Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Two Road Trips in One Week

During my Spring Break I was able to fit in 2 road trips. The first one, to Santa Barbara, I posted last week, and this one was with my friend, Jim, who had to travel to Santa Maria and Orcutt, Ca. on business, so I tagged along. The weather was so warm and beautiful that we traveled the entire way with the top down on his car. We went up the 57 Freeway, and as you can see our local mountains still have snow, and the mustard greens are going wild with all the rain we've had. When we hit the Ventura coastline and I looked up I spotted this magnificent pair of birds flying overhead. I think they might have been pelicans, but maybe not. I really don't know my birds :)

Once in Santa Maria I did my usual thing and dropped Jim off to do his business, and I went off to the local yarn store called Betty's and sat and knit awhile with the gals. It's a great shop with a really friendly staff.

Layed out by the pool the next morning till the winds picked up then that afternoon we headed up to San Luis Obispo for dinner at their weekly Thursday night Street Faire. Right before reaching SLO I spotted a sign for Avila Beach so we got of the 101 and found this delightfully secluded beach community complete with hot springs, a pier and seals. Below is the view from the end of the pier into the little town. I really liked how the town was nestled amongst the hills.

At the end of the pier was this persistent pelican trying his hardest to grab a piece of fish from between some plastic containers, and on the second level below us were at least 10 -15 seals relaxing in the warm sun. They were so sweet, many of them had their heads resting on each others shoulders.

Below, one of the seals jumped into the water and started follicking right in front of us calling out to his friends to join him.

Because of our detour thru Avila Beach we arrived later then we wanted in SLO and had a heck of a time finding a parking space. I think the whole town along with the Cal Poly campus turns out for the event. There was so much beautiful produce to choose from.

as well as gorgeous flowers to buy.

And every street corner featured musicians with little children and yes, Jim and I dancing in the street. We had so much fun!
There were so many booths to buy food from, we couldn't resist the hot fudge and banana crepes from the vendor below.

On our way out of town the next day we stopped in the farming and ranch community of Orcutt, a really picturesque spot right below Santa Maria amongst the rolling hills. It's a small town with a newer section right off the freeway where Jim had business to attend to, so in the meantime I took off in his car and checked out Old Town Orcutt, about a mile on down the road from the newer section on Clark Street.
I found Old Town Orcutt to be absolutely charming. Loved the layout of the street and the diagonal parking. And they are currently refurbishing old town with new paint and new construction. In fact, Old Town was thriving with many new businesses opening. I found two amazing nurseries and was tempted to buy plants but held myself back. I was scared they'd perish in the heat coming home in the car. And it was hot coming home, we got stuck in Friday afternoon traffic on the 210,(a real nightmare). We got stuck in a sig-alert and actually had to get off the freeway and cut thru Pasadena via Del Mar and Colorado Streets. But it turned out to be an added bonus because the old craftsman and Victorian homes on those streets were fabulous. My favorite shot of the whole trip was this old pickup in front of one of the nurseries in Orcutt. Loved how they turned it into a planter. All in all, a great time with lots of beautiful sites.

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