As a 1966 graduate of Fair Lawn High School (New Jersey), I appreciate that my classmate Roz makes things happen; last year it was a California mini-reunion for five of us grads. She lives in T.O. (i.e. Thousand Oaks), an hour down the road from our rented house in Carpinteria. This year she has the idea that she and our fellow classmate Dave from San Diego will get together with me. They’ll ride the Amtrak Surfliner to Santa Barbara for lunch, then we’ll all walkabout town. Great plan, but…
Roz comes down with a nasty flu and can’t make it on this mid-February Wednesday.
Giving Dave the chance to reschedule (he does have a five hour train ride to Santa Barbara each way), I am pumped when he says, I’m comin’! I smile it has commitment and am riding high for a day with my Cutter bro 3000 miles from our Garden State high school!
In high school, Dave and I had our Venn diagram overlap on a regular basis as we ran with many of the same friends. Of late, we text, especially of our mutual love of all things Roger Federer and your Super Bowl Champs New England Patriots. When we last met at our 45th high school reunion, he was the one who found a place for me at his reunion table when I really had no place to go.
So, what does one do on a rainy/showery day in the Santa Barbara area when pickleball and hiking are not an option? Let me show you in pictures.
Shiffy (as he was none at FLHS) arrives at noon on the Amtrak Surfliner as the morning showers pause. From the train station to the Carpinteria State Park, we walk with umbrellas in hand a mere 200 yards to the beach.
Wanting to chill over lunch, we get Italian take-out at Guicho’s on Linden Avenue in downtown Carpinteria. Over meatball subs and grilled chicken salads back at the house that Hannah and I are renting, we talk of our high school lives; I do wish he had played on the high school tennis team with me, as he is a left-handed serving machine.
With showers here and there, I drive Dave to the trailhead of Romero Canyon to show him what debris flows from the past year look like up close and personal. Stunned myself to see that the road which was impassable on January 21, repaired by January 28, was again closed this February 13 afternoon due to last weekend’s Montecito canyon debris flow.
Backtracking down the mountain, I weave around the fallen rocks in the road from the unstable cliff sides.
To conclude his four hour, stay in the Mediterranean of the Pacific, we catch another break in the showers to walk the bluff at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Recently retired, Dave’s low maintenance, up for anything, laughs easily, and doesn’t take himself too seriously. We end with bro hugs, appreciative of our rainy day on the Pacific coast. Already we have plans to meet up with Roz next year when Hannah and I return to Carpinteria, our home away from home.