We flew down to Santa Barbara today to attend the wedding of Gail’s bridge partner Gayle’s son.  Originally we planned to travel tomorrow, but we are staying at Gail’s son’s beach house, and needed to be a day early to deal with the plumber.  Having two houses means having twice as many problems.

I’ll be leaving from here Sunday morning far too early to drive to LAX and then fly to Chicago for the summer nationals.  Gail is going home for a day, then arriving Illinois on Tuesday.  The arrangements for all this make planning the invasion of Normandy look like child’s play.

This morning in the airport, I noticed this:

United flight crew taking all the seats in the handicap section

United flight crew taking all the seats in the handicap section


It is true that the area was immensely crowded today, but I still think the staff should not be using those seats.  Perhaps they would have given them up willingly to someone who needed them, but many people would be unwilling to confront them.  This is just wrong.

It’s a very short flight, just 45 minutes.  While we were waiting for the baggage to appear, I went to get our car.  Beth the Travel Goddess put me with Dollar this time.  Everything was going swimmingly until they wanted a second phone number from me, supposedly for “emergencies”.  A car rental company has never had an emergency that caused them to call me.  I can’t quite imagine what the circumstances would be that would engender them calling all over to find me.

No, they want this for some devious purpose of their own.  Marketing?  Data mining?  Spamming?  Scamming?  I don’t know.  I do know that I wasn’t about to give them another number.  Besides, I have one phone, one phone number.  What else would I tell them?  My brother’s number?  Micky’s?  Not happening.

I told them there was no second number.  They asked again.  I told them again.  They asked again.  This was going nowhere, fast.  I made it plain that they weren’t going to get anything more from me.  They said they had to have it.  I told them in an emergency it was best to call 911.  They gave up.  I will not be a sheep.

Finally in our car, we wandered and rubbernecked and gawked around town, finally stopping for lunch.  Gail wanted Mexican food.  I took us here, it looks Mexican to me:

Does this look like a Mexican restaurant to you?

Does this look like a Mexican restaurant to you?


Wrong again.  Turns out that this is fiesta week in Santa Barbara, and everybody is Mexican in the same way everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.  This is a modern California type of place.

Fortunately, they had a fish taco for Gail to order:

Pretty darn good fish taco, too.

Pretty darn good fish taco, too.


The sidewalks of State Street were lined with Mexican women selling decorated eggs filled with confetti or glitter.  All year long they carefully slice off just one end of the eggs they use, then wash out the shells, dry them, fill them with confetti, seal the end with saran wrap and decorate them just for this week.  People buy them to smash on their friends, it seems.

Some of them are simple, some are quite complex.  They sell for as little as 4 for $1 and as much as $2 or $3 apiece.  I think this makes quite a nice summer windfall for these women–and there don’t seem to be any men in the egg business.


I like all of this, and it sure seems more harmless than the drunken insanity of Mardi Gras or St. Patrick’s Day.

This young woman had just gotten bombed by her boyfriend:

A pleasant diversion

A pleasant diversion


We’ll see if I can get through the weekend without cracking a couple of these eggs.



3 thoughts on “Fiesta!!

  1. Chris … take Gail to La Super Rica Taqueria on Milpas. Casual is an understatement but it’s great food. Try to go in off hours. There can be a 20 or 30 minute wait in line to order.

  2. Is agree that the flight crew would most likely move for someone who needs the seats, but someone on their own with a cane might not want to ask them.

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