Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Visit to Santa Monica

Last weekend Dan and I drove to Santa Monica where we met up with our friends Katie, Scott, Maria, Chelsea, and of course little Leah Jude. We were treated to an excellent brunch at Katie's house featuring crockpot french toast - yum!

Leah modeling a new dress
After filling, I mean fueling up we walked 16 blocks down to the beach and then strolled up the beach to the famous Santa Monica Pier where we watched dancers, saw fishermen, and rode the giant ferris wheel.

Mary and Dan on the Santa Monica Pier

View from the Ferris Wheel

Maria and Mary on the Ferris Wheel

Mary, Chelsea, Katie, and Maria hanging out on the pier

It was an excellent visit and we are looking forward to having everyone here at our house next month for my birthday!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Our Second and Third Mission visits

Since visiting our first California mission in February we visited two more last weekend. First we visited the beautiful Mission Santa Barbara.

Mary in front of the Mission Santa Barbara
Where we again ran into Junipero Serra. The light in the photo I caught of him and really makes him look quite holy.

Junipero Serra
Dan posed with a headless Friar Thumper. We're not really sure why his head was missing . . .

Dan and Friar Thumper
We toured the beautiful grounds, the museum, and the chapel.

On our way back to Claremont we stopped in Ventura to visit the Mission San Buenaventura. It was close to closing time so we just popped in for a quick visit.

Mary in front of Mission San Buenaventura
Again we saw Junipo Serra.

Junipo Serra

Beautiful Fountain in the Garden
Three missions down and 18 to go!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Oh, hi Ojai and Santa Barbara!

Last weekend to kick off spring break we spent two nights at the beautiful Ojai Valley Inn and Spa as part of CMC's trustee retreat. We were able to enjoy some nice pool time.

The water was great!

We borrowed bikes from the Inn and bike into adorable downtown Ojai where we strolled along the Main street and explored the shops before making our way back to the Inn.

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Downtown Ojai
Then on Saturday after lunch at the Inn we drove up the coast to Santa Barbara where we had rented a cozy studio through Airbnb. We walked through downtown and enjoyed a snack at c'est cheese before strolling along State street to reach the pier.

We watched the fisherman and a few sea lions while the sun set over the mountains. Then we strolled back towards town where we ate a delightful meal of truffle mushroom pizza at Olio Pizzeria - a restaurant that was recommended to us by a couple who lives in Santa Barbara.

The next morning we ate a delicious and hearty breakfast before strolling back to the beach where we attended the Santa Barbara Art Fair. It is an Art Fair that is every Sunday of the year and has been happening since 1965. We bought a couple pieces for the house and a pair of earrings for me :).

Santa Barbara Art Fair in the distance
Then we strolled back down State Street where we ran into our neighbors from Claremont who were also visiting Santa Barbara! They recommended we check out the County Courthouse, so we did.

Santa Barbara County Courthouse
 We climbed to the top of the clock tower where we had terrific views of the city.

Santa Barbara with the Mountains in the distance
 Our friends also recommended that we check out Goleta Beach Park where we walked along the coast enjoying the fresh salty air and the fog covering the beach.

Dan dipping his toes in

Dan found a tiny cave
We also visited two more Missions on our trip. They deserve their own blog post, so stay tuned for that :).