most favorite getaway cities, Solvang, California. It's practically a second home for me—I've tried new dishes there, completed a couple of half marathons, and even rung in the New Year with my parents. Its windmill-lined streets and Danish charm have a very special place in my heart. However, it's a pretty funny little town.
Founded by Danes in 1911, it has retained so much of the original architecture and culture that it almost has a Disneyland-like feel to it now. You sort of expect to round a corner and see someone in a giant furry pastry costume waiting to pose for pictures with you. It's odd and sort of wonderful that this kind of storybook land can exist just north of Santa Barbara and right in the midst of Central Coast wine country.
Given its kitschy nature, I wouldn't expect it to be a huge destination for international travelers. Which is why I was sort of surprised (perhaps I shouldn't have been) when we pulled up to our hotel and the bellhop promptly informed us that the Prince of Denmark was staying there.
We walked into the lobby and a few of the girls from our group were commenting on the heavy police presence outside.
"The Prince of Denmark is staying here," I told them. "Because of course if you're the Prince of Denmark, you're going to visit Sooolllvaaang on your trip to the states."
There was heavy mocking in my tone.
A couple of the girls got very wide-eyed.
"He's right behind me, isn't he?" I asked.
They smiled and nodded.
I snapped my big fat mouth shut and froze.
The Prince breezed past me, likely thinking to himself, "Stupid American."
I guess if I were Princess of the U.S., I'd want to go visit "Little America" in a foreign land, too. And I probably wouldn't be too happy if some snarky local made fun of me for it.
Denmark, I would like to formally apologize for my insensitivity. I welcome you back for an American-made aebelskiver anytime you'd like to come.