Sunday, February 10, 2008

Family celebrations

Today is my youngest daughter's birthday, she turned five years old. In celebration of this significant event, we decided to go to Solvang. Solvang is a touristy place that started as a Danish village. We were planning to leave the house by about noon, then spend three or so hours there, and then come back into town for the pizza party. However, we got held up, because we were helping one of our good friends, and we ended up leaving just after one o'clock....
We stopped at the coffee shop, and then walked around town. This place is bright and colorful, it's designed to look like an Old Town, with all kinds of bakeries, restaurants, craft, linen, and toy shops. My daughter picked out her present - a Pink Panther doll, - while I stood drooling over Madame Alexander Wizard of Oz collection. Some day, when I retire and have a lot of money (dream on), I will have a doll collection like that... May be... or not. In fact, I wondered what it would be like to live in the town like Solvang - full time?
First of all, this town is pretty expensive: a cup of coffee - just a regular joe - is 2 to 3 dollars. So, obviously, one would have to have plenty of money to enjoy the perks of the place. But then - what are the perks?
Sure, there are some nice restaurants on the strip, they all look like pictures from Andersen's storybook. Not all of them taste authentic, however, - their Liverwurst may have been purchased from the local Safeway/Vons store... We don't know for sure. Then, there are all of 50 stores - maximum - on the strip - and half of them are gift shops. I personally would get tired of looking at fancy "gift" things with no particular purpose if I had to do it every day. And finally, I think I would get tired of the concept of the land "where every day is a holiday." Too bright. Too shiny. Too shallow.
It was a holiday trip for my daughter, though, and she enjoyed it; that was all that mattered. In the long run, however, I was happy to get home - to the land of "every day is a work day, and sometimes you get a break."

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