We love it here
Ah, California. It rained most of the night and was still wet when we put our noses out of the door this morning. But slowly, very slowly, the clouds cleared and by the time we were out and about the sky was turning blue and the air was clearing.
You are never far from a film set around here and sure enough, there on the street, a new Disney movie Magic Camp was being filmed.
There around the corner was the actors’ trailer park – not quite as glamorous as it often appears.
We were heading out of town, driving northwards through interesting landscape with lush vegetation like these pepper trees, laden with berries.
Orange groves with heavily laden branches dripping with fruit. Ah yes, California.
The Sunkist lemon groves were on both sides of the road, interspersed with fields of kale, broccoli and strawberry plants.
We made a stop at Mary’s favourite Nut House and came away with a few treats.
Bulls Eye candy. Yum!
Back then onto the road through the fruit farms.
As the clouds parted, a lovely landscape opened up. I’d think those lemons are ready to harvest, wouldn’t you say?
Soon we could see the ocean and our destination was within reach.
We were heading for Santa Barbara, approaching it through the smart town of Montecito, one of the most desirable places to live in the USA and home to many celebrities.
Having parked the car, we were reminded of one such celebrity and of the time we saw his show live in Las Vegas, some years ago. Yes, he’s still going strong!
Our first stop in Santa Barbara was a small gallery with a current selling exhibition of 100 small works of art. They were beautifully displayed.
Almost all were sold, too.
Outside the Santa Barbara Art Museum, our main destination, were rather older works: a series of murals by the artist David Alfaro Siqueras, protected by an overhang and looking really good as a result.
No photographs permitted inside, so I’ll simply share the link and highlight the Judith Shea’s Mid Life Venus and Christian Marclay’s Telephones as immediate hightlights for me. We’d seen – and been enchanted by – Marclay’s work before, when we saw his Clocks in the New York Metropolitan Boston Institute of Fine Art and this collection of film clips was equally fascinating. As we began our look around, one of the docents offered us a brief guided tour of five main exhibits, an offer which we accepted gladly. Irene’s enthusiasm and extensive knowledge made our visit really special and by focusing on just a few lovely pieces we gained a great deal from it.
Before setting off home, we took a look at the Mission, one of many such places in this part of California. Set amongst cacti with a backdrop of mountains, it was most attractive – though those clouds were starting to look rather ominous.
But as is often the way in such places, our attention was caught by the slightly odd sight of a man wheeling a trolley of saints across the plaza.
It could have been a scene from many a comedy show – just what was going on do you think?
(Thank you, Crisy, for giving me the answer in the comments below - now, why on earth did I not think of that, especially since there were other clues about the nativity scene which had been there right in front of us!)
Rather than watch saints being wheeled about though, we thought it was probably time to head for somewhere dry.
We made it back down the coast and got home just as it started to rain. Sorry about the reflection!
What a lovely day we’ve had. This evening, sitting around a table with a group of friends, we all counted our blessings –how lucky we are to be in such a great part of the world!