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.

9 comments:

geekhiker said...

I wonder if Denmark has a no-fly list. If so, you're definitely on it now!

Mandy_Fish said...

Something's rotten in Solvang!

(Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

Sizzle said...

I totally have been there with my Mom and sis when I was a kid!

I kind of find it charming that you insulted him. That says a lot about me, doesn't it?

laura said...

I heard William and Kate will be visiting California in July...please stay as far away from them as possible. (LOVE this story by the way).

Big Sister said...

You are such a Hetherington - "Insert foot in mouth, here please." Stay away from our Korean next door neighbor - we just got him speaking to us again after Dad's rant! I would have posed with the Prince of Denmark for a picture, in honor of Grandma P's heritage.

mom said...

With respect to the Danish; you do have some Danish blood in you. Also, some of your grandparents dearest friends were natives and owned the little grocery store in Solvang and made homemade sausage. We went there many times in my childhood; and it still is a favorite memory and destination to visit.
I am rather surprised though that the Prince of Denmark was there. You should feel honored that he too chose the same place to stay.

Janice MacLeod said...

Solvang is equal bits charming and creepy, like at any moment this beautiful little Danish town could turn into Children Of The Corn.

HunnerWoof said...

I agree with Janice...that place just gives me the heebie jeebies!

Anonymous said...

æbleskiver :-)
Here in Denmark we have a few extra letters in the alphabet - and on the desktop too :-)
Sweet entry by the way

æ ø å