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Team Road Trip: Day 2

Dec 9 2005 / Friday

The etnies RV and team van

This is the second in a series of journals that the editor has written while on a road trip and photo shoot with the etnies Girl team. Check out more photos from the trip in the Team Road Trip Photo Gallery.

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005

My grandmother used to say to me, “Sarah, life is an adventure. No matter what happens along the way, you have to make the best of situations and, most of all, you have to have fun.” She usually said this to me when we were on a trip, she was driving, I was navigating (badly—but hey, I was just a kid!) and we were lost, which was often. I thought of my grandmother and her cool perspective on life several times throughout the second day of the etnies Girl road trip and photo shoot.

We started our day with an 8 a.m. call time—meaning we were supposed to be ready, with our bags packed and stowed away in the RV and van, and on the road by then. That didn’t happen, but we did leave El Capitan Canyon—which was lovely in the daylight, by the way—before 9, so I would consider that a minor victory. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s journal, it’s difficult to mobilize a group of 19. From El Capitan Canyon, we drove north about 25 miles to the town of Solvang.

Solvang, if you haven’t heard of it or didn’t see it in the movie, “Sideways,” is a replica of a Danish village. It’s charming and quaint—almost aggressively so. It’s like Denmark meets Disneyland. Everywhere you turn, there’s a windmill or a bakery, and everything seems to have “Denmark,” “Solvang” or “Nordic” in its name. We found parking for the RV (which will be a huge consideration throughout the trip) and walked to the Solvang Restaurant for breakfast.

The restaurant advertised everywhere—on its sign, in the menu and in postcards by the cash register—that its specialty is Aebleskiver. I had no idea what that was when I first sat down to eat, but after reading the informative history of Aebleskiver in the menu that described it as a sort of round Danish pancake, I decided that I had to give it a try. Three of them arrived, smothered in raspberry jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar, along with a Danish sausage. The Aebleskiver was delicious—cakey and slightly dense and eggy with a spice I couldn’t quite put my finger on—but I have no desire to know what the pale Danish sausage was comprised of. I’m a little worried it might have been veal, which I swore off at the age of eight when my mother finally answered my questions about what, exactly, I was eating on our veal parmesan dinner nights. I really hope I didn’t eat a poor baby cow for breakfast.

It was after breakfast that I first thought of my grandmother and her motto, “Life is an adventure.” I volunteered to drive the 12 person passenger etnies team van, since poor Grace had been driving it since she left etnies in Orange County. That’s not to say I wasn’t a little nervous about navigating the beast—but since Grace had been doing it with a smile, and she’s all of about five-foot-nothing, I figured I’d just suck it up and give it a try.

The drive to San Louis Obispo, our first photo location, was gorgeous, and it wasn’t so scary to drive the van. We got there around 1 p.m. and were going to shoot around the train station, but it quickly became clear that wasn’t going to work out. It just wasn’t the right setting for the shoot. So, like my grandmother’s motto, we made the best of the situation. We decided to drive up the coast to our next destination and that if we saw a good location along the way, we’d stop there.

It didn’t take long for us to find a place to shoot. After driving for about 30 minutes, we pulled over to the side of the road. Not long after we pulled up, a yellow truck with a seal marked “County of San Louis Obispo, Calif.” pulled up next to us. Grace and I looked at each other and simultaneously said, “Oh, no.” We thought for sure they were going to shut down our impromptu photo shoot, especially when one of the two older guys in the truck asked, “What are you doing here today?” We all breathed a collective sigh of relief when it turned out that Rich, one of the men, has a son who’s a big fan of etnies and our riders. He wanted Elissa’s autograph for his son; he didn’t want to shut down our shoot. He got his photo taken with Elissa, she signed a poster and gave him some stickers, and two workers from the county of San Louis Obispo, Calif., drove off with smiles on their faces.

As Angela and Patrick started shooting the girls, I decided to do some exploring. I hopped over a barbed wire fence posted with a No Trespassing sign (breakin’ the law, breakin’ the law) and made my way down a well-worn path through the grass to a beautiful beach. (It’s nearly impossible to keep people away from a good beach.) Two seals came near the shore, peeking their heads out of the water to check out what was going on, and later sunning themselves on a rock. I enjoyed the lovely day before heading back to the RV to do some writing. We stayed at that location for the rest of the afternoon, finishing the day by watching the sun sink into the ocean. Then we hopped back into the RV and van to drive to our next destination.


Sarah, editor

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