Monday, June 15, 2009

Great SCOTT!

I belong to this sweet culture club where we have monthly activities that make us the sophisticated cultured people that we are. This month we learned all about Scotland by going to the Scottish Festival held at thanksgiving point, but first we all met and had a presentation on Scotland and its traditions then had a traditional Scottish breakfast. Kilts were everywhere and Bagpipe melodies filled the air.

One of the main events was the Highland Games. There were four activities, throwing a tree trunk in a perfect circle rotation, hurling a 26 pound rock as far as you can, hurling a 56 pound weight over a high bar, and flinging a bag of hay across the field with a pitchfork, all very manly activities. The highland games started as a way for generals to pick the strongest and best men for their army, you would have to be pretty strong to do well in most of these games.

The muscular athletes showing that real men really can wear kilts.

BAGPIPES! It was honestly constant, there were so many pipe bands practicing for the competition that there was never a moment of silence. After we had driven home I could still hear bagpipes ringing in my ears.

Scottish Sword Dancing. This was cool and brought me back to the days of when I was in Pep Club, since I attended Highland High we have Scottish traditions and one is for the Pep Club to do the Highland fling to bagpipes during homecoming and other important sporting games, which was exactly like this dancing, minus the swords, my Pep Club year even got to wear kilts.

They served old fashioned root beer and cream soda in these awesome bottles! So good and so awesome!

They had a cool booth where you could look up your last name and get the history of your name with your family crest, can you find my last name ...? don't be fooled its not on the line that is in focus haha.

There was lots of armor, we couldn't help ourselves we had to play with it. It would have been super uncomfortable to be a knight, I was not the biggest fan, but it all looked cool.

I love people watching at festivals, they always seem to attract the most amazing humans.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Where in the World

Where in the World did the Johns/Burton/Madison/Griffin clan travel this year .... ??

SOLVANG, California! Solvang (which means SUNNY FEILD in Danish) is a little Danish town that was founded in 1911 by Danish educators who originally built a Danish Folk School called Atterdog College, here students would learn the basics of Danish culture. The school no longer exists but the Danish spirit does. Many Danish and Danish-Americans still live here and carry on the Solvang's Danish traditions.

We began our Danish adventure by having lunch at The Greenhouse Cafe, we ate out on the patio and enjoyed both Danish and American cuisine in the sunshine. We, of course, made sure to get some orders of the delicious aebleskievers which is one one of our favorite Scandinavian dishes. They are little pancake like dumplings that are sometimes filled with deliciousness like lemon curd or raspberry jam. I remember mom insisting on getting these when we were in Holland a few years ago and after experiencing their ymmy taste I understood why she was so persistant on getting some.
After a suburb lunch we spent the afternoon exploring, discovering and enjoying the towns numerous little shops. They had a huge antique shop that had some exquisite jems.

Most of the shops sold typical Danish keepsakes and tourist lures. We did find a chirstmas shop that was so fun to see because my moms family is from Norway so our christmas decorations and especially our christmas tree ornaments are very scandinavian so when I found baskets full of straw reindeer, paper stars, and little elves with red hair and green clothes it hit close to home and I loved it.

This little treasure of a town had several little courtyards that were decorated with delicate statues, bushes full of blooming buds, inviting tables for two and relaxing and beautiful fountains. This was a very fun and unique experience I loved it so much, I miss Europe so much and this gave me my Europe fix for this year.