Celebrating the transition into retirement part four ~ Santa Barbara
Our next stop was Santa Barbara. Via the Trolley Tour, we saw what we have seen in California all along, just a more gorgeous version: rows of tall palm trees with a sprout of leaves at the very top, a lovely small harbour, rows of volleyball nets on the beach, cycle paths alongside the streets. Montecito, Santa Barbara is where Oprah has a house – I can see why she likes it there. It’s cleaner than most: the buildings are painted white, Spanish-style architecture with red tiled roofs, lots of green lawns and palm trees everywhere. We saw a young dead seal pup in the sea next to the pier and within 5 minutes, a huge grader rolled across the beach to pluck him out of the water and bury him deep in the sand. Instant attention when needed.
Left: Trolley tour of Santa Barbara
The next day we found a little inlet, like a plaza, leading to a statue surrounded by a fountain and real live tiny turtles sunning themselves on rocks in the water. Americans love flags so there were a few flags flying high up on the buildings. We found a lovely bistro called Jeannine’s for a delicious salad. Mike says he feels like a rabbit, we have eaten so many salads!
When we continued along the PCH or Pacific Coast Highway 1 along the coast, we saw hundreds of RV’s parked bumper to bumper for miles along the road near Ventura. We think people rent them and they are permanently parked there, what a way to holiday … oh no! RVs are ubiquitous in California.
Right: Turtles in the fountain
Ready to go to LAX (Los Angeles Airport) for our midnight flight to Tahiti. We spent time re-packing to bring our big cases down to the 23kg allowed: I am wearing two t-shirts, two belts, two watches underneath my jacket! Our jacket pockets are bulging with camera cables and adaptors. You would think we were going to Alaska and not to the tropics!