Sunday, December 18, 2011

Marcy's Travel Blog- The Best Gift!

For me, the best gift I could ever receive is a wonderful experience- memories to be savored, revisited, and shared through photos! Better than any other collectible, great memories don't mildew or get old and worn out with use! My trip to California was a wonderful gift! As I said goodbye to Phyllis, her Canine Kenny, and even her illusive cat T.C.- (who I only saw a few times)- my heart was as full of gratitude! 

My visit was wonderful! Filled with laughter, friendship, good food, and great experiences, (and sunshine!), it was truly all I could have asked for- and more!

We spent my last evening there with good food, reliving the week and the good memories, and finished with a wonderful music DVD. By the time I got to bed, it was well past 1:00 a.m.- with my alarm set for 3:00 a.m.! I could do that "short" night when I was younger, but I have to tell you, folks- at 3:00 a.m. I was wondering about the wisdom- (or lack there-of) of choosing such an early departure! GROAN!

God Bless Phyllis- she got me to the 4:10 A.M. bus from Carpinteria back to the L.A. airport. It meant for her getting up around 3:30 a.m.! (Yawn!) I was shocked at how full the bus was! At that hour, I expected to have the bus mostly to myself! Every row had a passenger or passengers- most were sleeping. There was no gazing out the window at ocean scenery- it was still pitch black out. We arrived at the airport on time, with the driver making sure that we folks with the earliest flights got off first!

Since I  fly standby, I never know for sure what sort of seat I'll receive. I got a front row seat in coach, nice people around me, and a Flight Attendant named Justine, who took excellent care of his people.

Flying through the clouds, we then broke  through to a clear sky with sun shinning and clouds below gleaming with a pink and golden hue! Ah! Beautiful! Flying  across the U.S., it's amazing to see how the terrain changes from rugged mountains, deep valleys, to the flat plains states, and then the Great Lakes with all the smaller surrounding lakes.

There was a slight glitch at baggage claim. As we stood waiting for our luggage to come onto the carousel, the belt that feeds the luggage onto the carousel suddenly stopped. We stood there for long minutes, wondering what was happening, when all at once someone climbed up from below and announced they had "fixed it", hit some hidden button on the side, and all was back in full swing.

My roommate Diana picked me up from the airport. We stopped for a bite to eat. Since I had gotten all of 1 1/2 hours sleep, I wasn't sure I had the energy to chew, but I made it home, where I collapsed until the next morning!

Looking back at all the photos I took, there are a few wonderful ones, some that didn't make the blogs- so I'd like to share them with you now. Thank you, dear readers, for going on this wonderful trip with me! I think I get as much pleasure sharing the journey as being on the journey! So- for now, a few extra glimpses of this wonderful area! Enjoy!

A type of Pine tree, common in this area.

Phyllis's back patio, with Cardinals and "Frosty".

The Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve.

A Eucalyptus tree across the trail at the Bluffs.

West Coast Canine Kenny posing for a picture.

The Bluffs as the sun starts to set.

A view of the mountains from the bluffs.

Sunset at the Nature Preserve

The warf where we had lunch in Santa Barbara.

A view of Santa Barbara and the mountains from the courthouse tower.

A Carpinteria sunset- loved walking the beach during sunset!

Phyllis with her illusive cat T.C. (short for Terror Cat)!

I LOVED this walk back into history!

A stairway at Cold Spring Tavern that looks like it leads to no where!

The Cold Spring Arch Bridge.

A pathway to a mountain view from one of the pull off stops.

A bit of garden at the Bridlewood Winery.

A mountain view of the wine country valley.

The mountains as the sun begins to set.

Pine trees in the center of town- Carpinteria.

Dawn- from Phyllis's back patio.

The outdoor eating area at the "Garden Market" in Carpinteria

Breathtaking color at the Island View Nursery.

Surf board sign at Rincon Point Beach

Rincon Point tidal pools.

West Coast Kenny enduring a Holiday coat and photo shoot.

If Kenny spoke "human", wonder what He'd be saying about our peals of laughter!

My unfortunate try at taking "Christmas Lights" pictures

The last beach sunset before returning home.

A cozy fire, laughter, and friendship- a lovely last evening!

From my heart, a warm wish of GRATITUE to my friend and wonderful hostess, Phyllis! What a great time I had!  Phyllis has told me of the many celebrations and countless other things to see and do throughout the year! If the invitation still holds, I'll be back!

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