We are back from vacation, as of Sunday actually, and just now getting caught up with sorting pictures, unpacking, doing laundry, working 3 days and catching up on Breaking Bad before it kicks in for another season. Santa Barbara is a beautiful place and it was worth it to postpone a few purchases in order to visit it. The weather was wonderful and cool every day. Overcast every morning and most afternoons. The "No high heels" sign isn't a statement on the importance of being casual, it's a safety warning for anyone thinking of trying to walk on the old wooden pier wearing stupid and dangerous shoes... ... and in this clip form the 1966 Batman movie that was filmed at this very spot (Stearn's Wharf) you can see that there were several violations of the shoe policy, but Batman was still doing his best to keep the place safe.
The whole town of Santa Barbara (California) was like a botanical garden. I don't know how much of the beauty is the result of careful plant-mothering and how much is just from the cool sun and sea breezes, but everything looked healthy and non-distressed. I imagine it's a bit of both. Things seemed to be kept clean and tidy, and I was a bit surprised to have not even seen one stray cat in the whole 4 days.
We got there on the 4th of July in time for one of the longest parades I can remember, followed that night by fireworks at the beach. Here's a group of re-enactors having an opportunity to fire their muskets. Big noise, and the poor dudes seem to get a faceful with every shot.
This excellent sand sculpture was unofficial, and the artist was collecting tips. It was flattened by the next day.
We were the unashamed tourists in getting on the amphibious tour bus/boat. This one is called the Land Shark. Here it is from the pier with pelicans getting a free ride on top.
These were taken from the tour boat, a bunch of sea lions all snuggled and cuted up. They can pretty much guarantee that you'll see sea lions on your voyage, but we didn't see any dolphins, sharks or whales.
This was pointed out to be David Crosby's boat, his "wooden ship," the Mayan.
This is a famous Moreton Bay Fig Tree, supposed to be the largest of its kind in the USA. It was stunningly gorgeous. Trees are magnificent.
Santa Barbara's courthouse is a tourist attraction because of its architecture, tile decor, murals, stained glass, and tower view of the area. This is my "post card" view of one area, and below that is a partial view of the sunken gardens, basically its perfect lawn occupying a corner of the block.
We were back at the same location that night, and here is a night view of one wing of the courthouse, for a free outdoor movie to be shown.
One of my favorites... and a reminder that the peoples of Earth are never going to get their act together and make peace, regardless of all the convincing arguments that they should.
Just for grins, we priced some real estate listings in this area, and were not surprised to see that they are 3 or 4 times more pricey than where we are now. It's a wealthy area, not a good place to be poor... but you can always collect a few pennies on the beach if you have a creative blanket.