(A reminder that you can click on any photo to enlarge it to full screen.)
|Santa Barbara County Courthouse|
Then, it was off to the movies. For the next ten days we indulged ourselves by seeing all the films we could manage. We saw movies from Denmark, France/Belgium, Australia, Serbia/Montenegro, Spain, Croatia, Iceland and even the USA. We saw some excellent movies, some average ones and one that left us wondering if there were any minimum standards for acceptance.
The timing of the festival was perfect for us. It began the day we arrived and went on for ten days, and so did the rain for most of the time. Almost every day brought overcast skies and lots of rain. With all the rain, Santa Barbara is still mired in deep drought.
|Smilin' in the rain at the downtown farmers' market on a break from the movies|
|Jazz man with a silken saxophone and a velvet voice at the farmers' market.|
Strangers in the Night
One evening, I took a late night walk. A moody rain was falling. The hood of my raincoat covered my head. A half block ahead of me a taxi stopped. A woman got out with a suitcase and walked up to her house. As I approached, a second woman got out of the cab. As I passed, I heard a high pitched, "Oh!" I turned and said, "Are you okay?" The young blonde woman said, "You startled me." I replied, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to." Without another word, she spread her arms wide and wiggled her fingers in a come here motion. I approached, and she wrapped me in a big hug and spoke to me in Spanish. I don't know what she said, but a friendly voice speaks a universal language. Before I could respond, she turned and headed toward the house. "Good night," I called after her.
A Visit from Minnesota Friends
Toward the end of the festival, our friends from back home, Dave and Georgie, passed through Santa Barbara. Like us, they've left winter behind. While Carol and I stay put, Dave and Georgie lead a vagabond existence all over the southwest. In honor of their visit, the rain let up for one day. We had them over for a big breakfast and then took them on a walking tour of the mission neighborhood. A good time!
|Dave and Georgie lunched with us at El Encanto, our favorite place for a splurge.|
|One of the sights on our walk. This is a small fraction of the frogs inhabiting the wall.|
|After ten gray days, blue skies!|
When Cherif led us into the church, the choir was practicing and we were greeted with a lovely solo of Ave Maria. Cherif lowered his voice so that we had to lean in to hear him, which I did half-heartedly as I listened to the peaceful melodies of Gelineau Psalms. The words of Psalm 23 flowed like clear water washing over rocks in a stream.
|Wall at Hendry's Beach|
|Hiking the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains|
|Fog creates an eerie scene. Santa Cruz Island seems to float in the sky.|
|Cachuma Lake, principal reservoir for Santa Barbara, is at 20% capacity.|
|Hendry's Beach is a favorite walk for Rowdie.|
|St. Barbara, martyred by her own father, looks over the altar of the mission.|
|Mission Santa Barbara|
|Downtown Art Gallery|
|I hope they have separate entrances.|