Dan Escapes with Hannah to Carpinteria, California 2022

Escape feels like the right verb for my desire to leave New Jersey as a kid. As has been noted ad nauseum in this blog, I was quite the rule follower. To break that pattern at 21, I fled first west for my senior year at Arizona State, then the next year to California for my first teaching job in Anaheim. Though I lasted but four months as a molder of young minds, the experience planted a seed in my heart for the Golden State.

Carpinteria sunset on the Pacific

A seed I have watered yearly with Hannah since 2014, except in Covid 2021. Now at the robust age of 74, I find my escape is more primal, visceral, and insistent. One, I want to take the biggest bite I can out of Maine winters. Two, I want to be active and alive outdoors in a place where warm is the calling card. California allows me to be in the great outdoors in January and February in ways I can’t, let’s be honest won’t be in the winter cold of the Pine Tree State.

Morning beach walk sunrise in Carpinteria (ten miles south of Santa Barbara)

For an outdoor guy, the Santa Barbara area of California is winter gold.

Each morning Hannah and I get to walk up and down the Carpinteria Beach before breakfast. Staying at a VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) condo literally on the Pacific Ocean, we basically fall out of bed and greet the predawn sunrise just above the lapping waves. The wet sand is easy on our feet and the shore birds wish us a good morning daily just after seven AM.

Dramatic sunrise on Monday past!
Shore birds discuss the pros and cons of the photographer
A heron of sorts on the Carpinteria bluffs with the Santa Ynez Mountains in the distance.

This past Monday, Hannah and I drive twenty miles south to Ventura to walk its promenade, pier, and beach with temps in the mid-60s.

Ventura Promenade with 60-something surfers
Beneath the Ventura Pier

On Tuesday, we drive ten miles under the bluest of sunny blue skies to hike San Ysidro Canyon into the Santa Ynez Mountains. Thursday of this week we hike to the warm pools of the Hot Springs Trail in nearby Montecito.

Returning on the San Ysidro Trail with the Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands in the distance
Cooling her jets in the warm waters of the Hot Springs Trail

On Friday of this week, we play ping pong across the street from our condo. Abel, a local Carpinteria legend, notices we are playing with an inferior one-star ball. He gives us an up-graded three-star ball and are game improves dramatically.

Hannah balances our new, high quality, orange, three star ping pong ball

Each late afternoon, Hannah and I jump on our Cruiser one-speed, fat tire bicycles to pedal on the wet sand beach at our doorstep or along the bluffs to the Harbor Seals Rookery.

My Beach Cruiser
Harbor Seals of Carpinteria. Babies are usually born in February and March

Today, Saturday we will bike four miles south for the Rincon Classic Surf Competition.

Next Monday, we play pickleball with Santa Barbara friends, Claudia and Bill, in Montecito just below the coastal mountains.

Maine I love you, I truly do, but…California steals my heart two months each winter.

544A PT, 844A ET on 1.15.22

6 thoughts on “Dan Escapes with Hannah to Carpinteria, California 2022

  1. Oh Dan,
    I’m really happy for you, really, but now I truly realize how nauseatingly cheery I sounded while living in CA and telling all my friends back east how great the weather was😜
    As the temps hover @ 1°, please continue to remind us Mainers what we’re missing. The darts are coming closer to your head on my dartboard….,never fear, we all still love you and will continue to read your blog with more than a few glasses of wine under my belt. 🍷🍷
    Enjoy 😉 xoxoxo Rose

    • We are very fortunate to be here and certainly just as nauseatingly upbeat about our California weather. To balance eight days of good weather, it’s sprinkling this morning! Just kidding. We are feeling the love. By the way, our son Will and his wife Laurel breakfasted at Betty’s Diner in Portland this morning in honor of your friendship with Hannah and also to begin a day of house hunting in the Portland area.

  2. I am SOOOOOOO happy for you!!! Yes, California is a Gold Mine. I love it too. Pam was born in Newport Beach, and Mike, in Long Beach. I had just enrolled in Long Beach State when Targe decided he needed more sunshine. Thank God for airplanes!!!!

    >

  3. Love all the photos and details of your ongoings and going-ons in Carpinteria and other places/California! Who knew about 3☆ ping pong balls?! The beach cruisers are a fun addition, love them! Keep it coming! We can handle it!😅 I think Rose will be ok too😅!

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