Beach walk cut short

Beach
Empty beach below our Vrbo.

This morning on our beach walk, I first noticed three signs and yellow tape.

marine wildlife warning sign
Warning signs posted at the beach.

We stopped to read the signs and a woman approached us wearing a hat that said volunteer for some marine life organization. She said there was a distressed sea lion ahead. It had been resting on the beach behind the signs and yellow tape.

Then when a young woman was walking her pit bull, the dog pulled out of its harness and attacked the sea lion.

The volunteer from the Channel Islands Marine Wildlife Institute told us the sea lion escaped into the ocean. She explained that the sea lion was suffering from Domoic Acid poisoning, which is caused by algae bloom.

My husband said that algae bloom happens every year. Isn’t that a normal thing? Wouldn’t sea lions be used to it?

She said they were inundated with calls about sick sea lions along the coast and that the Domoic Acid poisoning could be fatal. The volunteers were out observing the sea lions from sunrise to sunset along the beaches. Apparently stress could make the illness worse. She was standing on the beach all day to keep people and dogs away from the sick sea lion.

I asked if we could still take our morning walk.

“If you have to,” she answered. “Please stay along the cliffs and as far away from the sea lion as possible.”

We started on our walk, but as we got closer to the sea lion, we turned around. It wasn’t worth it.

We also spotted the young woman with her pit bull walking down a trail to finish their morning walk. She was avoiding the volunteer who was positioned by the signs. The young woman spotted the sea lion in the ocean in front of her and thankfully turned her dog around and headed back up the trail.

If you want to read more about the sea lions and Domoic Acid poisoning, here’s an article from the local news. The article said the Institute is fielding 50 to 100 calls a day.

Who knew that stress was so harmful to sea lions? What are your thoughts about what stress can do to us?

sea lion sick with Domoic Acid poisoning
The sea lion seeking comfort in the ocean.

How long would you wait for a taco? Hint: It’s La Super Rica

Line outside La Super Rica Taqueria, Santa Barbara.
Waiting in line to get into La Super Rica Taqueria.

I discovered a new food this week. Adobada.

What is adobada? It’s marinated meat (often pork) in a flavorful, chile-based mixture. It’s chopped into chunks and cooked on a hot grill or pan so it chars on the outside and is tender and juicy inside. The taco and burritos I had included a citrusy flavor and chunks of pineapple.

Before we took our son to the airport to fly home to the Bay Area, we stopped at La Super Rica. It’s a taco stand with a line out the door from the time they open to closing. It became famous as Julia Child’s favorite restaurant.

Adobada tacos at La Super Rica
Adobada tacos.

When our son went to UC Santa Barbara he told us about the best Mexican food that we had to try. It was La Super Rica — our favorite Santa Barbara Mexican restaurant for 25 years before he discovered it!

Tamale with cream sauce.

Sunday, we waited 40 minutes to get inside to order at the window. Then we waited longer than than that to get our food. By the time it arrived, I was famished. I had the adobada taco and a chile relleno. It was so delicious, I wolfed it down. The wait was worth it.

The other adobada I had was in a burrito the day before from a liquor store in Carpinteria. They’ve been there for 25 years and we’ve been ordering breakfast burritos from them for that long. We’re trying to convince the owner to open a store in Arizona! Our son introduced us to the adobada burrito and we’re hooked. The line isn’t nearly as long as La Super Rica, either.

The wait at La Super Rica reminded me of waiting for pizza where our kids live. Although my son’s girlfriend commented that the Cheeseboard’s line goes around the block and has about 100 people and La Super Rica’s line is only about 20 deep. I wrote about waiting in line for pizza HERE.

La Super Rica patio
View of La Super Rica’s patio.

How long are you willing to wait for a taco? How about a pizza? What other food would you wait for?

Beach Scenes

beach umbrellas
We made it to the beach!

Here are a few photos and videos from our Southern California beach vacation.

Santa Claus Lane beadcg
This is our favorite beach for walks, swimming, and hanging out. It’s also home to Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher and at one time Ellen DeGeneres.

The beach below our Vrbo. I love watching the dog herding its horse.
White egrets social distancing at the beach
Social distancing.
Carpinteria mural. World's safest beach.
A mural on the side of a building downtown Carpinteria.

driftwood wedding arch on the beach
Beach wedding. The groom made the archway for his bride.

Waves.

What are your favorite things to do at the beach?

First two hours of vacation

View from the Vrbo.

We had only been in the Vrbo for two hours when we lost one key. Fortunately, we started with two keys in the lockbox.

The key got lost during unpacking. I had placed the key on top of the dresser. My husband complained about things I was stacking on the dresser while finding a home for them. I was sure he had knocked the key off onto the floor or behind the dresser while he moved some of my stuff.

I was so upset. We were supposed to go to our friends’ house for dinner and we were thirty minutes late — before we realized the key was missing.

We looked in the drawers, under the dresser, under the bed, in the kitchen and bathroom. I texted my son that we had lost one key already. There was one in the lockbox and to please keep the one remaining key there when he arrived later that night. I didn’t want to lose both.

After a delicious dinner of chicken mole with our friends in their backyard, I came home and continued the search.

I finally found the key! My husband had knocked the key off the dresser just as I suspected. He managed to land the key in my dresser drawer — into my white shorts back pocket! Husbands!

What has your wife, husband or friend done that truly amazed yougood or bad?

On the Road Again

We planned two road trips for this summer. One to Park City, Utah and the other to a tiny town on the California coast called Summerland. I wrote about the Park City trip HERE. On our way to Summerland, we stopped to visit my 90-year-old dad at the halfway point. Then we headed to a Vrbo near the beach.

Beach house near Santa Barbara
We’ll be returning to this beach cottage for the seventh summer.

It’s tough to decide if it’s best to drive straight through to our final destination — or stop along the way. The way we drove it was two days of driving four and a half hours each day.

I think if it wasn’t for my dad living four and a half hours along the way, we wouldn’t stop but try to push through.

An hour from our destination, we stopped in Filmore at the Filmore Historical Museum where they have the Hinckley House — a home that was originally owned by my husband’s relatives. One was an artist, Lawrence Hinckley, that I wrote about HERE.

I’ll share more about the museum trip on another day complete with photos.

Right now we’re waiting for the Vrbo previous renters to leave and the house to be cleaned. That could be a whole other story — since they are hours late leaving. What if they don’t leave? I’ve heard of such things.

When you take a road trip, do you like to make the trip in one day? Or do you like to take your time along the journey? Is it about the journey or the destination?

A Taste of Santa Barbara

We’ll be headed to Summerland for vacation soon. That is if Olive the cat continues to be on the mend. So far, I’m happy to report that she’s doing better. Summerland is a town of about 2,000 people in the Santa Barbara area. I love it because it’s on the beach which is my favorite place to be. I looked back at my posts from last August while we were there and I found this one about my favorite food — seafood! Santa Barbara Harbor is home to two of our favorite restaurants which have the same owner.

One of the best things about beach vacations to me is fresh seafood. For more than 30 years, we’ve gone to a restaurant with fresh, fresh seafood in Santa Barbara. It’s called Brophy Bros. and it overlooks the boats at the Marina.

steamed clams at Brophy's Santa Barbara
Linguine and clams at Brophy Bros. at the marina in Santa Barbara

Brophy’s added a small taco shop with outdoor tables downstairs called On the Alley.

Whenever we’re in Santa Barbara we stop at On the Alley. This past trip we went twice for fish tacos. And we took our good friends to Brophy Bros. to treat them to dinner after enjoying many of their home-cooked meals. They introduced us to the restaurant in the early 1990s!

Yesterday, my husband and I went to the Farmer’s Market and had a hankering for a fish taco. On the Alley had a huge line out the door to order. They had people milling around in droves waiting for picnic tables to sit. They held on to their order numbers, hoping to to sit down before the food arrived. I saw some people sitting on the curb.

wave crashing at breakwall Santa Barbara marina
A wave crashing over the breakwall at the Santa Barbara Marina. We walk here after meals.

My husband suggested going upstairs to the main Brophy’s restaurant. The hostess stationed at the bottom of the stairs told us it would be an hour wait for a table. But the bar was first come first serve.

Guess what? Two seats smack in the center of the bar — complete with open air marina views — were ours! We each had a cup of chowder and split an order of fish and chips. My year-long quest for the best fish and chips is over! The fish was piping hot, moist, delicious and the batter was light, crunchy and not heavy.

View from the Brophy Brothers bar
View from the bar at Brophy’s Santa Barbara where we had cups of chowder and fish and chips.

Well worth the wait — but even better without it.

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Baja fish tacos from On the Alley.
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Sunset at the harbor.

Do you have favorite restaurants to go to on vacation? Or certain food you savor? What are they?

Another life saved

my daughter and Waffles
Waffles the pug with my daughter during a beach vacation.

My kids like to call me when they’re walking. Yesterday, while my daughter was walking Waffles around her neighborhood I heard her say “Oh no!”

“What?”

She talked softly, “There’s someone laying on the sidewalk. Probably a homeless person.” My daughter explained that they look away from homeless people, that they don’t want to engage them. My kids live in the Bay Area where homelessness is a problem.

“He’s bleeding!” she said. It looked to her like he had slit his wrists. She ended her call with me. Minutes later she called me back and said he was conscious and was trying to get up. I suggested calling the police but she didn’t think they would help. She tried calling some mental health crisis centers, but nobody answered. Apparently crisis hotlines are staffed at night, not in the morning.

She called me again and said she asked if he wanted her to call someone or if should she call 911. He told her to call 911 because he couldn’t get up. She did and asked for the police and an ambulance. She waited with him until they came along with the fire department.

Another life saved by my daughter.

As a lifeguard she saved a drowning young boy. Then one evening in Laguna Beach, she and my husband went for a walk and a swim. She saw two people struggling in a rip tide. It was hours after the lifeguards were off duty. She swam out to them and told them what to do, to stay calm and helped them in. My husband swam out after her and they were able to get the people — who were drunk — safely onshore.

On her way back to the vacation cottage, she spotted the neighbors dog loose. She brought the dog back safely to its yard.

Yes I’m proud of my daughter to have empathy and to be able to help those in need. She said people were walking by ignoring the man. She was the only one who stopped to help.

What would you do if you saw someone who was probably homeless, bleeding on the sidewalk? Do you think you’d try to help? Or more likely walk away? Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do.