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In California's Santa Ynez Valley is a town characterized by bakeries, wine tasting rooms and Danish cottages. Solvang, located just Northwest of Santa Barbara, is where I went to visit family the day after Christmas this year.

We took Highway 101 and were graced by a view of the Pacific Ocean along Pismo Beach. It has been months since I've seen something so naturally blue. Once in Solvang, which means sunny fields in Danish, we met up at Royal Oaks Winery for a sweet tasting of syrah, pinot noir and merlot. Walking around the downtown stretch at dusk, I noticed tourists crowding the sidewalks, scouring for ice cream, rich fudge, foreign-made souvenirs, postcards and other Denmark delicacies. I was considered one of the tourists, taken by the crafted signs and towering windmills. We stayed just one night at The Landsby, a boutique hotel carefully decorated with blonde woods, elegant fabrics and oil pastel artwork. The bar downstairs gleamed, begging to treat me with a colored cocktail. In the morning, a continental breakfast of handmade granola and pastries tide me over on the day of our leave. Our stay was brief, but just long enough to feel treated after sleeping in between plush white sheets.

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