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Who Says You Can't Go Home?

On Dev's first day in California, we drove north on Pacific Coast Highway in a Mustang convertible, top down, and had lunch in Malibu.  Then we walked onto the beach and waded into the ocean, splashing around like the tourists we were until the cold water numbed our Indiana-pale legs from the knee down.  We finished the drive to Santa Barbara with the top down and the heater cranked all the way up.

I nearly cried as we topped San Marcos Pass and dropped into the Santa Ynez Valley that evening.  I only lived there three years, but it is home to me as no other place has ever been.  Did you see the film Sideways?  That's the place.  But I lived there when the area was about horses and cattle and tourists--not wine and tourists.

Today we took the not-quite-two-lane road up into the mountains.  My mountains!  The hairpin turns, steep drops, and blind corners made Dev a little tense, though the views were spectacular.  We did some hiking, and Dev gets to say he climbed to the very top of a mountain.  The winding road back down to the valley floor took us past and through cattle ranches.  The huge oaks sported signs: "Posted: No Hunting" and "Drive Slow: Cows Calves On Road."

It made my chest ache, seeing this place again.  It is indeed my heart's home.

We spent the afternoon in little shops.  I bought too much chocolate.  Dev bought sharp pointy things that we must ship home.  I kept commenting on what was different and what was the same.  Farmer's Market happened this evening, so we picked up some nuts, berries and bread.  Tonight, we're very, very tired.  A quiet evening in our hotel room, eating Chinese food and snacking on earlier purchases, sounds just fine.

Tomorrow, northward to the "happiest" city in the U.S.--San Luis Obispo, where Dev was born--and to meet up with Dev's Godmom.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
sartorias
Dec. 8th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
So glad the trip is going well--and I feel the same about Santa Barbara, which I, too, lived in for three years.
blairmacg
Dec. 13th, 2011 06:11 pm (UTC)
I love parts of Santa Barbara. I spent more than a couple of high-school weekends at State & A before wandering down State Street to watch Rocky Horror Picture Show. Later, during college, I found all the little places that sold good and cheap lunches. Our Daily Bread made an awesome Jerusalem artichoke soup.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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