Saturday, March 28, 2009
The Santa Barbara Coast
Since J just returned from Africa last Sunday we thought a family adventure was in order. We decided to take a little day trip up to Santa Barbara. It is still pretty ironic to us that hoping to serve the poor in Africa brought us to sunny Southern California. Nevertheless, we are trying to fully soak up this blessing of a season in life. I found an article with some highlights of things to do in the area with the kids, we wrote down a couple of addresses for the GPS, packed a lunch, and headed out around 8 a.m. this morning.
Our first stop was Chase Palm Park which sits nicely across the street from the Pacific Ocean. It had a really fun pirate ship themed play structure, and the kids easily spent an hour climbing, sliding, running, and exploring. The weather was perfect, our kids were giggling, and the ocean was in sight. Pretty blissful. After we dragged the children away, we took them across the street to West Beach which was also gorgeous. The water was really chilly so we only stuck our feet in but the sand and views were beautiful. We weren't able to stay long because T was not a big fan of the large dog that was off of its leash or the fact that the waves seemed to be crashing unusually loudly. He was attached to us as though his life depended on it. We tried to stretch out our visit until we felt like we had to leave so as to not cause him any emotional damage.
Our next stop was supposed to be the tide pools at Carpinteria State Beach but after hearing the area was pretty tight on parking and a bit of a hike, we instead ended up at the beach's Seal Preserve. There we were able to take a different little hike (more like a walk on a dirt path) to the edge of the bluffs where we could see seals sunbathing on the sand. We also saw dolphins from a distance and a little black and white snake which was WAY too close! The view was gorgeous. In situations like that I can never seem to get over the expansiveness of the ocean. Our kids couldn't get over the fun of running in the dirt.
Filthily and tired we packed into the car for our ride home certain our children would fall asleep instantly. But nope. Not our kids. They held strong and halfway home on our two hour drive we stopped for some ice cream cones from good old McDonald's. If you can't beat them, you might as well join them. T snoozed the last 15 minutes in the car. B pretended to put sunscreen on her stuffed animal and had us watch the great tricks she can do, loving having a captive audience. The day was great. We loved seeing the beautiful coast from a different angle, and even more than that we loved seeing our kids have so much fun.