Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I did manage to finish the cotton/rayon top in time to wear it to dinner last night. As usual, I underestimated the amount of stretch to the garter stitch shoulders, with the result that I probably showed a bit of bra by the end of the evening. Maybe a nice, inflexible linen stitch would have worked better.

The LA Times published a list of good places to stop for snacks and sightseeing on the highway between Santa Barbara and San Francisco. I found it interesting, but incomplete. It left out some of my favorite stops.

In Santa Barbara, there are the zoo (small, charming, with amazing views of the ocean in one direction, and a lagoon in the other), the botanical garden (all California natives: go in the spring, for a wildflower show you won't soon forget), the natural history museum (which I love like Aladdin's cave), The Palace Cafe (on Cota near State Street, the best Cajun/Creole restaurant west of the Rockies, possibly west of the Mississippi), and two very good yarn stores.

Where the highway hugs the coast, keep your eyes open for the alpaca farms; there are at least two. Where the highway turns inland, you could turn toward the beach instead. At Gaviota State Beach, the cliffs weather into cobbles that contain fossils. I don't recommend camping there, though; the campground is directly underneath a railroad trestle. Being waken by a train directly overhead is not a relaxing experience.

North of Gaviota, past the tunnel, a sign leads via a side road to Nojoki Falls. I have no idea how to pronounce that correctly, but, if it's springtime in a rainy year, the short hike to the Falls is well worth it. In a dry year, the fall could be outclassed by a leaky kitchen faucet. Continue on the country lane, where mosses drip from ancient oaks. If you're lucky, you'll see yellow-billed magpies, a rare and fascinating bird that gets my vote for Coolest Bird in the World. Further up the road, you'll hit Solvang, a Danish-American village that's widely known for pastries and opportunities to shop. Check out Natalie's Doll House for toys, and Village Spin and Weave for all things fiber-related.

More to come.


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