New Year’s sojourn: Santa Barbara & beyond

Oh Westy, we love you so… but sadly the old girl gave out during the first phase of our post-Christmas trip to southern California. Fortunately we were able to limp to an exit in Salinas near a whole cluster of car dealerships, and after a few hours of effort, we were able to have the Westy towed to a mechanic while we continued our trip in the last available rental car (a “cozy” Tesla crammed with four adult-sized humans + Seamus).

Fortunately the rest of our trip was much more restful than eventful. Highlights included:

  • Stopping off in San Luis Obispo, home of Finney’s Kitchen.
  • Finding our way to a quaint AirBnB cabin in Montecito (not on the property of Oprah or Prince Harry, which must’ve been nearby).
  • Walking around lovely Santa Barbara, checking out the beautiful Mission & train station while I nervously checked the score of the Irish game (happily a beatdown of Oregon State!).
  • Capturing sunset drone & Lego photos.
  • Exploring a shoreline butterfly grove with Seamy & friends.
  • Scoring some vintage records & exploring funky shops.
  • Meeting a friendly Navy captain-turned-Googler at a historic train trestle (below).

Check out the full gallery to see the goings-on.

Christmas Photos

Christmas 2023

Having just returned from Thanksgiving in Galena (more on that soon), the Macro- and Micronaxx opted to stay home for Christmas this year. Happily, our pal Maria—accompanied for the first time by her canine co-pilot Tippy—flew out to join us. Highlights of the holiday included:

  • Visiting the typographical Shangri-La that is The Box SF—an old curiosity shop run by a colorful designer named Mark who happens to have been born a few blocks from where Maria now lives. The two of them know many of the same Kansas City artists & Hallmark folks.
  • Whipping up cookies & pies—which fared far better than on previous trips that featured more, um, freeform interpretations of the recipes.
  • Taking in the San Jose Nutcracker in the beautiful California Theater.
  • Finding an orchid shop & adding a new member to our brood.
  • Cruising around the Los Gatos “Fantasy of Lights” with the boys & Maria hanging out the sides & top of the car.
  • Sharing & unwrapping many thoughtful, generous gifts, including the “MJB” coffee can that Hen & I found for Maria (initials: MJB) during our first visit to The Box. Margot’s new otter Irma was a hit as well.
  • Stopping by Severn’s house to check out his caboose & backyard train.
  • Watching Die Hard—which is, conclusively, A Christmas Movie™!

Check out our Christmas gallery to see the whole story!