…In Which I Recall My First Boyfriend and My Love For Solvang…

Bench Monday today! Not to be confused with Math Monday…I know I’ve been slacking on the Math Monday’s lately, it’s been hard to get into the groove without a creative math club around, though. Math is so much more fun doing it in large numbers. Pun totally not intended!

This bench monday is brought to you by Solvang, a cute little Danish town in the Santa Ynez Valley. I remember coming here when I was Sassy’s age–we’d always walk around the streets, eat danish food, then drive up to Hearst Castle. I have so many great memories from doing that, so it was fun to recreate the trip with my own family.

Here are the kids and I, with Hubby helpfully taking the shot:

Bench Monday::Danish Edition!

My kids really aren’t up for family group pictures anymore unless we’re standing on benches or jumping…that should make for an interesting Christmas Card this year.

Anyhoo–we stayed a night in Solvang and got up bright and early to hit a wonderful breakfast at Paula’s Pancake House It. Is. Divine.





3 pages of Danish breakfast foods on the menu..it’s hard to go wrong. My personal favorites are the thin Danish pancakes as big as my head:


They’re a little bit easier to eat if you roll them up.


Dont’ confuse Danish with Dutch…this isn’t a Dutch town. Danish is Denmark, Dutch is the Netherlands. I never really knew the difference until my first boyfriend in 4th grade. He moved from Denmark into our school in So. Cal., and caused quite a stir in our classroom when he brought his photo album for show and tell. He was sharing what his life was like in Denmark, but what we ended up learning about was the cultural differences between our two countries. Because there, for the whole class to see, was his mom bathing topless at a beach on their summer holiday. Jesper, my future first boyfriend, though nothing of it, but all the boys in the class started making catcalls and giggling. The teacher ended up putting post it notes on the “offending parts”, and that was the first time I remember feeling like my breasts were something to hide and be ashamed of. It’s one reason why things like covering up naked statues for press conferences drives me nutty. It’s the human body, people!

Back to the topic at hand…Jesper…I know 4th grade is young to be having boyfriends and such, but in So. Cal at that time things moved pretty fast for boy/girl relations. I mean, I was getting married behind the portables by the time I was in 2nd grade! Deciding not to get married but take it slow and date first was a step in the right direction, don’t you think?! Jesper looked like the lead singer for aha , not that I knew that then because aha had yet to bust out with “Take On Me”, but as soon as I saw the video I was all, “Jesper?!”

He was a great boyfriend. I remember riding on a carousel holding his hand. He gave me solid chocolate hearts that said “I Love You” on them. We would ride our bikes around San Juan Capistrano together (free range, yeah!), and I had my first taste of salmon at his house for dinner one night. He was even my first kiss! And then, at the 4th grade graduation party, a girl named Gina wearing a beret came along and danced him out of my life to Lionel Richie’s “You Are The Sun, You Are The Rain”. Once they danced to that, I was dumped and she was his new girlfriend. To this day, I’m very wary around girls in berets.

And there ends my stream of conscious story about Solvang, Denmark, food, boys, music, relationships, and celebrating the human body rather than censoring it.

I dedicate this bizarre post to Jesper…you broke my heart, but you were only 11 so I forgive you. cheers!