Carpinteria California 1


We have arrived in what can only be described as paradise. Carpinteria (Carp as the locals all call it) is a funky little town in between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles smack dab on the Pacific. On our way to the place we?ve rented here, I kept thinking we?d turn a corner and find ourselves in Beaulieu-sur-mer in the south of France. There is that much of a whiff of the Mediterranean along this part of the coast. The variety of plants (rosemary hedges, lavender everywhere), the crazy palms trees planted over a hundred years ago, the persistent sound of the sea make it feel like we?ve been here before. The crumpled foothills looming over the flats and the beach where we are staying remind me of France.

This is no France, however. This could only be a laid-back almost hippy dippy kind of 60s atmosphere of a California community. And I?m sure it?s absolutely gorgeous when the sun shines. So far we?ve had rain. Much needed, of course, but coming down so fast and persistently it slakes off into the ocean without stopping. Swales are developing everywhere.

This has not stopped us from starting our comfortable holiday life: the daily trek for food, the search for newspapers, the walks up or maybe down the beach. We have wandered into every little junk cum antique store, visited every food depot and, best of all, taken the hybrid bus that goes all over town for 25cents.
It was Ernie the bus driver who told us to go to Zookers for lunch. So we did. I had homemade pasta which was absolutely brilliant. We?re going back there next week (also to collect Jack?s toque which he carelessly left behind). We?ve been to other places that we good of their ilk (surfer paradise for a turkey Reuben anyone?) but not of this calibre.

I am going to try a post a blog each Sunday and more if it?s possible. I?m going to try and put pictures up. I?ve been beset as usual with technical problems and if this sees the light of day it will be a flipping miracle.

But we?ve just watched the most glorious of sunsets and tomorrow promises to be a slightly drier day. There are gardens to explore and plants to identify.

  • Aldona Satterthwaite

    February 14, 2009 at 9:40 am

    It looks as though you’ve hit a patch of cold, rainy weather. Hopefully things will improve. Meanwhile, don’t forget about the excellent used book store in nearby Ventura. The town is like a mini Santa Barbara, minus the attitude. There’s a fun 50s diner there as well–the food isn’t so wonderful, but the atmosphere is great. Oh yes, and umpteen thrift shops and a movie theatre, should the blasted rain keep up…

  • deb

    April 15, 2009 at 11:07 am

    HI ,
    we are far from hippy-dippy here. Maybe in 60’s Carp was a bit hippy dippy but take a look at houses on Sandyland . You have to drive through marsh which is protected area that Huell Howser did a show on to get to them . There is also a local used book store on Linden . The proceeds from books goes to Carp library. Have you walked on the bluffs ? Once you get near the ocean you will see there is a seal rookery that is watched closely by volunteers every year when seals have their babies. I have only been here 4 years after living in S.B. for 10 years. i could go on & on ,,,,, You want to know more ?

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