Sunday, January 11, 2009

A knife, moose, waterfall, and home sweet home

We are now home. There's nothing like spending time in motels with "reasonable" rates to make you appreciate your own bed. It is going to be glorious tonight. But first, some bits and pieces to tidy up the trip report.

This morning in Solvang we breakfasted on (take a guess) danishes. I then took The Boy to the Nordic Knives store.

This is an amazing place if you are keen on knives (and The Boy is very keen on them - I need to do a post about his collection some day). They have glorious knives that sell for thousands of dollars and others that are pretty cool for tens of dollars. He picked out one of the tens of dollars knives as one of his Pansy Day presents (yes - that day is rapidly approaching, YIKES!).

Another weirdly amazing store was this place.

There are a number of related stores on the second floor that have pretty amazing deals on new clothing, hats, and accessories. There is a set of rooms where everything is $2, another where everything is $5, and so on. The really odd bit is that there is nobody watching the place - you pick out what you want and take it out of the store, downstairs, and across to the cafe and pay for it there. The cafe itself is weird since it sells burgers and hot dogs and chicken sandwiches for $1. Mrs Notthat asked about this and got a complicated reply involving charities and such. In any case, we picked up a number of things very cheaply (no, we didn't try the $1 chicken sandwich - some things may not be as good of a deal as they seem).

This picture is just to prove that there are lots of windmills around the place.

(Important Note: It has been pointed out that I forgot to mention anything about the pea soup-free place where we ate dinner in Solvang - The Chef's Touch. We chose it because it was the only The Boy-walkable restaurant that was still in business. It is a peculiar small place that regularly hosts cooking classes - there were video cameras and LCD displays so you could watch your meal being prepared. We ended up getting the Danish specialty of enchiladas - I got mine with a hunk of salmon on it. The food was good and Mrs Notthat especially liked it a lot. And now back to our regular programming.)

We left town using a small unmarked road that wound through beautiful countryside. The theory was that it would lead to the Nojoqui waterfall (Danish for "No Joke, It's Really Around Here Somewhere"), but the further we went the more doubtful this seemed.

And then - there it was. Well, not the waterfall - the park that had the waterall. Mrs Notthat and I had to hike about half a mile uphill to see a thin ribbon of water fall a long ways in a very pretty waterfall.

We then hiked the half mile back and eventually found the freeway and made our dash for home.

We stopped for lunch at a place called Klondike Pizza in Arroyo Grande, which turned out to be a bit of fun. It's one of those places where they give you a basket of peanuts and encourage you to toss the shells on the floor, which is covered in old shells.

Here Mrs Notthat checks out a moose. The place was filled with Alaska-based curiosities. And then we got our pizza - I chose the Roadkill Special.

Those of you with a keen eye will notice why I chose this particular pizza - the sausage is made of reindeer! I can't tell you how good it felt to be eating one of those things after suffering through yet another Buy Everything holiday season. (Bah humbug indeed!)

After lunch, it was pretty much a straight shot home. Except for the stop for gas. And the stop at the Gilroy Premium Outlets to buy a bowl.

And finally we arrived home, unpacked, and are now ready for reality to start up again tomorrow.

But first, I need to take something for that reindeer sausage - it seems to be taking a bit of revenge on me.

That's it - move along...


mary ann said...

That waterfall is stunning and I'm glad The Boy got a knife. Welcome home ~ work tomorrow?

blogmaid said...

I can't believe Pansy Day is just around the corner already! And one year my uncle who lives in Alaska sent us reindeer sausage for Christmas. None of us felt we could eat "Rudolph" at that time of year. Bah Humbug yourself! You should have seen our Barbie Christmas tree!

DAK said...

So, The Boy got a knife for Pansy Day without a side of irony? And the knife store sold chicken sandwiches? And that pizza -- was there crust or sauce, or just reindeer meat? Sounds like a memorable vacation. Did you run into Manny Ramirez anywhere?