Ok, I have fallen way behind on the travel blog, but my excuse is that we had a lot of driving and I was lazy. After Chapter 1, we had a big reconfig to drop the trailer off, get some life stuff taken care of in Flagstaff, and then hang out in Santa Barbara for Thanksgiving before we headed to our house sitting gig in Ft. Collins.
After driving back and forth across the west, it was nice to get to Santa Barbara and hang out at my sister’s house. They were all in Michigan for the holiday, so we had the place to ourselves.
The last couple of times in Santa Barbara, we had pretty crappy weather by SB standards, but this time the weather was amazing. Mid 70’s and sunny pretty much the whole time. It was lovely. Every time we go to Santa Barbara it is hard not to wish that we lived there again. However, $3 Million will buy you a fixer-upper. Yikes.
We also got blessed with some good low tides which makes for some excellent beach walking. It was low enough that all of the egrets came down to the tide pools to eat various sea creatures. On one day we saw a couple of dolphins out swimming along the shore. Stunning.
We mostly hung out and walked on the beach, and I got some great bike rides in as well. I did not do the usual sufferfest up to La Cumbre peak, but I did my favorite loop around Mountain Drive twice! The hills always feel steep in Santa Barbara, but you do get to ride by all the various movie star’s houses.
One day we decided to go down and do some wine tasting at our favorite winery–Margerum. They have a really lovely patio that you can sit at and watch the world go by as you sip some nice wines. We ordered the premium flight of wines and some olives as a snack. The wines were all excellent, but when we got to the syrah, I smelled it and it had a really off odor to it. I tasted a bit and it was awful. I had Susanne confirm for me and she smelled and spat out “It’s corked!” The woman who had served it had finished off the bottle on our pour and was back getting some more.
When she returned, I nicely pointed out to her that the wine was bad. She apologized and went to get another one. I think at that point she realized that she had served the whole bottle to various other people and quickly ran back out and replaced a few other people’s glass of wine. Hugh Margerum (one of the owners) happened to be sitting next to us and heard it all go down and said they do a lot of training with the staff on recognizing the off flavors. It goes to show you, most people just don’t have much of a palate for wine and didn’t even notice it was bad. I guess we are wine snobs and not afraid to act like it.
We decided to get a small turkey (9 lbs) for Thanksgiving and we were determined to not cook for 50 people like we usually do, since there was just the two of us. Well, Sadie would argue that she deserved a full helping of the food and it should be the three of us. We had turkey, brussels sprouts with bacon, scalloped potatoes and sweet potatoes in cheese and cream, corn bread and andouille sausage stuffing, and some gravy. For desert, Susanne made her world-class flan. It was super yummy and we managed to only cook enough for 8 people. Sadie was happy that she got lots of scraps of turkey too.
On the 28th we headed out for Fort Collins. It was a lovely stay in SB and as always I am deeply grateful for Laura and Frank’s generosity. Sadie loves the place. She seems to feel like it is her second home and she even has her own special chair in the living that she loves. She spent a lot of time out in the back yard soaking up the sun and roasting her old lady bones.