View of the Pacific from the home of my sister
Kirsten and her husband Craig
I had the opportunity to spend a couple of blissful days with my sister in beautiful
Summerland, CA, a suburb of Santa Barbara. What can I say? It was heaven.
OK, OK, it wasn't completely perfect, as there was some
cloud cover during my visit.
Even under a blanket of clouds it was beautiful. We took a long
walk along this lovely beach, only steps from their home.
Notice the clouds reflecting off of the glassy ocean surface.
Ominously, if you look closely you can see that there was
an oil slick on the water's surface.
Even in Santa Barbara, pollution always casts its shadow.
There are several oil derricks off shore, which have been the source of
damaging leaks over the years. In the distance are the Channel Islands,
where we hope to sail next year.
We walked south to enjoy the non-oily section of beach.
Also, I was secretly looking for Oprah. She lives here in
Santa Barbara, you know. I'm sure Oprah loves to walk
on the beach. Doesn't she?
In a totally relaxed, Santa Barbara-esque way, these equestrians
strolled by. Although I'm sure Oprah rides horses, she was not
one of the riders. Maybe that's her in that little sailboat offshore?
Nah. Oprah doesn't do ANYTHING "little."
A rare cloudy day as seen from Kirsten's deck
After the walk on the beach, we popped over to the Santa Barbara Polo Club.
Kirsten and Craig are members, and actually
have their own viewing box here
But they made me sit in the penalty box. :-)
Naw, just kidding. The staff was quite welcoming and gracious.
We worked out in the official SB Polo Club gym,
which opened out onto the lovely manicured grounds.
Of course I was feverishly looking for Oprah from
behind my shades during my visit there -- not to mention
Barbra Streisand and Ellen DeGeneres, two other world
famous celebs who call Santa Barbara home.
They were not in the gym, but I'm sure they have their
own home gyms with their own personal trainers.
No sign of them at the pool, either. :-/
I had to leave the Polo Club with the consolation
prize of seeing photos on the wall PROVING that
Prince William, Princess Kate and yes --
Queen Oprah -- had stood on these very grounds.
We headed home to bathe after the fun workout at the Polo Club.
Check out the size of their voluminous, luxurious bathtub!
My legs are completely straight in this photo! Wow. :-)
After my heavenly bath, I donned this super-luxurious
Polo robe Kirsten and Craig leave out for their guests
OK, OK, I could get used to this... :-)
Craig came home from work and showed me his
super-souped up full body Formula One racing video game.
I tried it out, and it was freaking awesome. It's a good thing my
husband didn't come with me on this trip. Odds are good that he
would have eaten, played and slept in this very spot for 48 straight
hours, never leaving the chair. ;-)
Since they have HBO, I selfishly hoped we would spend several hours
watching all the cool HBO shows we don't get to see on the mountain,
for hours and hours on end, until we fell into bed, exhausted.
We turned on HBO where, coincidentally, the Ron Howard
Formula One movie "Rush" was just starting. The movie
was surprisingly good.
The evening was a Formula One for Fun!
The next day they took me on a tour of the historic Granada
Theatre, where Craig is the director. It was simply breathtaking.
Surprisingly, Oprah is NOT one of the benefactors of the
performing arts center. Oprah, your stock just feel an
eensy-weensy bit in my book.
As if life here is not lovely enough, they have an
avocado tree on their property, heavy laden with fruit!
Kirsten graciously collects several of the tasty
morsels for me to take home.
Too many to pick
Kirsten and Jack, their adorable corgy
Sadly, their chihuahua Kelly (seen here with Chris)
died suddenly only a couple of weeks ago.
Kelly's doghouse, now sitting empty :-/
After bidding them a gigantic thank you and farewell, I headed
on down to check out the marina and waterfront before starting
the long drive back to the mountain
The lovely main beach at Santa Barbara
We're planning on sailing up here next year, so I was relieved
to see the anchorage appears calm and safe
The beautiful, spacious marina is just next door
In case bad weather makes the anchorage untenable,
overnight slips are available here. Good to know.
Well, time to start the long drive home. Somewhere, up in those
hills, Oprah sits, alone in her lofty mansion tower with only her
dogs and a few gardeners and personal assistants for company.
Looks like my search for Oprah continues. Until the next visit...
Thanks again to Kirsten and Craig for their amazing generosity.
You two have a lovely life here. You're welcome at the cabin anytime!
A mere three hours later, I'm back home in Green Valley Lake.
Ya gotta love Southern California...