Sunday, June 26, 2011

Daytripping for a Sunday pilgrimage!

Yes, Sunday does seem to be the appropriate day of the week to visit some holy site. Yesterday, Michael and I were looking at a wide-open day and considering our options. So, after a not-too-early morning that involved buckwheat pancakes and a run, we loaded up the car - dogs and humans in tow - and headed northwest! While a drive to Santa Barbara (90 miles, give or take a few) seems like a long haul for a day trip, it IS a beautiful drive and totally worth it. Especially if you have a few choice places to pay homage to!

We arrived in Santa Barbara around 11:30, just in time for the line to not yet have wrapped around the block at Taquería la Super Rica. My first Super Rica experience was on the drive up for the Senior Trip at the end of the year. One of the other faculty members in the van suggested that we make a stop, and the other chaperone and I did not protest one bit. So we arrived about 30 minutes late - big deal? It was TOTALLY worth it. The food is amazing at this little place. Apparently Julia Childs used to frequent the taquería when she was in Santa Barbara. Who can argue with that? A fairly humble abode for such highly esteemed cuisine:

Since that first time there, I've raved about Taquería la Super Rica to Michael, and apparently I convinced him that it was worth it just for a drive up. That's right - drive 90 minutes, eat some amazing food, and return to our corner of the world. It wasn't such a quick trip since we did have to wait to order and then wait again to pick up our food. Michael agreed, however, that the food was unbelievably good. Not heavily seasoned or sauced - just extremely fresh. I also think that the homemade tortillas are key. While I waited, I was enthralled, watching the woman pat out the tortillas, press them down and then cook them up. Anyway, we went with "La Super Rica Especial" which is just a big mess of cheese, pork and peppers. I've never had anything like it at a Mexican restaurant, and it's just all goodness. Since we had the dogs, we got our order to go - went to a park by a local school and licked our plates clean.
After THAT pilgrimage site, we headed back south and stopped at the original Patagonia retail store in Ventura, CA. We had been there once before, but we decided that we should return. This was the store that Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia and über-climber, surfer, outdoorsy dude, environmentalist, all-around bad ass, opened in 1970. It has obviously been upgraded since then, but the original shed where Chouinard made his climbing gear is still there. Seriously!
I was taking a picture of Michael and Gus and Milo outside the store, feeling like a huge dork, when this guy comes skateboarding down the street, stops and asks us if we want to go to the back of the store and see the original shed! I was surprised and felt like an even BIGGER dork at that point because obviously he picked up on my slight Patagonia obsession. I asked about the dogs, and he said, "Oh, bring them on back!". See, THIS is why I LOVE Patagonia.
Here is the lame picture that I took of Michael in front of the store:

And then here I am at the "tin shed" - I was so excited to be there! So were Gus and Milo!

After the excitement of visiting the (ORIGINAL!) Patagonia store, we ended up taking a walk on the beach and watched lots of surfers catch a wave or two. And as I'm writing this, I'm wishing that I could quit my 'real' job, move to Ventura, work at Patagonia and go surfing every day. Even though I don't surf!

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