We stop in Santa Barbara to get coffee at a local bakery near a Starbucks and a seafood restaurant and have to stop again before getting on Hwy 1 when I spot a pink box – donuts just seem to taste better when they come from places that put their fried goods in bright cardboard containers. I get five donuts and Caleb gets two apple fritters and a turkey croissant. This will be a substantial boost of energy for the upcoming hike.
We make our way to the Santa Monica Mountains. We are on the state park side and I stop to take pictures of a squirrel that has gone looking for food in this girl’s car while she pays for parking. She’s a bit hesitant to return to her Honda with the door wide open – perhaps he plans to search her too. We leave there to look for the national park visitor center and traipse on the other side of the conglomeration of rocks and trees that are closer to the sea.
I thought our hike would be more forested with snow, but we got flowered hills with tall grasses in a field. The path and weather seemed so nice that we brought the dogs with us. They wanted to get out of the car just as much as we did, but that was our first mistake. We only made it so far before we were running back to the car. Once back within the safe reaches of our vehicle I began to inspect my four-legged friends for ticks – the enemy, and happened to find one too many, one is enough, to satisfy my curiosity.
I decided that we were done hiking there and we could come back when there are less ticks or when we are more prepared for their habitat. They won today, but it’s also the last day of our trip which is usually doomed anyways. We are only 181 miles from home and I decide to take the highway all the way back. Somehow Los Angeles traffic isn’t as terrible as usual, but we almost split a motorcycle in half when it decided to drive between us and the vehicle we were overtaking, but it’s cool because that’s his law-given right – to be a disrespectful dumbass.
I contemplate stopping at Oki Dog as we drive by the Sunset Blvd Exit, but we’re not even hungry and I don’t know how well the burrito would hold up for leftovers, let alone the fries that are still dripping from the vat of hot liquid that they were dunked in. Then we see the LED signs on the highway that tell us to look out for a dark blue Yukon with a rear broken window – and wonder what their story is, but not enough to wait around and try to find out.
We make it home before dinner and our neighborhood is under construction. The city has decided to take a car lane and widen the sidewalk and add an official bike lane. I agree that it’s a good idea. The 7-11 is closed for new shelves and a coffee island. I wish they would’ve done that at the store I worked at. Convenience needs cleaning every few years. We go by the Post Office to pick up copies of bills that we get emailed, stacks of junk mail that will go straight into the recycling bin, some vegetable seeds from my father-in-law, and a check reimbursing Caleb for a loan he gave to a friend.
Back at home and the answering machine is full of bill collectors calling for someone who doesn’t live here. I turn on my computer to find out that the mouse and keyboard still don’t work – I just love coming home. Caleb has to go to work tomorrow and is in great need of a haircut. The house is still a mess from the recent move and our long trip away, so we have difficulty, really no luck, finding the razor guards to trim his mop with. I have fun cutting designs into his hair until we are left with a Private Joker impersonator – but one with as much hair all over him as the dogs that are also in need of soap and water.