Thursday, April 15, 2010

Danielle's First Road Trip

One of my fondest memories growing up was when my Aunt Elena trusted me enough at age 15 1/2 with only a learners permit, to drive her up the California coast from La Mirada all the way thru Big Sur to the Monterrey Peninsula and Pacific Grove. I really wanted that same wonderful experience for my daughter, Dani, who just got her permit, so over the Easter Break with our destination being Santa Barbara, she drove me up the coast in her very 1st car, a Jeep Liberty. Check out the mustard greens above, growing along the coast, gorgeous

Our first stop was in Camerillo at the outlet malls, of course :) to do some serious shopping (above), and then I told her about the cute beach town of Capenteria, so we stopped there as well and checked out the local shops and community art gallery. It's such a charming town with great little cottages everywhere (below).
Below is the Santa Barbara coastline looking towards Ventura.

After we checked into our hotel we had time for a walk along the beach. Unfortunately, some of their beaches are covered with oil lines. That's Dan below sitting on one.

Our hotel, The West Beach Inn (below) was directly across the street from the beach. It was clean and recently remodeled, and had a yummy continental breakfast. I would definitely recommend it.

Santa Barbara has a large homeless population and many of them hang around the pier and look for handouts. Below is a clever solution that many of them have come up with, to spread a blanket on the sand right under the pier and offer opportunities for various coin tosses (see below) like at carnivals and fairs.
My favorite homeless solution was this amazing sculpted mermaid. But I didn't have my purse with me and couldn't give the man any money, so he still grudgingly allowed me to take a picture of it.
The only bummer (besides me getting us turned around and a little bit lost, hee hee) was the last hour coming home. We sat in bumper to bumper traffic for over an hour on the 10 Freeway. Other than that we had a blast! For EXTRA CREDIT: on a piece of paper with your name and period on it, tell me about your favorite road trip destination. If you've never been on one, tell me where you've always wanted to drive too.

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