The best thing you can do at Christmas is to spend it with family, which we did, in Santa Barbara. We had last- hour shopping, stockings, cookies for Santa, and kids waiting at the top of the stairs for the signal to come down to see what Santa had left for everyone. After, it is always the best breakfast of the year.
You may know some about Santa Barbara....the Mission, State Street, and the Fig Tree. But you may not know about the beaches, especially the beaches north of town around Goleta and Isla Vista. On a clear day you can walk miles and miles glimpsing Santa Cruz Island across the channel dotted with oil rig platforms. Today the off shore breeze steadily pushed us downwind until we turned around bending our heads into the bluster. Seaweed, sea foam, and sea debris found repose on the seashore along with the palm-sized rocks, sand, and occasional mussel shell.
We had been here once before, but that was a tragic day. Then, someone, shrouded and carried up the cliff by orange-coated rescuers, had not woken up from a night spent in the beach dune at the foot of the cliff.