January 2, 2018
Even though this is the second day of the new year, this is actually the seventh day of this Rose Parade and California Coastal tour that I am on.
I only have 33 passengers and they are a great group of people ranging in age from mid-fifties all the way into their 80s.
Today we left our hotel near the Los Angeles International Airport at 8 a.m. drove all the way up Pacific Coast Highway through Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu gawking at all of the beautiful Oceanside homes. We then made our way into the agricultural areas of Oxnard, where a huge majority of our strawberries are grown in this country, thru Camarillo, land of endless outlet malls, and had our first little “coffee stop”, a kind way of saying restroom stop, at the Santa Barbara Pier. We had a scattered lunch on State Street, visited the beautiful Spanish-style Courthouse, quickly took a picture of the Santa Barbara Mission before traveling up San Marcos Pass, highway 154, into Solvang, the little Danish Village.
What really threw me for a loop was how devastating the fires in Santa Barbara county were. They started on the hillsides south of Santa Barbara County, traveled all the way through the hillsides within the city limits and into the far remote hillsides of vineyard estates in Santa Ynez valley.
Growing up in Southern California is pretty predictable when it comes to catastrophies. Earthquakes usually happen anywhere between 2:30 and 4:30 a.m. and every summer when Santa Ana winds kick in we have wild fires. Then the rainy season happens about two months later and all of those scorched baron hillsides become Ground Zero for some of the worst landslides we have seen. Every year it just repeats, and today we drove thru it all.