i was in a sleep-deprivation fog after class on saturday afternoon when i decided that what i clearly needed was a vacation. time, obligation, and cash were not on my side, however, so it wouldn't make sense to hop a flight to...anywhere. but i've got my mom's car for the next couple of weeks, and no more workshops to teach next week, and a few days off to finish my paper, so...i decided i'd head up the coast on sunday for a one-day summer vacation just to clear my head, soak up some sun, take in some sights, and mellow out and regroup before finishing my paper.
i got up early on sunday morning, grabbed a shower and threw some stuff in a bag. fueled up with some coffee, fueled the car up with some gas (hello, expensive!) and hit the road. i took the 101 through the valley and hung a left on las virgenes, and crossed over the mountains into malibu. i was going to stop for breakfast, but all the spots were on the other side of PCH, and i couldn't manage the turnaround in time, so i kept on trukin' up the coast, and finally found a diner in oxnard where i could have some greasy breakfast.
then it was off again, up the 1, which becomes the 101 around ventura. wow, things have changed around there! years and years ago (1998-9) i spent a lot (emphasis on a lot) of time in oxnard/ventura; my b.f. of that time lived there, and well...i was there a lot. weird memories for me to travel through that part of california, but i'm tough, and i made it. i hit santa barbara late in the morning, and instinctively went right up the hill to the mission, which is always my first stop. i just love that place. but this time i did something new--i purchased a tour ticket, and went inside. it was beautiful, and there was a mass going on, so the singing carried throughout the buildings.
then it was across to the rose gardens, and then back down the hill to state street. it was free admission at the santa barbara museum, so i checked out the art, then strolled up and down state street. this is actually when i got way too much sun, and my shoulders and chest got sooooo burnt! ooops. i knew i should have packed the sunblock.
i grabbed some sushi for lunch in a tiny little state street joint, then on the way back to the car stopped in this great used book store and nabbed some bargains--just what i wanted to do! then, full and a little walking-weary, i drove down to the shoreline and parked, and found a spot on east beach. i read a bit, napped a bit, and then around 5:30 a wedding started up just a few yards away, which was so lovely to watch. then it was back to the car, a run through a trader joe's to get some aloe vera gel (much needed at this point) and some snacks for the road, and as the sun set i sat in traffic along the south 101, and finally made it home after nine.
what a day! it was so nice to play tourist, to snap endless pictures, to roam in shops and galleries, to nap on the beach, and do it all less than 100 miles from my home. now it's back to work for me. no excuses!