Santa Barbara

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Great day for Mark’s birthday. First of all, it was fun taking the train to Santa Barbara and back instead of driving. We walked all over and I got sun burnt. We looked at a lot of boats and chose our favorite boat, a dark green sloop which had nice lines, a nice big sail and a jib. I would have liked to see the downstairs of our boat. You can’t really judge properly until you see the downstairs.

I like how boats are inside; their little kitchens and the dining room table and the bed and the tiny showers. I like the whole cozy wood feeling of it. It’s a lot different than being inside a camper or RV which has a whole fake wood feeling about it, but can be cozy too, like you’re in your own zone.

I used to love sailing more than anything except horseback riding, and it’s amazing that as an adult I haven’t found a way to be able to do either of these activities on a regular basis. They were always things I planned to do when I had time and money, but then, life goes on. But I am always very happy to be around boats or horses.

Mr. Toad, in The Wind in the Willows buys a yellow caravan gypsy cart which he plans to see the world with. Kenneth Graham describes it thus:

`There you are!’ cried the Toad, straddling and expanding himself. `There’s real life for you, embodied in that little cart. The open road, the dusty highway, the heath, the common, the hedgerows, the rolling downs! Camps, villages, towns, cities! Here to-day, up and off to somewhere else to-morrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that’s always changing! And mind! this is the very finest cart of its sort that was ever built, without any exception. Come inside and look at the arrangements. Planned ’em all myself, I did!’
The Mole was tremendously interested and excited, and followed him eagerly up the steps and into the interior of the caravan. The Rat only snorted and thrust his hands deep into his pockets, remaining where he was.
It was indeed very compact and comfortable. Little sleeping bunks–a little table that folded up against the wall–a cooking- stove, lockers, bookshelves, a bird-cage with a bird in it; and pots, pans, jugs and kettles of every size and variety.
`All complete!’ said the Toad triumphantly, pulling open a locker. `You see–biscuits, potted lobster, sardines–everything you can possibly want. Soda-water here–baccy there–letter- paper, bacon, jam, cards and dominoes–you’ll find,’ he continued, as they descended the steps again, `you’ll find that nothing what ever has been forgotten, when we make our start this afternoon.’
Of course, soon after they set out with the cart, they are overtaken by a motor car which smashes the cart and that is the beginning of a life of crime for the Toad, who purchases a motor car but then steals another. He is given twenty years in prison.

The trial goes as follows:
The Clerk scratched his nose with his pen. `Some people would consider,’ he observed, `that stealing the motor-car was the worst offence; and so it is. But cheeking the police undoubtedly carries the severest penalty; and so it ought. Supposing you were to say twelve months for the theft, which is mild; and three years for the furious driving, which is lenient; and fifteen years for the cheek, which was pretty bad sort of cheek, judging by what we’ve heard from the witness-box, even if you only believe one-tenth part of what you heard, and I never believe more myself–those figures, if added together correctly, tot up to nineteen years—-‘
`First-rate!’ said the Chairman.
`–So you had better make it a round twenty years and be on the safe side,’ concluded the Clerk.
`An excellent suggestion!’ said the Chairman approvingly. `Prisoner! Pull yourself together and try and stand up straight. It’s going to be twenty years for you this time. And mind, if you appear before us again, upon any charge whatever, we shall have to deal with you very seriously!’
We did not steal any cars on Mark’s birthday, I am pleased to say. We walked everywhere and then went to Bouchon’s for dinner where he had the rare Ahi and I had the duck; the food is simply to die for. And the service is first rate, they treat you like you are really special.
The hotel where we stayed, The Eagle Inn, is a place we’ve stayed many times before for our birthdays, but they never remember us. We stay at the French every year in SF and they remember us, the Tabbard Inn in DC, they remember us, and of course, the NY hotel where I stay several times a year, they know me, but The Eagle Inn, not so much. From the train, I can see a lot of strawberries which I would like to eat because we didn’t have breakfast. But, we’ll be home by noon and can have lunch if we like.

Published in: on April 21, 2013 at 9:43 am  Leave a Comment  

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