This weekend was our Birthday weekend!
This meant that (1) It was the weekend closest to our birthday; (2) Yes, “our” – no I am not using the Royal Plural, The Boy and I have the same birthday!, and (3) Early Bday presents!
We had decided, over baked pasta and Moscato, that we would go on a day trip for the Saturday, up the coast a little bit to a place we hadn’t been before, to experience it.
The baked pasta, by the way, was pretty yum.
We decided on Summerland CA.
It’s a little (very little as it turns out!) town along the PCH in Santa Barbara County.
I had noticed it a few times we’d traveled up to Santa Barbara. It had large signs proclaiming Antiques! and Beach, so … it piqued my interest.
I mean … antiques and beach. It’s like my old-person’s-heart-stuck-in-a-twenty-something-body’s dream.
Seriously, I love antiques.
I blame my mother.
So, Saturday morning, we got up (a little later than planned) and headed out to Summerland!
Okay, we also stopped for a croissant from La Monarcha, my favourite bakery on the westside.
We passed through Malibu, into Oxnard, where the one shining tower in the downtown always sparks a car-debate over how – in a city that depends very much of various agriculture and the military base not far off – there’s such a large office building smack in the middle of it.
We call it the Great Tower of Oxnard.
It really is a lovely drive. The PCH winds itself around mountains, sometimes through them, and around salt marshes and cities and towns. There’s usually fruit stands or trucks set up on the sides of the road (where the road is wider) that you can stop at a purchase fruit that was literally picked that morning, and the views are amazing.
I love the PCH.
And then we arrived in Summerland.
The first thing I noticed was the manicuring. The whole town was full of gorgeous flowers – in parking lots, the sides of streets, the hollow between the long cylindrical cement thing and the sidewalk off the street. Everywhere.
And then I saw this.
And was like “Yes! We’re here! Antuquing we go!”
I was looking predominantly for Depression Glass. It is my elusive passion. I have been collecting Depression Glass since I was kid, going to yard sales and auctions and antique shops with my Mom. To say I am a little obsessed would be an understatement. I love Depression Glass. Unfortunately, the only pieces we found were pieces I was not interested in. Did I mention I am also very picky? We did find a lot of other cool stuff, which mostly made us wish we had our own place instead of a rental 🙂
Ah, next time.
At least it was all very pretty.
Even the Antique places – and there are a lot of them – have gorgeous little white picket fence gardens. It’s all so lovely.
There was also a gardening center that promoted urban gardening by having a vertical type of garden. I fell in love rather quickly with that.
And these strawberries sort of convinced me that I would be definitely looking into this type of gardening.
It saves a lot of space, which is why it’s promoted to urban dwellers, and it seems to do rather well, plant-wise.
Definitely something to check out.
I believe this company was called the Montecito Urban Gardner? Someone correct me if I am wrong!
By lunchtime, we’d walked up and down the main street and poked our heads into most of the shops and galleries and gardens, so we thought we’d grab a bite to eat at the Summerland Beach Cafe before heading down to the shore.
In keeping with the theme of gorgeous old house with adorable things inside of it, the Beach Cafe was a charming place, with that old country wile and a bowl of lollipops at the front to remind you of it.
The food was divine!
I had their half-soup-half-sandwich deal – a clam chowder with a turkey sandwich on sourdough.
And the Boy had their chicken tacos – very delicious, very messy. He ate them with a fork and knife.
Food was great, service was excellent and atmosphere was just right! I highly recommend eating here if you’re in Summerland.
Our bill even came in an adorable little metal bucket.
It’s the little things.
Fed and still in exploring-mode, we headed to the beach.
I have been to my fair share of beaches – lake-side rocky beaches, slivers of river-side beaches and hosts of large sandy beaches by the ocean, but most beaches I have been to have been very human beaches – that is, they were etched across with volleyball courts, or tires on rope tied to a great oak tree, or boardwalks with the boards loose, always loose or some other indication that humans were the visitors of choice here.
This beach was slightly different. First, you have to walk down a cliff to get to the sand, and then – though in the distance are sailboats and oil rigs – the beach itself seems far removed from anything. The humans that were around, on their towels, usually with dogs, were transient – you could tell. There were no huge colourful umbrellas or large coolers or even chairs. People sat on their towels, throwing a tennis ball to their dog who frolicked int he waves.
So, it shouldn’t have surprised us that more animals than people were to be found here.
And then we saw a seal!
Poor thing was in the cliffs, hiding from a particularly excitable dog who was chasing birds up and down the shore – all birds, from sandpipers who were little to this great big crow. That dog had no fear. The seal, however, did. And it moved just so slightly when the dog raced by, and I happened to be in a position where I could see it. I am so proud I didn’t scream. I am not the most nature-friendly person – I usually scream in surprise and possible When Animals Go Wild fear. I screamed when I saw a squirrel on the cottage deck a few years ago. Nevermind that dear I saw by the side of the road…
Anyways, I pointed it out to the Boy and we wandered off a bit, so we wouldn’t scare the seal more, and watched it from the other side of the beach. As the dog found other birds to terrorize, the seal eventually and very cautiously, came out of hiding, and did it’s jumbled galloping towards the ocean, then slipped into the waves.
We took pictures.
The seal was obviously more playful when he or she was back in the water. He/She floated our way, seeming to follow us as we climbed back towards the entrance to the beach, floating on the waves and then diving. Super cute.
We also saw bunnies, horses, more dogs, lots of birds and a possibly more seals. And pelicans. Lots of pelicans.
All in all, it was a marvelous beach – even for those of us who still regard wildlife as a little scary.
After washing the sand from between our toes, we headed to Carpenteria – a larger town, just south of Summerland on the PCH where some Antique dealers we spoke with told us there was a shop with plenty of Depression Glass. As it turned out – they were out of all the patterns I liked, but did have a nice pink coloured cookie jar, without a lid, in a pattern that was alright … but I am picky.
It was nice to see some Depression Glass at any rate …
To console ourselves, we headed over to the main street and found a cupcake place!
So … of course we went inside …
And had a cupcake!
It’s Bday Weekend! Cupcakes are a must!
This one was called “Half Baked” – there was some soft, no egg, cookie dough inside of it.
It was beyond divine.
My mouth is still watering …
And then we headed out and back to Santa Monica as dusk started settling in.
Note to self – never think the Ventura part of the PCH will ever be truly free of traffic, no matter the time. It never is and you are deluding yourself.
The next day, Sunday, we decided on a low key, errand-based day. So there was much weekly-meal-plan cooking, shopping and preparing, as well as some yummy birthday pancakes.
The older I get the more into birthdays I get.
Also, sprinkles are valid. Everyone should have sprinkles.
I just made the batter. As I have admitted to before – my flipping skills are atrocious …
But you can’t argue with the results!
The rest of the day was laid back and low key – but I got the Boy – who insists he “can cook” but never bothers to prove that – to help me out with a chicken and leek pie adapted from this recipe. And I think, together we did a pretty good job!
What do you think? Classy? Tasty 🙂
A pretty great Birthday weekend!
Tonight we are checking out the lunar eclipse! North Americans can watch it tonight 🙂 Lucky us! Not sure about the rest of the world though.
Tomorrow is our shared birthday – we’ll be 28, which still hasn’t quite sunk in, despite my little sister asking me via BBM this morning if I could feel the hours counting down yet …
But tonight! Tonight is no ordiairy lunar night for us two! We are partaking in the live viewing over at Griffith Observatory! I am so excited! I don’t even think I will mind the crowds sure to be there. Or the fact that we’ll be sitting on hard ground on a blanket. It’s a lunar eclipse above LA guys! And I will be watching it as the clock turns and I become a year older!
Happy Birthday to us!
How was your weekend?