Santa Barbara to Tucson and back to Tucson

Santa Barbara to Tucson

Arrived into Orange County about 3 hours after leaving the parties, the drinking, the ladies.. Tyler’s. In Orange County I stopped in and loaded my car with a crate of books, a pile of clothes and a number of small things I had left home, and then back to the 5 toward San Diego for the possibility of some sailing with Nathan and Primo. Brian Primo, Nathan’s old roommate had rented a house in Mission Beach with his brother and a couple of friends for the week. They had talked about wanting to sail, but none of them knew how, so I was suppose to come teach them. I got in at about 4 or 5 and they had been living on the beach for too long, they were lazy. Playing Monopoly when I arrived we sat about and watched some T.V. and then all decided to go to dinner, an all you can eat crab place about 45 min walk away.

I had a bowl of soup, glass of water, and a great view of the ocean, something I wasn’t going to have when I got back to Tucson. I tried my hardest to take it in and keep it there. I was eager to get on the road as I could feel myself wanting more and more to take a nap. After dinner, just as planned. I found myself on the road heading East. I arrived in Tucson at about 4:30 AM at the end of 12 hours of driving and covering close to 800 miles that day I was tired and happy to be home.

Home not for long though. I woke up late Tuesday and after doing a little cleaning and organization of things around the house jumped back into the car and drove to Phoenix for a 3 hours CPR re-certification course and then turned back home that evening for Tucson. This time I was home for good.. kind of. The next day I’d be home, so it was my chance to make it a palapa day.

Berkeley to Santa Barbara

Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Orange County, San Diego, Tucson, Phoenix, Tucson, Camping, Vegas ..
How’d all that happen?

My departure from Berkeley was precise, except for one load of laundry still in the drier, like a well oiled machine I picked up, hauled, and unloaded another load of wood for Andrew’s basement project, exchanged the Home Depot lights, cleaned up the kitchen, made the bed, packed the car, and went on my way south, through San Jose to the 101 to Santa Barbara where I anticipated a weekend full of hangovers. For the most part I was right.

After a lonely haul I arrived in Santa Barbara near dinner time. Tyler and I met up with Hoss and Belinda and had some outstanding cocktails and a wonderful dinner at a downtown steak restaurant. mmm good. Keeping with the SB style, after Hoss and Belinda returned to their hotel, Tyler and I went for some more drinks just down the street and then hitched a ride back to Isla Vista where we met up with a number of folks and … well, at this point the weekend has blended together sufficiently enough where I can’t remember details, needless to say waking up was hard to do.

Saturday was grad day and we, of course, went down to the ‘Hall’ for drinks before, during, and after graduation – this was some taxing work. The Hall was a small bar, it had a counter part in down town Santa Barbara but this was the Isla Vista version. It consisted of one bar along the side of a 15 foot room, cutting the room essentially in half, bar tenders on one side, bar flies on the other. At only 30 feet deep, the bar filled up quickly and it was easy to find your self out the door simply because you’ve moved to a breathable space. Because of the ubiquitous participation in the 50 club, it was a very friendly place to be, every one knew each other and the bar tenders knew everyone and thusly the drinks flowed almost uncontrollably. Pitchers were two to a person and shots, or ‘fruitys‘ a generic sweet and totally custom drink, were handed out regularly to fly and tender alike. The walls were sufficiently covered with eight televisions bilking multiple sports casts and the space behind them was covered with bar pictures and plaques. Tyler was quite proud of his name on a wall mounted plaque signifying his participation and acceptance into the “50 Club” at The Study Hall. Individuals who have a drink at The Hall at least 50 days in the spring quarter are boldly proclaimed here, the plaque had probably 350 names on it. The list was quite extensive. The Hall served as Tyler’s home base through the years and thusly the weekend was no different. Every chance we had.. rather he had, he hit the hall for a shot or a beer – the bar tenders and bouncers were soon just as familiar with my face as they were with Tyler’s.

Grad Night we met Tyler’s folks again and had another fabulous dinner with the parents and then more drinking. This time I explicitly remember playing a game of kitchen baseball with a squishy ball and a dish rag. It was … intense and we didn’t get to bed till 4 AM. Plus I tried beer and clamado juice, it was, how do you say, Horrible?! Sunday was equally full, including a short stay on a raft out at sea with champagne and a nap on the couch watching soccer. Most importantly was the Sunday Night conclusion to graduation with the open bar graduation party at O’Mally’s that Tyler hosted. Unfortunately the previous nights left me sore and sick in the morning and this night I had decided to limit my drinking to few. Gin and tonic and two glasses of 12 year scotch kept me happy. I took pictures for Tyler, had a conversation about the progress and direction of the US with a drunk song writer and met a good number of attractive ladies. In all, it was a bundle good times in Santa Barbara and Isla Vista… and Monday morning meant time to travel on.

A Return to US Surf

Keeping in Theme – My Exploration goes on.

I have no obligations these days and Memorial Day weekend meant vacation times for friends. Will and Jon were free and we were all surf sick, in need of some time in the ocean. For Jon and I this would be our first time back in U.S. water since our trip to Ecuador and the 80 degree surf, beautiful. With perfect plans for the weekend, we strapped the boards to Will’s Volvo and went. Miles out of Phoenix Jon and I both received a number of phone calls from friends and it hit us that we left so quickly that we had forgot to tell anyone of our adventure, oops. We arrived at Will’s girlfriend’s parent’s house, crashed and woke up extra early the next morning for a dawn patrol at County Line in Los Angles. Beautiful. Longsuited and with my board, the swell had enough size to make for great drop ins, water down the throat, but no painful smashes. I caught waves and missed waves, met folks in the water, and enjoyed some halfway decent Southern California surf. I traded boards with Jon at one point and successfully operated a 7’10’’ Becker with just as much surf joy. Surfing wrapped up by 9 and the rest of the day was spent touring LA. The next day too was filled with surfing, this time Bay Street, a beach break just up the road from Venice. The surf was sloppy and blown out, we caught some waves, but quickly decided to time would be better spent elsewhere. The following day we drove up to Santa Barbara to meet up with Tyler. Rolling in we met Tyler at a down town park, played some scrabble, and the over to meet the crew at Tyler’s, checked out the water, and grabbed some dinner.

It seems that Jon became distracted at one stop along the way home, a bar we had stopped at for less than 10 seconds, and thusly never caught up with us until the following morning, spending the remainder of his evening with a new found lady friend. We proceeded to make drinks, take shots, and get a ride down town where the drinks flowed like water – oh my head. On our way home I could focus on nothing but restraining my vomit reflex and once we stopped I opened my door only to find my balance directing me hard left. Across the street at full sideways speed ended me head first into tyler’s wooden fence and then onto the ground. My good friend Tyler picked me up and dragged me inside where he put me to sleep on the couch – thanks bro. According to Will I played peek-a-boo with him for about 10 min before I fell asleep. Needless to say, I drank too much.

Morning came along with my wicked headache and sore back, which I am still struggling with. We woke up and got our things together to surf, found Jon, and got into the water for a quick session. Poor Surf provided an empty line up and good times which energized us just enough to help forget about hangovers. With the need to be back to Tucson Monday afternoon, we had to get back to LA later that Sunday. Thanking Tyler the drive to LA was a perfect way to catch up on sleep. We followed the drive with a dip in the Spa in LA and then woke up at 6:30 AM to drive 7 hours to Tucson where I was dropped off at home and jumped into the car to pick up Asa just in time.

It was great to be back in the water and even more enjoyable to do so being able to relax the whole weekend with friends and explore some new surf breaks in CA.