We leave Hollywood and drive up the coastal highway heading to Santa Barbara. At Oxnard, the scenery changes from water and coast to inland agriculture. Strawberry fields forever! Here are some pics to give you an idea of what we drove through (I see a culinary tour to these parts...):
Santa Barbara is a coastal city of under 90,000 with restricted architecture that respects their Spanish and Mexican history (adobe/territorial styles with no more than 4 storeys). Even the outside of Nordstrom’s is adobe style! We walk State Street (the main street) and take it all in, including the large number of homeless people who pose a big problem for businesses on the main street. Seems homelessness is something we can’t escape whether we live in Edmonton or Santa Barbara.
We take our bicycles out along the wharf and ride for along the Pacific Ocean. It’s hot and sunny – if I were 20 years younger, I could move here!
At the suggestion of the visitor centre we head to the Enterprise Fish Co. for dinner. Scallop brushetta is our shared appetizer and the presentation is gorgeous: two thick toasted slices of baguette are topped with lots of warm baby scallops that have been lightly sautéed with roasted garlic (lots), chopped tomato and red onion and finished with olive oil and a balsamic vinegar reduction.
Jon orders the Alaskan Halibut, mesquite grilled with garlic and soy sauce (it’s very tender and moist) on a generous bed of brown rice, bok choy and spinach. My grilled Costa Rican Mahi Mahi hits the spot: sautéed in a crust of macadamia nuts, topped with finely shredded and breaded onion strands, served with grilled zucchini and bell pepper and finished in a light lemon butter and wine sauce. My Babock County Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, pairs very nicely!
We decide to move on to Carpinteria State Beach Campground to retire for the evening. Beautiful sandy beach for miles, but oh, those Amtrak trains every three hours! It certainly cools over to 8 C overnight.