by Bob Sparrow
These days the trips are shorter, requiring no air travel, but we’re lucky we live in such a diverse area – not as diverse as say, Seattle, that now has a foreign country in the middle of downtown, but diverse none the less. The occasion for this trip up to the Central Coast, was brother, Captain Jack Sparrow’s last birthday as a 70-something.
Three hours on the freeway north through traffic that was Covid-light on a Monday morning, brought us to Santa Barbara – where we wondered if anything was open to grab a bite to eat. Much to our surprise, Santa Barbara’s hot spot, State Street, had been closed off to auto traffic, but restaurants had open their doors and spread out onto the street for foot traffic, making rows of sidewalk cafes dotted with an occasional street musician. It was a beautiful, Mediterranean climate afternoon, giving State Street a Paris/Tuscany ambiance.
After lunch, another hour up a beautiful, coastline stretch of Highway 1, finds us in Santa Maria, home to Jack & Sharon. Late afternoon finds their group of friends, ‘The Magnificent Seven’ stopping by for pre-birthday cocktails. Later, dinner of BBQ’d hamburgers was highlighted by a cool Central Coast evening that required Linda, a staunch Minnesota Viking fan, to don a 49ers sweatshirt. Loved it!!
The next morning we decided to take the ‘birthday boy’ for a nice breakfast in Pismo Beach. We found the beautiful ocean-front hotel, The Lido, which was serving breakfast on their scenic ocean-view patio. Again, perfect weather and a great menu made for a happy birthday breakfast.
That evening, Sharon’s daughter, Debra, her husband, Steve and one of their four sons, Corey, who all live in Santa Maria, came over for a BBQ rib dinner with lots of great wine.
During the course of the weekend Jack received birthday calls from our sister, Suzanne (you remember her from last week’s blog), his kids, Shelley Watson and Matt Sparrow, both living in Arizona, as well as several others, including his two excellent receivers from his high school football team, Pete Ferrarese, still living in our home town of Novato and Chuck Coleman, in Florida. I’m sure they discussed all the touchdowns they were responsible for.
While you many not get coast-to-coast birthday calls from old high school teammates, if you live in the Golden State, you can certainly take advantage of being relatively close to the beautiful Central Coast – take a road trip, you’ll love it!