We left home Sunday morning without a particular plan, but with the picnic suitcase in the back. We were vaguely thinking about a nice beach, or Ventura, but ended up in Santa Barbara. The drive up there is beautiful, especially the part between Ventura and SB along the ocean. By the time we got to SB we were quite hungry. We went to the Rocky Nook park to have lunch. It’s a pretty little park close to the mission, with picnic tables and barbeques. It was very comfortable in the dappled shade under the oak trees.
After lunch we stopped at the mission, which always makes such a pretty picture against the background of the mountains. The rose garden in front is completely cut back at the moment, so there wasn’t much to see there. I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to cut back roses in southern California. If you don’t they just keep on producing flowers. However, official rose gardens always do cut back their roses, even if at home I still have flowers on my rosebush.
Our next stop was the Alice Keck garden, a beautifully designed garden on appropriately named Garden Street. It has streams, a pond with turtles, an island, and many more garden features. Gorgeous unusual plants, many in flower. It being Sunday and nice weather, it was very busy. People with picnics and lots of children. A great place to go on a weekday!
After driving around it a few times to find a parking space we went to the courthouse. It’s a beautiful building that looks very old, but is actually from 1929. there is a beautiful view on top of the tower of all of SB, 360 degrees. It’s even more obvious here SB is hemmed in by the mountains on one side and by the Pacific Ocean at the other. The city has very stringent building codes, therefore most buildings have the beautiful terra-cotta roof tiles.
Later we spent some time in the garden of the courthouse. It has a nice lawn with palm trees and is a very pleasant place to spend part of an afternoon.
On monday we went for a lovely walk along the beach at Malibu pier. There were lots and lots of birds on the ocean side as well as in the lagoon.
The water in the lagoon was a little low but it was beautiful nevertheless. I love watching the pelicans and cormorants land and take-off. They have to expand quite a lot of energy to get airborne. The snowy egrets are adorable with their yellow feet and fluffy white feathers. You can sometimes get quite close to them just walking along the beach and get a decent picture, unlike with the other birds that keep their distance. (I don’t have a long zoom lens)
The following picture is not that great, but the egret is. It’s a great white egret among the snowy egrets.
On the way back we had to cross Malibu Creek again where it flows into the ocean. The water was very cold!
It was difficult to estimate how deep the water was, and on the way in we were hesitating before going in. Some other people joined us and urged us to try it first, even though they were the ones wearing shorts and we were wearing jeans! In the end I went in first, with rolled up jeans, and the water only came up to about my knees, so we kept everything dry.
This past Saturday and Sunday we went for our annual family camping trip to San Clemente State Park. Several cousins + family get together for a big free-for-all on the beach, a potluck dinner in the evening, and a nice campfire.
The weather cooperates surprisingly often. This year the week-end was sandwiched between rainy days, and we didn’t get wet, except for a cold shower down my back when the wind got under an awning.
The campground is beautifully situated on the bluffs. The cliffs are nicely sculpted and make a beautiful background for the beach. From the campground a paved path takes you to the beach. Halfway down there’s a bench, and some people never get farther than that, the view is so gorgeous.
The train tracks are right along the beach here and Amtrak trains come by every once in a while. People just walk along or over the tracks and it’s allowed, or at least nobody tells you not to. This always seems amazing to me. Growing up in Holland I’m used to Dutch railways which are extremely dangerous with frequent, high speed trains. I would never dream of walking on the track there, or even crossing it at any other point than an official crossing. I suppose because of that one of my guilty pleasures is pausing on the railroad tracks to take a picture. So call me crazy.
In the last couple of years I’ve made a great number of shopping bags and I just found some pictures of one of my favorite ones that I would like to share. The bags are made from a very basic model. My pattern consists of a modified paper bag that is a little wider across the top. Most of them have some inside pockets, and some have thread spool closures. They are all lined and are sturdied up with iron-on interfacing.
This first one is made from a pillow case with a map from the London underground on it and I absolutely love, love it! I found the pillowcase in a Ventura thrift shop and wish I had more. It was enough to make two bags. They went to my sister and a friend who had been to London recently, so that was all very appropriate. I hope to one day go to London myself and maybe find some more of this great fabric.
For the pictures I took the bag to my metro station. There obviously is a formula for underground map making since the LA style is exactly the same as the London style. Mmmm, maybe I should start looking for LA metro fabric. Of course the LA metro isn’t as nicely intricate as the London underground so you would need many more repeats to make a pattern.