Thursday, September 17, 2015

Santa Barbara

I do still have plenty of leftover posts from Europe to write, but I just wanted to do a quick California post, since that is where I am now and where I plan to stay for a while. Though not necessarily in any one particular place. I've already hit Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Diego, in the couple of weeks I've been here, and thoroughly enjoyed all of them.

The plan is for me to sublet an old friend's apartment near Burbank on a monthly basis, since she spends most of her time in Santa Barbara. It works out great for both of us, because she can still come and go once a week or so, while getting extra income. And I can stay as long as I like, without committing to any kind of a lease or even having to give any notice when I'm ready to move on.

What makes things even better for me, is that Los Angeles has created a real public transportation system since I lived here in the 80s, and this apartment isn't far from a major metro station, so I can mostly do without a car on a day to day basis. 

When I really do need one, I can just rent one. I was recently amazed at how much of a discount rental car companies are now offering on weekly rates when you pay non-refundably in advance. 

As though all of that wasn't enough, this friend of mine can hook me up with the people who hire temp workers for the film studios in the area. So this is all looking verrrry good so far. We shall see what the reality turns out to be, but in the meantime, I am very much loving sunny southern California.

I drove into Santa Barbara to meet Martha. She'd gotten a spot in an RV park and I had a rental car, so we had a place to sleep and a way to get around, it was a really wonderful couple of days.

Since it was my birthday, we first went out to grab a nice lunch across from the beach. I was the only authorized driver on the rental car, so I couldn't drink. But Martha graciously had a couple of splits of champagne to mark the occasion. 

When she explained to the waiter that it was my birthday, but she was doing the drinking because I couldn't, he said with obviously sincere feeling, "That's really messed up."

We laughed and agreed, but since the restaurant comped me a huge slice of Mud Pie, I wasn't too disappointed. I even shared with Martha, since she picked up the entire lunch tab.

The next day, our friend Marna took us to an arts and crafts fair right on the ocean. There was a wide variety of wares for sale, most of excellent quality. 

And what we liked best was that these were all locals from Santa Barbara, no one else was allowed to participate.

We walked a bit between the stalls and the water, which was nice and breezy.

And though none of us were looking to buy anything in particular, we all found something worth opening up our wallets for. 

If I had a home, with actual furnishings, I would have gotten a lot more.

This one stall with metal decor items was my hands down favorite. So attractive, and so much style. I particularly loved the light switch covers.

We loved the "chicks" paintings by this artist, too. 

Martha bought one of line dancing chicks, a steal at under a $100. It's going in the bedroom of her RV, where it will brighten her day every morning when she wakes up.

Santa Barbara is a gorgeous small city. With an ocean on one side and views of mountains almost everywhere else, it's a joy to explore.

Plus, it's got so many unusual and quirky things. This is the first outdoor carousel I've seen that has its own permanent gazebo.

We had a great time, and I'm sure we will be back. At the moment, Martha is in Hawaii for several days, and I'm working my way back up to L.A., presently in San Diego. Sunshine and palm trees are the current theme. Will keep you posted.

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