Thursday, July 18, 2019

Santa Barbara -> Walla Walla

With our flight at 2:30pm and Emily working in the lab this morning, we only met briefly at her apartment to say goodbye to the bunnies:

We then had lunch with her at the UCSB student center and then headed to the airport. We turned in the rental car, checked our bags, and passed through airport security for what hopefully is the last time for a while. The leg from Santa Barbara to Seattle was a bit late so we had a rushed connection for our flight to Walla Walla.

We made it to Walla Walla on time:

Mick and Lynette picked us up and took us home. We chatted for a while and they left us their car and walked home. Turns out you can't rent a car in Walla Walla at 6:30pm anywhere, small town. We have their car until we can pick up a rental tomorrow morning.

Walla Walla is mostly the same with some small changes that keep catching our attention.

Halley and Aidan left the house in immaculate condition and we are so grateful for their care and attention this whole year. Even my favorite houseplant is thriving:

We went to the grocery store for just a few items for breakfast and lunch tomorrow. We then unpacked our suitcases and are now watching the coverage of Stage 12 of the Tour de France before hitting the sack.

This is the final entry of the WallaVilla blog. It's been quite a year plus and this blog will stand as an imperfect record of our time away from Walla Walla and living in Sevilla, Spain from June 11, 2018 to July 18, 2019.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Old King's Road

Emily, Laura and I hiked up to Inspiration Point this morning. This hike is an out and back totaling about 7 miles. It gains about 1500' on the out part ending at the point. It was a moderately difficult hike and we definitely worked hard. It took us about 2 hrs to get to the top and about 1 hour and 20 mins to come back. There was a bit of a marine layer, so the views were not spectacular, but beautiful enough. The greenery was lovely and the stream was still running:

After the hike we went to Dave' Dogs for lunch. They make "gourmet" hot dogs both regular and vegetarian. I can vouch that the sauerkraut dog was excellent.

Emily worked this afternoon while Laura and I ran some errands getting things for Emily's new apartment. I fixed her bike seat and hung a paper towel holder while Laura fixed some of the rabbit-proof flooring around the front door. We also found a small table and chairs at a thrift store and put that in her kitchen.

Emily, in addition to doing work, organized a trivia team for a competition at the Old King's Road, a bar in downtown Santa Barbara. We got to meet some of Emily's friends from the lab. This trivia contest is weekly and there are some regular teams that are impossible to beat. We did fairly well though for newcomers.  After trivia, we took them all out for a late dinner at the Fox Tail, a bar with Mediterranean food. The food was really good. I had a falafel wrap.

A busy day, but a fun day.

(still no pictures of Emily, tomorrow)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Jet Lag

Seems like the 3hr time change to the west coast is hitting us harder than the 6hr time change from Spain to the east coast of the US. We both had a hard time getting going and keeping going today. We made a quick run to Costco to get some fruit. Our Spanish Costco card was accepted here with no issues. Emily worked in the lab this morning and then met us at her place for lunch. We ate the leftover burritos from the night before and played with the bunnies.

Laura shared some strawberries with the bunnies:

They seemed to enjoy them.

After lunch break, Emily went back to work and Laura and I took a nap at the hotel. Through an immense effort of will, we got ourselves up and went for a walk along Goleta Beach Park--just down from UCSB. The ocean was beautiful:

We continued our walk onto campus and wound our way back to Emily's office. She joined us there and we headed to Masala Spice Indian Cuisine for dinner. The food was fabulous. Highly recommend. The fig walnut kofta was amazing.

(still no pictures of Emily, tomorrow)

Monday, July 15, 2019

Miami -> Santa Barbara

After carefully repacking our suitcases, we met Rachel on campus and took her friend Anthony's dog Olive for a walk. We walked all around campus and met the folks Rachel works with in the student center.

After a quick lunch, we headed off to the airport for our flight to Santa Barbara. Other than a bit of a delay at our layover in Phoenix, things went smoothly. After getting our rental car and hotel, we met Emily a local Mexican restaurant for dinner. Then we headed back to her apartment to meet her bunnies, Benji and Apricot:

(Notice no pictures of Emily.) We're back in our home timezone now (and tired). Going to bed now.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Bill Baggs

We spent a little time with Rachel this morning at Penny's house watching the Wimbledon Men's Singles Final. Eventually, Djokovic defeated Federer in a 5th set tie breaker. We didn't hang around to see that though as we decided to go to Bill Baggs State Park on Key Biscayne to swim and snorkel off of the beach there. I had a chance to test the under water capabilities of my GoPro. Here's Rachel throwing an underwater "U":

Laura and Rachel in the shallows putting on their flippers:

A nearby lighthouse:

Some of the fish around the rocks near the lighthouse:

The lighthouse from the ocean:

The beach from the top of the lighthouse:

After the beach, we had pizza for dinner and then hung out at the hotel pool for a while. Rachel did a little preparation for the math tutoring she does with a middle school student on Mondays.

We drove Rachel home and met Shubham and Max for dessert at Whip 'n' Dip. Oddly, instead of saying goodbye to them when we were done, we said, "See you next weekend." They'll be visiting Walla Walla next weekend.