Aaron's parents treated the whole fam damily to a little vacation in Santa Barbara. We hadn't been on a vacation in 2 years, and with all that is going on - we really needed the break.
We stayed at the West Beach Inn, right across the street from the beach.Our room was huge! 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, fireplace and a giant living room. When you fill the room with 8 adults and 4 children, we needed the space. We got to sleep on one of the beds, something we haven't done in about 2 months - HEAVEN! (At home, we're still on a futon mattress on the floor)
Friday night we rolled into town. We went for a walk down the street and stopped for pizza. Since Ev's schedule was all messed up, he didn't go to bed until 11pm and proceeded to wake us up about every 30 minutes for the rest of the night. I gave up trying to sleep at 6am. Aaron was in a foul mood. Not a good start to a vacation.
Saturday morning we took a walk through the homeless people and onto the pier. I took a photo of this guy doing a sand sculpture.He then informed me that he would like a cash donation for doing so. Had I known that, I would have kept walking. Thankfully, my brother in law threw some quarters at him. The pier was packed with Porches.After a night with no sleep, Aaron decided to take Everett for a really close look at the edge.
Next, we headed over to the French Festival. My sister in law's side of the family is of French descent and so she really wanted to check it out. I didn't take very many photos of family while we were there, the characters there were far more interesting. Upon walking into the park, we were greeted with a huge disappointment.The much anticipated wading pool was drained due to budget cuts. Perhaps they could have made a note of that on the "fun for kids" section on the website. It was SO hot, I was looking forward to letting Ev get in the water. Upon further inspecting the strange people in the crowd and large number of homeless people in the area, I decided that having the wading pool drained was a good idea. No telling what could have been floating in it.
Santa Barbara seemed to be the land of Obama supporters (um, the election was months ago, you can take the sign down now),
free love no matter which gender you choose,and really bad fashion choices. The French Festival was brimming with all of the above, there was much to see:
A replica of the Eiffel Tower
A poodle in a diaper
A 40-something lady dressed up as a fairy
A guillotine replica
The Eiffel Tower made of wine corks
You could get your photo taken with Napoleon
Gay Pride and France go hand in hand
As for things that were not so French: There was a Mona Lisa painting with a hole cut out for the face so you could stick your face in in it and take a photo with "you" as the Mona Lisa - Except Leonardo da Vinci was Italian. They served French beer in Bud Light cups. All of the Can Can dancers were under age. I've never been to France, but I am willing to bet money that they don't dress like this:
Yep, that girl drew on a mustache. And as we were leaving, we passed by about four Mexican ice cream carts. What could be more French?
We were all hot, sweaty and tired so we headed back to the hotel and went swimming. Our family had the pool to ourselves, it was perfect! Later, we went to an Italian restaurant on State Street. It was so yummy!I had a ton more pictures of interesting people on State St., but Aaron erased a bunch of photos not knowing the intent or reason for me taking them. Included in the deleted photos was another homeless guy sitting outside an ultra posh boutique, a common site here. An insanely talented young guy playing the drums for money. Now this was something worth paying for. Later, the police made him pack it up and leave. However, the extremely loud party barge touring up the street full of drunk guys doing a beer bong and asking ladies on the street to show them their "stuff" was perfectly legal. On our way back to the car we passed a brass fire hydrant.To me it was just another reminder of the two extremes in this area. Perhaps if they had a regular fire hydrant they could have kept the wading pool open? Ev even had his own parking spaces.
Sunday morning we went to breakfast on the pier and then took the boys down to the beach. Ev of course loved the water. He wasn't so sure about the sand and seaweed, but after several attempts to eat both, I figured he was OK with them.
We packed up and headed home. Ev slept the whole way. It was so nice to get away for a while, but it's always good to be home.