A place I wanted to write about was another unexpected stop (those really are the most fun!) on the way from Ros's in Yucaipa up to Kim and Steve's on the central coast. We both got to feeling a tad bit hungry, and Ken saw a sign for a place called Summerland. He'd never been there, but he remembered that when he lived in California and Bill Clinton was in office, the Clintons vacationed there once. He recalled that while in some ways it was a big deal for the town, the Secret Service pretty much shut down half of the town, and the locals weren't all that pleased with the lack of business!
Anyhoo, Ken remembered the town from that, so thought it might be a fun place to stop. And it was! A pretty little resort town on the ocean, touristy as all get out, but still cute and charming. There were tons of antique shops and little galleries, and Ken and I figured that there would be no bargains in Summerland's antique shops! We were planning on filling up the car there, but the price was $4.79, and we knew that was a huge markup from what it should be, so we waited. (It was just over $4 in Santa Barbara, a little further down the road.)
We found a neat place to eat called the Summerland Beach Cafe. It looks like it might have been an older, Victorian house at one point. There were tables outside, and we were able to sit out on the porch as we had our lunch. Ken had a burger that was really good, and I had something a little more unusual--a chicken breast sandwich with roasted eggplant, peppers, and onions. It was very tasty, but surprisingly rich! It was beautiful and sunny, and we had a great time sitting outside and enjoying our al fresco lunch. We cracked up when a gull came down and snatched a bun off of a plate that the busboy had set on a table. Not a piece of bun, almost the entire top half of a bun! The waitress saw it happen, and saw us laughing, and she explained that the gull has done that before, and is almost a pet at the restaurant. He flew up onto the roof, and I could hear him over my head. I actually wondered if he was going to try to grab some of my sandwich!
Here's the interior of the place. Doesn't it look all rustic and homey? It reminded me a little of some of the Amish restaurants that are in our area. Right over my head where I stood taking this picture, they had a shelf high up on the wall, about a foot below the ceiling. They had all these old books on the shelf, and I thought that was such a neat idea, and looked really cool, especially for anyone who loves books as much as we do! That's something that I might keep in mind...in fact, I'm looking at a wall in the living room where that would look fabulous....!
So that was the other little unplanned side trip that we really enjoyed. As I've said before, there's nothing quite like the adventure of not knowing what you'll find. It helps to have a great appreciation of the little things, because you never really know how it will turn out. If you have a set expectation ("I want to find a really good but inexpensive restaurant") you might find yourself disappointed. Just keep an open mind and take it for what it is: something unexpected, and an adventure that you might remember fondly for many years.
Man, could I be ANY less motivated today?! It's awful. I've been trying to catch up on journals, and I'm getting there. Please be patient with me! I finally got my butt in gear and made it to the grocery store. Sweet corn is now in season, so I got some for a couple of meals. (A lady was there, peeling back the husks to look at the kernels. She had a dour look on her face and said to me, "You really have to look through them." I just said, "Aww...usually they're all pretty good!" I usually pick ones that are kind of fat and sturdy--I can't remember the last time I got a bad ear of locally grown sweet corn. I don't peel back the husks, because I think that makes it dry out, and spoils it for the next person.) While we were visiting, Ros made a wonderful fruit salad a couple of nights, with cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, cherries, and grapes. It tasted so fresh and good to me, and she inspired me. So I bought some Michigan plums and peaches, some local cantaloupe, and some Bartlett pears (not sure if those were from Michigan or not). I definitely don't eat enough fruit, and I have to ask myself, "Self? Why not?" I have to answer, "I don't know, because it's all delicious!"
That was about all the motivation I could muster today, although I'd still like to do at least one load of laundry. Ken and I are still very much on Pacific time (three hours earlier), and stayed up late last night and slept late today. Ken said, "Well, when you think about it, we really haven't had to DO anything for the past week and a half. It IS hard to get back into that mode!" I'll chalk today up to a sort of "decompression" day, where we are gradually re-acclimating ourselves to our normal lives. Before we know it, Sheeba will be back to being his usual standoffish cat self, but for now, he's on us like milk on cereal. He's curled up on my lap as I type, and keeps sighing contentedly. (I'm just kidding--he can occasionally be standoffish, but he's actually a very affectionate cat.) And oh dear, I'm going to have to come up with something to cook for dinner tonight! Do you think corn and fruit would be enough? HA! Nah, I'll figure out something.
Knowing me, I'll start getting motivated around 10 PM! But I don't want to get into that mode again, and I'll do my best to return to our Eastern time zone! I'm also feeling dangerously wordy...run for your lives!!! I have several topics racing around the velodrome of my mind, including the Mafia book I finished while we were on vacation, a comment or two on Tobacco Road, which I also finished, some recent campaign memos from the Clinton camp that gave me a new measure of respect for Senator Clinton, and someone telling Ken to "get a life." I'm still laughing about that one!