Read this post first:
“The Valley of the Flowers” Part 1
. . . . And as if this childhood setting was not quaint enough, we also had the good fortune to live near the village of Solvang, California: “The Danish Capitol of the World.” Danish settlers named the town “Solvang,” meaning “Sunny Fields,” when they migrated to California in 1911, to escape the harsh midwestern winters. And, really — who could blame them?
Entering the village of Solvang was like entering one of the “countries” of Epcot — except that this village was authentic! For special occasions, Dad & Mom drove us [my three siblings and me] over and through the undulating hills of The Valley of the Flowers, to Solvang, where we dined at a Danish restaurant named, “Paul and Margaret’s.”
We also lived near Buellton, CA, the home of Andersen’s Split Pea Soup Restaurant:
The South may know a thing or two about BBQ — but I was raised near the Santa Maria Valley, “The BBQ Capital of the World” and home of the “Tri-Tip Beef BBQ:”
Our Valley of the Flowers was famous for “Pinquitos” [“Little Pinks”], which we ate with our BBQ. The Portugeuse farmers brought “Pinquitos” from the Old Country, when they first settled in the Valley of the Flowers:
Way before salsa became “hip” and replaced ketchup — way before you could buy salsa in a grocery store, we dined at the Far Western Tavern in nearby Guadalupe and enjoyed freshly-made salsa with our BBQ and pinquitos:
At this point, I am getting a little ahead of my story — but I cannot resist posting these last two photos of Los Olivos, CA, home to “Mattei’s Tavern,” an Old Stage Coach Inn, circa 1886.
This historic site included a restaurant that was so quaint and romantic that I fell in love with it — and with my future husband — when he took me there to dine, in 1970.
. . . These are the snapshots – the postcards — of my idyllic life in “The Valley of the Flowers,” circa 1958 – 1962. The events that interrupted that life will be the subject of the next post, Part Three of this series.