Our mini-trip to Santa Barbara was a welcomed break from the daily grind of school and schedule.
On our stroll to Stearn’s Wharf, we saw a topless woman with two long necklaces accessorizing her nakedness. She then expectorated like a man, and was soon lost in her own little world.
Despite of the windy afternoon, the sun was out and embraced us with its warmth.
The first time we dined at Longboards was some 11-years ago. Now, 11-years later and with our daughter, the place has not changed much. M thought Longboards was a cool dining spot. She found it amusing that peanut shells littered the hardwood floor. She cracked open peanuts after peanuts until there were none left. She popped half a peanut into her mouth and decided it was not to her liking.
At Longboards, we were lucky to find a table overlooking the water as the place was full. The orange glow of the descending sun was coming in through the glass windows, and as it hovered on the hotel rooftops, I quickly ran outside to take a picture.
The following day, the weather was perfect at 77 degrees.
My daughter wanted to have lunch at the Old Fisherman’s Grotto in Monterey. We love going to Monterey; we cannot get enough of it ourselves so we acquiesced. At the restaurant, M requested a table overlooking the ocean. I must say, the girl’s got dining style!
After lunch, we strolled the wharf and took to the trail. Off the trail, a wooden stair wound down a rocky beach. From here, we have a back view of the Old Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s beautiful how the bright yellow and pink buildings colors the water. If you can see the American flag floating above an orange building with red framed windows, that is where we had lunch.
From this rocky beach, M and I collected small sea shells; we ended up collecting a handful. The tide was coming in. Rocks closest to the beach are momentarily submerged in ice-cold water, spraying mist at us, and giving me a valid excuse to continue on our walk. Seagulls flew over us and seals in the far distance barking at potential rock usurpers. On this day, I’m glad I did not play deaf when my husband insisted that I bring a heavy coat for the day was cold and windy. Thanks R!
I couldn’t resist taking another picture of the marina just before departure.
We had big plans for our daughter’s first school Winter Break. We had Santa Barbara and Solvang in mind, then we would coast along Highway 101, to make frequent Missions stops. I imagined us walking on the wharf in Santa Barbara, parading about like tourists, taking in the scenery, the ocean and the breeze. Our faces would be lit up from our stress-free mini-vacation; our cheeks flushed from our excursion. Then, we would end our winter break vacation with a one night stay in Solvang. I imagined my husband and I wine tasting and walking the streets of the quaint Dutch town. I would be fascinated with what my eyes are seeing already forming words, sentences and ideas to blog about. Only we didn’t go and in a way, I’m glad we didn’t. The forecast was rain all week in Santa Barbara! So, in lieu of a Santa Barbara and Solvang trip, we hooked up for a day with my sister and her family and headed to San Francisco and Half-Moon Bay. Here is our adventure.
The rain did not dampen anyone’s mood, nor prevent tourists, visitors and residents alike from staying home as the parking was full and those on foot, are oblivious to the rain. After parking, the kids are anxious to get out and explore. We follow them as they are ahead of us climbing on a hill. The result was this pond. Then the sky opened up!
The Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco is among the many attractions within walking distance in the Golden Gate Park. The California Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum and San Francisco Botanical Garden are all within minutes from each other. This is my first time visiting the Japanese Tea Garden and immediately, I reminisced on my trip to Butchart Garden in British Columbia some two years ago.
The kids had a great time exploring. Next up, Half-Moon Bay.
We drove on Highway 1, a more scenic alternative route to Highway 101. Here, the ocean is just over your shoulder. From below the water is blue, big waves crashing on the rocks with a splash and finally, ending on the sandy beach in white bubbly foam. It pulls back again, sucking water and sand, and it crashes again and again…
The beach littered with broken shells. We collected a few to add to our sea-shells collection.
There are about 15 people at the this beach: four brave souls are surfing, the rest of us saner people, are on land.
I found this shell intact, barnacles growing on it. The two curious M’s examined the surface of the shell. They were both about to get up from their squatting position; I anticipated their move to capture this shot.
Santa Barbara, Solvang and Missions stops will have to wait for the summer. They are places best enjoyed anyway, when the sun is out.
What’s your local family adventure?
What a day for a daydream…so we took advantage of the nice weather by spending a day in Monterey. The temperature was in the low 70’s with barely any clouds above. We love the Monterey/Carmel area and visit when we can.
We had lunch at the Old Fisherman’s Grotto on the wharf, tempted by the mouth-watering clam chowder. With our lunch entrees and a free appetizer of calamari and fried artichoke, we took a stroll on the coastal trail to burn off calories. Along the trail are benches and observation points. People on foot and on wheels traversed the path with a breathtaking view of the ocean.
At the end of the trail is a street which leads to another wharf. My daughter wanted beach time so from this side of the wharf, there was a small beach area where she enjoyed a game of chase the waves/be chased by the waves. The water was ice cold. But that hardly matters when the sun is out and you are having a marvelous time.
I love this picture. The smile on her face is priceless.
My daughter dug a shallow bowl of sand. She called it a “doggie bed”. She jumped on the bowl several times reason only known to her.