Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Solvang, Santa Barbara, Jalama Beach and L.A., CA

Solvang, California

Solvang is a small, Danish town in the foothills northeast of Santa Barbara. Shops and museums encompass about 5 or 6 square blocks. This is one of at least two windmills.

A clock tower in Solvang. Browsing through shops is different for us. We don't usual do such touristy stuff, but it is an interesting place.
Santa Barbara

Marilyn on the beach walkway in Santa Barbara near Stearn's Wharf. Tall palm trees line the Pacific Coast Highway all the way through the city. I think this is the shot you see in so many movies depicting typical "California". Note that it is a cloudy day (it never rained here), but the darkness behind the palms in the background are the mountains, not storm clouds.

This is a school physed class. My gym class was never like this! We sit and watched them play while we eat lunch - I am on the far left sitting on the sea wall.
It's sad, but Santa Barbara is full of homeless people. This guy creates a new sand sculpture every day. Donations are gladly accepted.

Further down the beach, we find a few of the homeless sleeping bundled in sleeping bags and blankets; others are scattered throughout the parks. It's such a contrast to the multi-million dollar homes and hotels that line the beach.

We come across this beached sailboat walking along the shore. Something just doesn't look right! There is a huge hole in the other side. The owner will not a happy sailer!

How to dispose of a beached sailboat? This salvage draws a large crowd, including us as we happen to stumbled upon the rescue on our walk back to our truck (after taking the previous photo). The owner is present and explains that the boat came loose from its mooring in the bay. (Another onlooker tells us that happens at least a half dozen times each year!) The sailboat filled with sand and the weight of that combined with the motion of the waves punched a hole in the side. There is no hope of saving the vessel! He has no insurance. Lesson learned!
Jalama Beach State Park

This state park does have RV camping, but we opt to not pull our trailer in the bumpy 14 mile road to the gusty, windy beach. Because of the constant winds, this beach is very popular with kite boarders and wind surfers. At times, the sand blows horizontally across the beach. Okay, so it's not snow!

A few of the many people enjoying the winds. Excitement seems to follow us lately, and today (the day after finding the beached sailboat), a kite boarder has to be rescued further down the beach here. His kite lost lift and plunged into the ocean when he was about one mile out and half a mile down the beach. We loan them our binoculars to find the board and harness, although they only find the latter. They suspect the board will turn up at a beach further south and contains his contact info, so it's likely to be returned.
One thing we notice throughout our travels up and down this Central Coast is that Californians enjoy being outdoors and staying fit. We constantly see people cycling, running, surfing, and otherwise engaged in outdoor activities. I guess that's why they live in The Golden State where it rarely rains (especially these past few years), and the weather is joyously suitable for outdoor fun.
Los Angeles Christmas Visit before the U.S. Thanksgiving

We usually spend Christmas near Los Angeles to visit my uncle who lives in Claremont, but because we are touring California (for nearly 2 months now), we are way ahead of our usual schedule and visit right before the American Thanksgiving instead. We stay at our usual RV Park above the Puddingstone Reservoir with magnificent views of the water, mountains (when it's not to smoggy) and city lights at night.

We spend four days with Uncle Bill, going out to dinner two nights and having him up to the trailer two nights. Of course, Brad gets him drinking all nights and here, even listening to our iPod. Looks pretty content in my zero-gravity chair, doesn't he?

Santa pops in for a beer! While we are enjoying the view, two water bombers fly directly overhead. They are from Quebec (go Canada!), which is emblazoned on the sides of the planes. Uncle Bill says the state of California rents them for the winter to help fight fires. They must be scouting out the reservoir. (Sorry - no good pic of the planes - Brad is drinking and is a little too slow!)

1 comment:

  1. I love that you visit your Uncle each year. Looks like he loves being with you. Oh, I crave an ocean view. Just a few more months.