Santa Barbara

  • Pasadena…The Rose Parade - We stopped in Pasadena, California to see our son Darin, our daughter-in-law, Lara and our granddaughters Opal and Delilah. We arrived on New Year’s Eve from Tahiti to hear the grand plan. Darin and another father were sleeping out on the curb to secure a 28 foot space for a group of families along the […]
  • Medflies FAQ - Dana and I were talking the other night about questions people might ask us when we got home.  It occurred to us that we could answer many of them for you now. So here are our answers to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about our trip. Which country did you like best? We liked all of the […]
  • Goodbye Santa Fe, Hello Santa Barbara - Santa Fe is called, “The City Different” as is clear from this Christmas window of Todos Santos, a downtown Santa Fe chocolateer.  We came upon the window on Christmas Eve as we walked the streets saying “goodbye” to the place we love for three months in Santa Barbara, California. This is not so much a […]
  • The Proverbial Carrot - Remember the horse of a different color? Here it is the carrots that dazzle. The Santa Barbara Farmers Market is held every Tuesday evening and Saturday morning downtown. The colors change in the early morning or late evening sun. The flowers are from the greenhouses and fields of neighboring Carpenteria and dirt cheap…the colors brilliant. […]
  • Our Little Bungalow - I’ll build a bungalow,  Big enough for two, Big enough for two, my honey, Big enough for two. Walla, Walla, Walla.   And when we’re married, Happy we’ll be, Under the bamboo, Underneath the bamboo tree. This is the bungalow where we live in Santa Barbara. At 625 square feet, it is a very little […]
  • The Picture House - We were walking down Santa Barbara Street and came upon this house. We now refer to it as “The Picture House.” But, its actual name is “Veracruz.” Creativity is endemic in Santa Barbara. Many people are artists and have a day job (or two or three) to support themselves. If you look closely you will […]
  • Red Tiles and Turrets - We spend a lot of our time walking. In Santa Barbara it is good to remember to look up. The tile roofs, turrets, towers and mountain views are waiting. These were taken in our walks to the grocery store, the shoe shop and the cleaners and from the clock tower on the county courthouse.
  • Color in the Streets - Colorful tile decorates windows, doors, floors, stairways and fountains throughout this small city with the Mediterranean climate. While evocative of Spanish and Moorish designs, Santa Barbara tile really has its own style as you can see. Even the utilitarian is embellished…
  • Hey Good Lookin’ - Is this a spa? a hotel? a university student center? a restaurant?  No, it is our local Ralph’s grocery store. In Santa Barbara, even the grocery stores are good-looking.
  • Our Selfies - Our friends, Dede Hatch and Jon Reis are here with us, visiting from Ithaca, New York. Santa Barbara is the perfect escape from the bitter winter cold and deep snow back East this year. Dede and Jon are our first visitors in all of our Mediterranean travels. We have shared the Pacific Ocean, Los Padres […]
  • The Electric Bus - Throughout our travels we have relied on public transportation…metros, taxis, colectivos, trains and buses. Not only is it an inexpensive mode of travel but a great way to meet locals. Our conversations lead to all sorts of insider information and points-of-view that we might not hear otherwise. Santa Barbara has a fleet of electric buses […]
  • Seaside Gardens - We drove south of Santa Barbara to neighboring Carpinteria. Like its’ name, Carpinteria is more of a middle-class, agricultural enclave compared to Santa Barbara. Acres of land are devoted to greenhouses growing the flowers that many of us buy in grocery stores all over the U.S. Seaside Gardens is set in among those very greenhouses. […]
  • Making Arepas - Dana and I have made a point of joining book groups, hiking groups and taking courses in the five places visited on our adventure. It is a good way to get to know local people, make friends and find out about the hidden delights of where we visit. In Santa Barbara, I am taking conversational […]
  • Utilitarian Design - Even the utilitarian is decorated in Santa Barbara though the lucre dispensed is the same.
  • The Salt Marsh - The Carpinteria Salt Marsh is set between the salt water of the Pacific and the fresh water from the Santa Ynez Mountains watershed just south of Santa Barbara. As in most salt marshes the water is brackish and home to many birds. We visited on a beautiful winter morning when the colors in the marsh […]
  • Soothing Waters - Fountains and pools are endemic to the Santa Barbara landscape. You can discover them hidden in little plazas surrounded by low white buildings topped with red tile or in the middle of a busy shopping area. The water cools and the sound soothes lending graciousness to the urban environment.    
  • Lake Cachuma - Lake Cachuma is low this year, 52 feet below the high water mark the Sunday that we were there. The boardwalk/pontoon dock in the picture was extended the week before we came to the lake. Only this made it possible to reach the dropping waterline and dock the boats on the lake. We came to […]
  • Up the Tracks - We love to ride trains. A few years ago we took the Southwest Chief round-trip from Lamy, New Mexico (8 miles down the road from our house in Eldorado) to Union Station in downtown LA. It is an overnighter and we slept in berths in our own private room. You can watch the high desert […]
  • La Huerta - We volunteer at La Huerta Historic Gardens on Wednesday mornings.  La Huerta, the Chumash Indian ethnobotanical garden, is next to Old Mission (sometimes called the Queen of the Missions) in Santa Barbara. The plantings in the garden are documented as existing in the California missions from the late 18th to mid-19th centuries. This mission garden […]
  • A Cook’s Heart - Dana’s heart shows in his cooking. He is now taking “Cook Italian” a four-part cooking class covering the Four Seasons. Here is the menu for last night’s class: Crema Di Escarola Con Mozzerella Parmesan Garlic Bread Sticks Caesar Salad Pasta Bolognaise Cherry Galette Torta Di Ciliegia There are 22 people in the class so pans […]
  • Lotusland - On a Wednesday we visited Lotusland, a magical botanical garden conceived and designed by one woman. Her project lasted 43 years, until she died at 97. Madame Ganna Walska, a worldwide opera star and bohemian socialite with six husbands and attendant wealth, bought an estate in Montecito, California in 1941. Today Lotusland is a 37 […]
  • Mis Amigos - I want to be fluent in Spanish. To accomplish my goal, I have taken classes in Spanish in Santa Fe, Valparaiso and Santa Barbara. These are mis amigos from my Santa Barbara City College Conversational Spanish class, Regina, Rufus and John.  We sat together and laughed a lot. Bonnie Blakely, our incomparable profesora, was full […]
  • Adios La Huerta - We meet the most wonderful people in our travels. These are the folks we worked with in the La Huerta Garden at the Santa Barbara Mission. For three months, every Wednesday we joined this group of dedicated volunteers  in building this living ethnobotanical garden. As a sweet surprise the gardeners had a send-off lunch in the […]
  • After the Quake -   In 1925 Santa Barbara suffered a devastating earthquake. Among the buildings lost was the frontier style County Courthouse. A group of Santa Barbarians concerned with the developing architecture of the rebuilt city on the sparkling Pacific wanted a unique style for the new buildings that reflected the Spanish roots of the local culture. The tangible results […]
  • Black Beauty - A 20 foot black Bird of Paradise plant, five times the size of normal blooms found in the Santa Barbara Courthouse garden.
  • Time Progression -   The Santa Barbara Courthouse houses a vintage clock works. We went to see it and found ourselves inside the mechanism…yes, inside the clock itself. Giant arms reach out from the center of the mechanism to connect with the clock hands on the outside of the building, moving the hands minute by minute. The clock […]
  • The Lucky Penny - We found a lot of pennies on the facade of  The Lucky Penny restaurant in the “Funk Zone” of Santa Barbara. The restaurant created the unusual tiles by attaching thousands of pennies to an adhesive surface. The resultant walls were cheaper than tile and much more interesting. It is quintessential Funk Zone art.  The Funk Zone used […]
  • By the Sea - By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea You and me, you and me, oh how happy we’ll be… I love to be beside your side, beside the sea, beside the seaside, By the beautiful sea. Music written by Harry Carroll Lyrics written by Harold Atteridge 1914 It is our last Sunday morning in […]
  • Goodbye Santa Barbara, Hello Santa Fe - Visiting Santa Barbara is like visiting an old friend. The streets, the flowers, the trees, the light…are all welcome and familiar. And we have found new views. We made new friends at the garden, on hikes, in our neighborhood and in our classes.  We got to see Santa Barbara through their eyes. We traveled up […]
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