Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Santa Barbara

All we had to do today was drive from Palm Springs to Santa Barbara--Goleta, really. This is our waystation on the way to Hearst Castle in San Simeon.

We decided to wait until the commuter traffic died down to hit the road. For the most part, we managed to avoid heavy traffic and there were no mid-road stops--not even slowdowns for our lanes. It was already 91 degrees at 9:30am on US Interstate 10 as we were leaving the Palm Springs Area; by the time we were nearing Santa Barbara at 1:30pm it was down to 69!

We were appalled to see what we thought was a wall of smog as far as we could see in front of us as we drove West; but, Claire finally checked her iPhone to confirm this and found that we were also looking at coastal fog. This relieved us greatly.

This Smart car actually had the audacity to pass us on our journey--Shouldn't it be in a special lane for smaller vehicles and toys?

Smart Car in the Fast Lane

Along the way, we determined for sure that we wanted to visit the UC Santa Barbara campus. This was from a combination of motives: We both worked at UC campuses, our friend, Mick, attended UCSB, our grandaughter, Sarah, might come here one day, and we thought it would be a pretty site to walk around.

We found the campus information kiosk and the friendly clerk directed us to the parking garage. We decided we could do what we wanted in an hour, bought the appropriate permit and headed on down the path.

UCSB Campus

Claire thought the campus was probably very White in composition; but, as I looked around, I thought it was a pretty fair mix of ethnicities--except that we only saw one person who seemed to be African-American. He was singing Gospel tunes, loudly, as he walked across campus. I suspect that Latinos may be similarly under-represented--that is certainly true at our former campus at UC Davis.

The bevy of bikes is a familiar sight to us on campus. We both commuted a full 1.5 minutes to campus from our present home for a number of years.

UCSB Parking Lot

We thought the traffic lanes were well laid out clearly for pedestrians, bicyclists and cars. They even have separate lanes for skateboards!

Skateboard Lane

The Storke Tower is a new--to me--feature on the UCSB campus. In fact, nothing is familiar to me here. I was last on campus, I think, in 1960 when I came to visit my friend Mick, just after I finished Army Basic Training at Fort Ord.

Storke Campanile

Our impression is of a beautiful campus that would suit well our grandaughter one day. We picked up a brochure to pass along to her upon her return, priming her, perhaps, for a possible future 10 years or so in the future.

UCSB Library

We left the campus and checked into our Motel 6. It had a modern look and feel and was the first place we have stayed that did not have carpeting. We think this is because of the proximity to sandy beaches. The only complaints about the room were that they did not have enough cubbies for towels, and they only gave us one bath towel. It was annoying that the guy in the neighboring room thought it was all right to talk on his cell phone right outside our door in a loud voice--to several different people, despite Claire's request that he move his conversation.

Motel 6 Bathroom

Motel 6 Bedroom

The greatest year of my life was spent in Spain with EAP. Deciding not to take advantage of this program should be thoght of as an awful crime. Do yourself a favor and get out of this country. ~ Samuel DeFranceschi