California Adventure – Day 4: Bring me your tired, your poor

The original intent of our California Adventure was for me to attend my 35th high school reunion.  The focus shifted though, as plans for the Time Capsule Opening came together, and as one by one, every one of the people I usually attended these dreaded reunions with, decided to abandon me they couldn’t fit it into their schedule this year. No matter, this allowed Downtown Dad and me the opportunity to have a few days to ourselves, and visit the more touristy attractions my friends and I otherwise would have avoided like the plague! steered clear of.

For the whole year leading up to this highly anticipated event, I searched high and low for the people whose names had appeared on the MIA list year after year.  Armed with Facebook and Google, I’d fancied myself not unlike the brazen giant of Greek fame, with conquering limbs astride from land to land… digitally speaking that is.  I endured criticism from my friends stepped out of my comfort zone, and did everything I could to be accepted by helped the homecoming queen and her court three people who always plan the reunions, with what I thought was the most important part – finding lost classmates. I was (in my own mind) a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame was the imprisoned lighting – my name, Mother of Exiles… (ahem, so maybe I got a little carried away).  

Sadly, I learned that my impassioned goal, was not the same as the reunion commitee.  Despite my suggestions to have a potluck in a church basement bonfire at the beach something affordable, – a posh party was planned, the price was set too high which excluded most of the “lost classmates” I’d found, and the free event the next day was cancelled.  Alas, even after 35 years, the social strata was still firmly in place, and my inherently proletariat soul clashed, as it always has, with the upwardly capitalistic souls of my high school reunion’s royalty. So, since there most likely wouldn’t be anyone there I really wanted to see anyway, Downtown Dad and I decided to NOT attend the Saturday night party.  On Facebook, my fellow peasants and I vowed to meet at the beach and have the free Sunday event anyway, despite the so-called cancellation. I promised to be there at the shore to welcome them, my people, the huddled masses, the wretched refuse, the tempest-tossed.

This then, freed up our Saturday for a leisurely road trip, and the opportunity to see our old friends in concert, in, of all places, Lompoc.

So, upon waking up in “the Poke” as Lompoc is sometimes known, it dawned on me that due to my recent  media follies, I was probably busted if, while I was in town, I didn’t go visit my oldest and dearest childhood neighbors who’d retired there. But, one thing led to another, and we were 40 miles down the road toward the coast before I thought of it again, and of course by then, it was too late. Its not that I didn’t want to, if I had, I probably would have had yet more hilarious pictures and stories to regale you with.  But I didn’t, because we totally had to get back down to Goleta beach, where I was convinced that the hundreds of people who, like me, had boycotted the “official” reunion because of the exorbitant price, would gather (ploughshares, pitchforks and torches optional).  From my beaconed-hand would glow world-wide welcome…..

So we waited….

and waited…

and waited….

Well, maybe those people were on the MIA list year after year because they chose to be.  Maybe they didn’t need a giant green statue to guide them to the shore. Maybe a 35 year reunion isn’t really the biggest event in everyone’s lives…  Finally, just as I was about to run out of rationalizations  excuses for  nice things to say about my classmates, Obeerwan Kenobi who, with his family in tow, had driven 30 miles back down to the beach to attend, texted me “where you at?” We met up in the parking lot, listened to the crickets chirping for a second or two, then decided that you can lead a group of peasants to water, but you can’t make ’em drink… and with that we were off to another authentic spot frequented by the aging local beach bums, like us, to have – you guessed it, more BEER!

An hour or so later, Downtown Dad and I bid adieu to Santa Barbara, and moved on to Ventura where we met up with yet another set of long lost relatives, these from DD’s Iowa side.  We had an absolutely lovely dinner on the pier, where they wouldn’t let us take pictures of them, but they did snap these lovely pics of us.

After a little sightseeing,

We retired to our hotel room, a little weary, but much wiser, to rest up for our last full day on the Left Coast.

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