Monday, November 27, 2006

Major Exploring Going On!

Hey Everyone!
We did some major exploring, funmapping, and driving lately! First, close to home, I did some new entries on The Pier, catching a cool photo of a Great Blue Heron lazing on the pier, with a spectacular view behind! I also made an entry about a lovely walk to do at night, at Channel Drive, where there's a boardwalk above Butterfly Beach. Ron took a good nighttime shot of the view of the coastline! I returned to Butterfly Beach a few days later and took some photos in the daylight. I was happy and surprised to find dolphins swimming for a long time, close to shore! I took so many photos of them! And I also encountered a photo shoot for Eddie Bauer, complete with fine-featured model decked out in khaki shorts and shirt. I tried to get a peek into the Isham Poolhouse at Santa Claus Lane Beach, but found that it is protected by a huge seawall and you can see nothing! There are signs telling you not to trespass on the private seawall, and cameras, so I didn't dare climb up for a view! Yes, I know, it was wimpy. Too bad, because I wanted to see the Moroccan architecture. I did get a cool photo of the turret though.
For Thanksgiving, we went up to Russian River, and found a great little town where we had a Thanksgiving dinner in a lovely restaurant. It was Occidental, and it is such a cute little place! There are two wooden churches, one maroon, and one white. And the prettiest trees all about, golden from the Fall. The forest is the stunning backdrop to it all. We had the yummiest meal at Negri's! Great cooking! The feel of the town was like small towns on the East Coast- cold, cozy, cute. The Christmas decorations added to the atmosphere.
On our way back, we stopped and walked across the Golden Gate Bridge! It was fantastic! It was a warm, sunny day, even in November! It was so incredibly beautiful, at the park at the beginning, and all the way along! What a wonderful creation the bridge is! Such a great color to contrast with the blue, blue bay below! After, we drove through Golden Gate Park and discovered some more great things about it, like its magical meadows, and the Dutch windmill, where there were lovely poppies growing. We ate at the Beach Chalet, which is interesting because it's historic, but not that great to eat at (see Golden Gate Park entry). To break the drive home, we stopped at San Luis Obispo. The downtown was looking particuarly cool on a Friday night, and we had a great pizza from the "wild side" list at Pizza Solo. Yum!
Wow, my arm's getting sore from all this typing! Back in Santa Barbara, I went out to the James Joyce on State Street to hear some 1930s jazz by the band Ulysses. They are so good! The place was packed with people! After, we walked around Paseo Nuevo, which was looking so good with its Christmas lights, especially the palm trees with white lights around their trunks and orange lights in their fronds! You must see Paseo Nuevo at Christmastime!
On Sunday, we went into LA, stopping at the cute town of Calabasas for a break in the drive. Calabasas means "pumpkin" in Spanish. You notice Calabasas while driving along the 101 because of its distinctive lion-colored hills. Here we sat outside at Corner Bakery and enjoyed the sounds of the fake waterfall below. Very pleasant! Back on the road, we headed to our destination: Santa Monica! I checked out 3rd Street Promenade, with its wonderful pedestrian-only street lined with mesquite trees, flower baskets, and lampposts. Gosh, it's nice there! I heard a great musician too- Abe Quigley. I continued my walk at Pacific Palisades, which was looking particularly beautiful. I think I'd been intimidated by all the down-and-out characters there last time. But this time, there were so many other people around that I enjoyed the walk, and especially the amazing views of the clay-red cliffs below, the Pacific Coast highway and its groovy beachhouses, the wide wide Santa Monica Beach, the fun pier, and the wonderful mountains. What more could you ask for?!!!
So, you can't say we lazed around during the Holiday! No, we were busy funmapping California for you! So, enjoy the new entries!!