One of these Thursdays we'll get to Ojai, but meanwhile it's easier to hitch a ride with Pseudo and travel to the windward side of Oahu. She's right, when family visits (as in moi) we always take a drive around the island, and the east side is, to be sure, the most scenic (although the favorite in my heart belongs to the north shore...).
Anyway, this week I'm merely embellishing upon Pseudo's post.
Be that as it may, here we go for a scenic view of the windward side of Oahu:
(these are near Hauula)
Gorgeous, isn't it? Sigh. So wishing I was there.
One of the rocks from La'ie (Laniloa) Point (note the itty bitty cairn that was placed on this to the extreme left, it's small and hard to see, I know... but it's kinda fun to wonder how it got there).
I'll leave you with where fresh water meets salt at one of Pseudo's favorite spots:
For today's Travel Tip Thursday we're going to Santa Barbara. It's a fantastic city that's blessed with a great many attributes, and fortunately for me it's a half hour drive away.
As there are so many varying things to do it's a place that can be revisited on many a Thursday. Today I'll mention just a couple. It's currently Old Spanish Days... or as we tend to simply refer to it FIESTA.
Santa Barbara - more than any other place in California, I believe - embraces its Spanish/Mexican/Californio history, and Fiesta is a five-day celebration of that past.
Of course, there's a earlier history to the area, and I'm quite well-aware of it, but that'll be for another day. For now, remember that the first week of August is the celebration of Old Spanish Days.
The Spanish soldiers (with their families) and padres founded the pueblo of Santa Barbara in 1782, and the mission - tenth in the chain - was dedicated in 1786. It is still standing, open for visitation, and said to be "the crown jewel" of the California missions.
As I'm a bit of a
history freak, I always appreciate going to the mission grounds. And
because I more than enjoy a touch of the macabre I find the door between the church and the graveyard - from the outside - somewhat fascinating.
(The upper skull and crossbones - under the Moorish window - are carved in stone; the bottom two are actual skulls and crossbones embedded in mortar.)A nifty trivia bit is that the "real" woman of the Island of the Blue Dolphins, i.e., Juana Maria, the "Lone Woman of San Nicholas" is
buried in an unmarked grave in the cemetery.
Now it's time for something to eat.
Santa Barbara is full of notable excellent eateries, but in the spirit of Fiesta we're having Mexican food. Not at a restaurant, either. My favorite is a taquiera on Milpas, and it was Julia Child's favorite, too. I'm pretty sure La Super-Rica is the only taquiera with a write-up in Frommer's, (strictly on her recommendation, of course).
After Julia mentioned how much she enjoyed it, it shot to fame and there's usually a line going down the block (I took this picture early in the morning before it opened). It's worth the wait, though. Most definitely.
Julia Child was a local who lived in Montecito, and it wasn't unusual to see her from time to time out and about in Santa Barbara. My mother would run into her at the grocery store (it never failed to amaze me that she never took notice of what was in Julia's shopping cart). It just seemed fitting, with Julie and Julia opening tomorrow, er... it's after midnight so later today, to add a Julia tidbit tip.
Time does fly, turn around turn around, yada yada... and before you know it a week's gone by and it's time for Travel Tip Thursday.
I really did plan on a nice longish post full of pics about one of my favorite nearby places, Ojai, California.But it's already getting late and I don't have the fortitude to stay up until midnight.
Consequently, my tip today is merely to avoid the freeway whenever possible. Especially on a Sunday afternoon. Southbound 101 going through Ventura... fifty miles to Los Angeles, and it remains like this the entire way on Sundays.
I'm pretty sure this is a consistent happening around any major urban area. As much as NorCal likens themselves superior to SoCal the freeway situation simply isn't all-that-different, as another view of the southbound 101 going to San Francisco illustrates:
It's backed up like this for a solid fifty miles north to Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, but The Gate is so recognizably picturesque.
The idea is to enjoy what's available nearby, and share
those local amenities from a vacation mindset. Isn't life much more agreeable
when everyday drudgery is shrugged off for a bit?
I live in Ventura, California (the formal name is San Buenaventura), and the town is the absolute essence of the quintessential California beach town. It's fifty miles north of Los Angeles, and the county's still rooted in agriculture. Which means it hasn't quite yet become part of the monster sprawl that consumed all points south between LA and San Diego. There's lots to do and future Thursdays will have further nifty travel tips, but as today the temperature was in the 80s we're going to the beach.
Point the car north on Highway 101 for approximately twelve miles and stop on the Ventura/Santa Barbara county line. This is The Rincon... world renowned surf spot and one of the best beaches ever. You can either turn left or right for public parking, smack dab in the center there are pricey beachfront homes. I prefer to go right and park high on the bluff, where there's a long sloping trail, or a set of steep stairs going down to the beach. For thirty years Bates was the local nudie beach, but that's all past now. It's a long gorgeous beach, a great walk, and best of all sometimes there's shells.
Another favorite is about twenty miles south of Ventura (Hwy 101 to Los Posas Rd., Las Posas west to Hwy 1, then Hwy 1 south), and you're on the way to Sycamore Cove Beach.