Thursday, July 05, 2007

Santa Ana to Santa Barbara and back: an overview

Preferred Driving Music: 2Pac and Leslie Fiest

- Were met at the Orange Country (a.k.a. Santa Ana, a.k.a. John Wayne) airport by Bill of Vintage SURFari Wagons in Nalu Imi (“Wave Hunter”), the 1979 VW camper
- Were initially disappointed by Orange County and California because everything looked like the suburbs of Chicago (housing subdivisions and Target) but in stucco
- Got stuck in big traffic jam on the 405 going past LA but didn’t notice because we were too busy making a music video to 2Pac’s California Love
- Got beeps and waves from people lovin’ the camper
- Stopped where Bill had told us to at Emma Woods state beach just past Ventura and met two surfers, Adrian from Australia and Jeff from California, who gave us the scoop on where to learn to surf and where to visit
- Camped in Carpenteria, a town just up the coast where the surfers had suggested; kind of a crappy campsite but a very lovely town and ocean view

- Ate breakfast on the beach
- Called Brad Hagan in San Francisco to let him know we now realistically understood we would never make it that far north to see him; Brad was at a TGIFridays when we called, but he claims it was like the first time in years
- Hung out in Carpenteria, taking in a classic car show and spending way too much on clothes but really enjoying finding clothes we both loved
- Went down to Santa Claus Lane just north of Carpenteria to the A-Frame Surf Shop to see the guys Jeff and Adrian had mentioned
- Got an evening surf lesson with Eric and both managed to stand; learned SURFING IS HARD and realized that the average person in California generally has two more good-looking points than the average person in Chicago due to their sun-kissed skin and athleticism
- Got invited to a party at Eric’s place and then camped out on his street

- Ate an extremely overpriced breakfast at the Brown Pelican overlooking the water near/in Santa Barbara
- Walked the beach our waitress told us was named Hendry’s but a sign said was called Arroyo something
- Shopped a bit in Santa Barbara
- Drove through the wine country of the 154 (BEAUTIFUL)
- Camped on the ocean at the rather crappy Gaviota state beach

- Breakfast on the beach as usual
- A slight tantrum from a pre-menstrual Angela set off by the loss of a pair of earrings she had just bought in Carpenteria
- A drive back through wine country past the Los Olivos grocery store with much time spent filming and rigging the camera to the front of the van for enhanced filming
- Back to Santa Claus Lane to rent surf boards and practice; ran in to surfers Adrian and Jeff again, wondering what job allowed them to surf mid afternoon on a Monday; Angela had to wimp out after 40 min of surfing due to being thrashed by waves, Oli went strong for 2 hours but was also thrashed
- Realized we could park for free overnight in the public lots in Santa Barbara overlooking the water
- Went out to a touristy dance bar on State St where many foreign college students went looking for something like the discotheques back in their home countries
- Walked down State St a few blocks to our van and passed out from exhaustion

- Chilled in our van overlooking the water for a LONG time, immobilized by tired
- Decided to drive back down the coast, stopping to walk down Venice Beach’s Ocean Front Walk before finally making it to Orange County
- BUT the van wouldn’t start after we stopped to use the bathrooms at a beach along the way; fuel was shooting out of the fuel line when Oli tried to start it
- Within five minutes or so a guy pulled up who was camping at the beach and also happened to be a former VW mechanic; one butter knife later the naughty bit was secured back in place over the fuel line and we made it to Venice
- Walked the classic part of Venice Beach, then impressed passers by with our Frisbee skills
- Checked in to an airport hotel where Bill picked up the van

- Woke up WAY too early for humans to imagine and flew home
- Angela had a pretty good cold that had started as a nose tickle, a reaction to salty blasts from multiple submerssions in massive waves

Can’t wait to see Lily when she comes back to us tomorrow morning!!!
Must purchase a camper for ourselves; Bill says he's happy to help.
Look forward to a future surf vacation where we work out our kinks over a week of intensive practice.
And lastly, Friday is my last day at work. Sweeb, as we say in Milford.

PS - Video version of the above vacation will be available in a few will Marty and Megan's wedding from last August and my niece's b-day party from last July...



Colin said...

man, that sounds like an awesome trip. I am officially envious.

Maiasaura said...

bravo, you guys! sounds like you had fun, even if you got your asses kicked a little bit. way to try something new.

potunkey said...

Those are quite the curtains in there.

It looks like it was amazing, though.

Now get those videos up.

bradhoc said...

I don't appreciate your sarcastic tone regarding my trip to Friday's. First, Friday's sucks. Second, it was either that or a rib place (I prefer not to rub my own face in my carnivorous diet). Third, I'm sad that I missed you guys. Fourth, SoCal and MidCal suck compared to NorCal and SFCal. Fifth, I better get back to work.