First of all, to clear up some questions we have been asked, normally Leslie writes the blogs. The last blog (about Don’s hike) however was written by him, so she was not being mean to him. At the beginning we both wrote them, which is why we started out writing in third person, and now it is done to be consistent.
Now, on to our latest adventure. We were supposed to be spending 2 ½ weeks in Kings, Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks. Thanks to our dysfunctional government, Don had to replan our trip. As Leslie has said several times though, there are a whole lot worse things happening as a result of the government shutdown than our vacation getting messed up. Luckily, we live in a beautiful country with lots of things to do.
We started our trip to the coast of California yesterday and arrived in Santa Barbara today. Don had found a restaurant called Brophy’s that was famous for its Garlic Baked Clams. So, after getting the camper set up, we headed there for lunch. We stumbled upon a Seafood Festival at the harbor where the restaurant is located, so we and a few thousand of our friends were sharing the harbor area. We did find the restaurant and the Garlic Baked Clams were very good.
There were a lot of restaurants and seafood markets at the festival offering food. One of the more interesting selections came from the sea urchin booths. They were picking them right out of the water, turning them upside down and serving them. People were eating out of them like they were soup bowls. This was certainly a first. Sadly we were already full from lunch so we did not try them (yea – right). Also, there was an extremely long line for the Paella booth. The first picture shows the huge vat of paella that was being made.
The next two pictures show some of the boats in the marina. Santa Barbara is quite nice with the Pacific on one side and mountains on the other. When we were walking back to the car, we saw someone wind surfing (picture number 4). Leslie used the excuse that she did not have a wet suit as to why she was not trying this. She did walk to the water and dip her toe in so she could say she touched the Pacific Ocean on her birthday.
Our last stop was Mission Santa Barbara (last three pictures) which was founded by the Franciscan order on December 4, 1786. The grounds occupy a rise between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains. Leslie actually got Don to come out from behind the camera to pose for a monk picture.