Easter Weekend in Ventura  
We had a little mini-trip this weekend, the main goal being to take a boat to the Channel Islands and hike Santa Cruz Island. Things didn't go exactly as planned but as you will see, it was still nice.

The San Buenaventura Mission

We arrived in time for Good Friday service, which for reasons I cannot understand was being given in Latin, with the women all wearing mantillas and the priest facing backwards and everything. Maybe we had stepped into a time warp.

Then we walked along the Ventura beach and pier.

Lots of surfers here. The water looks freezing. It was quite cold this weekend.

Pelican patrols

So, the next morning, we got to the harbor at 7:15 AM (!!!) only to discover all boats had been canceled to the Channel Islands due to high winds and 7 to 9 foot waves.

It was disappointing. But we decided to drive to Santa Barbara instead for a hike.

It was nice.

Then we went to the Santa Barbara Mission.

It was in this small graveyard that one short line in the brochure read that along with those buried in the marked graves, there are about 4,000 native Chumash bodies buried here as well. NOWHERE ELSE in all of the mission literature did it explain WHY there were 4,000 dead Chumash here, nor was it mentioned anywhere in the museum. You just get phrases like, "Here is where they taught the Chumash stone masonry!" I think this was handled poorly and needs to be corrected. The only one telling the true story is the incredible giant tree enveloping the graveyard.

Tree growing in the wall of the church.

Another wall grower.

There's always room for one more!

Santa Barbara coastline

Quite possibly the happiest dog in the entire world.

Probably the biggest-buildup-to-biggest-disappointment ratio on the planet.

We had dinner at a Greek restaurant on the Ventura harbor.

We thought we were just going to have a relaxing meal...

And then suddenly there were belly dancers! And men dancing with wine glasses on their heads!

AND TABLES IN THEIR TEETH. WHAAAAHH?

So, Sunday morning (Easter) we had brunch at a weird place and then got on a whale watching cruise. The water was quite choppy. This photo is from the second floor of the boat. Kaboom!

Sea Lions kicking it on the only buoy in the vicinity.
We then spent a long time tracking a grey whale, who looked like an incredible sea serpent. He was shy but ended up giving us a good show (sorry, no pics, he was too elusive).

And then all of a sudden...DOLPHINS!

DOLPHINS EVERYWHERE, as far as the eye could see.

And birds following the dolphins. You have to click through to see these pics up close.

A baby!

It was seriously incredible. I have about a hundred more pictures. They are all fantastic. It was so beautiful I could barely breath. I still get happy just thinking about it.

Anacapa Island, one of the Channel Islands.

There is a sea lion in the center of this shot.

I'm all glow-y dolphin-y island happy. And freezing.

Ventura harbor

This, my friends, is why I married this guy.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009 : 10:03 AM     0 Comments  




 

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