Central Coast Roadtrip #2: Santa Barbara

Monday Roadtrip Day 1 continued:  I spent the next hour meandering my way past Point Hueneme, around Oxnard and through Ventura and Carpenteria without stopping. There were plenty of moments where I craned my neck and wondered "should I...?"  Many of those places just weren't safe to pull over along the side of the road, and I wanted to get to Santa Barbara to see the Old Mission before it closed for the day. So the artistic images of wide, green acres dotted with the brightly colored shirts of workers in the fields or the rows of porta-potties lined up neatly will just have to be picked up another time.

But somewhere close to Summerland, CA I had to pee. I could survive on handfuls of cashew nuts and beef jerky for food, but I couldn't hold in the two chai lattes from the morning. I was curious about Summerland because of its name anyway, and I couldn't remember if I had ever stopped here before. Hopeful for a rest stop and maybe some quaint photos of a small beach town, I drove in via Highway 1 and parked to seek out some "rest."

What caught my eye first was the polished, "meet-cute" look of the shops along a 3 block stretch. For a nice window-shopping stroll and a lovely lunch with healthy and tasty fare, yes, this would be a wonderful stop! Yet, like a pretty young person who is always "pose-ready," it really wasn't what I was hoping to photograph at that moment. Thankfully, what caught my eye next was this beautiful, albeit "pose-ready," vintage GTO Pontiac. I know..."Pontiac" and you might not quickly think the word "beautiful." But there it was, wearing a classic blue and lounging in front of a clapboard shop under an American flag, what I saw as a beautiful car.

And I didn't need to pee anymore! So off I drove to Santa Barbara.

Wouldn't you know it? My first photo in Santa Barbara was of a vintage Ford Custom Cab with beach-aqua striping against a spanish-style house! I love California. I was only a block away from the Old Mission Santa Barbara, a place I hadn't been since I was a kid on a family roadtrip. This historic landmark is still in wonderfully preserved condition, i.e. photogenic, and known as the "Queen of the Missions." The present church was built in 1820 and is still an active parish today. I read that the 10th mission was named after Saint Barbara, a young martyr who was ordered beheaded by her own father for accepting Christianity in the 7th Century. So... the Queen was named after a girl who fell victim to the order "off with her head"...? (None of the photos I took there are for sale, but for those who've never been to the mission, please check out my IG here to see several shots.)

Leaving the mission (after using the restroom!) with a bad Alice in Wonderland connection in my head, I grabbed a late lunch/early dinner across from the Casa de La Guerra (which was closed) and took a short stroll to the County Courthouse. Sadly, due to Covid restrictions, they weren't allowing the public inside to the top of the courthouse for a view. No biggie, just more time for me to check out Stearn's Wharf on this windy late afternoon.

It was a short drive to the Harbor and a scenic walk from where I parked near the Funk Zone to the end of the long pier. The harbor district restaurants, the bike path, the beach, the water and the pier were all lively -- nice to experience after the shut-in period we were coming out of. Strolling to the pier, I took pictures of sailboats heading back into the marina, fruit and hot dog carts near the pier, joggers, fisherman, tourists, a one-man band, people waiting outside to be seated to eat fresh crab and the birds. I enjoyed as much as I could, as there wasn't enough time to see & do even a sliver of what Santa Barbara offers obviously. As the sunlight started to soften, it was time to keep moving. I had a long day of visual stories to download this night.

Check in again for more of my Central Coast Roadtrip and I'll continue adding to the Central Coast Roadtrip photo gallery. As always, I appreciate it when you share my websiteIG or FB posts you that like on your social media pages too 😁🙏.