Breaking news: The Rathbones allegedly left their house and took a vacation! Film at eleven.
I joke, but clearly we don't get out as much as we should. Our recent road trip to the Third Annual Wine Country Ukulele Festival, packed with picnics, wine tasting, scenery, good eating, heaps of ukulele, and camping, was just the getaway we needed. Oh, and we survived the Bates Motel (Hitchcock's setting for Psycho), too, but that's another story.
We don't do airplanes. Andy's mom, a constant traveler, thinks we're Luddites. But at this stage in our lives, fortunately, we're not needed anywhere we'd have to fly, so we confine our travels to places we can drive. Maybe country music star Ray Stevens puts it best: "I don't think God intended for man to fly. It says right there in the Bible, 'Lo, I am with you always.' It don't say nothin' about high."
With us, it's not exactly fear; instead, we feel that flying the unfriendly skies has become demeaning, uncomfortable, tense, tedious, and just no fun anymore. So we drive.
Usually we get a late start because there's so much to pack into the SUV. We always bring food and provisions: a cooler; a burner; a casserole for our first night's dinner in our motel room (usually a boeuf Bourguignon, the classic beef/wine stew); dishes and cutlery, and wine. This time, we also schlepped a tent, sleeping bags, and things like tarps and axes, hoping to sample some campgrounds on the way back home.
This trip, amazingly, we were ready to head out by 9 a.m., until our white kitty, Lotus, proved impossible to find (they're indoor cats). We searched, cruised the neighborhood, and notified our neighbors and mail carrier. We called and cajoled. We shook treats harder than Brian Jones on the tambourine. Our moms drove over to help search. Three hours later we found her on a closet shelf we must have missed. She stared back at us, like, "What's the big deal?" Cats!
So it was that we passed Santa Barbara pretty late, around four p.m. At the shortcut suggestion of Andy's Droid phone, we spurned our usual coastal route and turned east on 154 just north of Santa Barbara. I thought it'd be strip malls and ugliness, but as we headed through the San Marcos Pass into the Santa Ynez valley, we were stunned at the wildness of the place. Another lesson on not giving into my expectations, as we found it so unspoiled, and such a beautiful hour to be cresting the pass.
|Heading toward Los Olivos via the San Marcos Pass|
|View of coast (to left) and the Santa Ynez Mountains|