Tag Archives: African spurred tortoise

Zena takes her first vacation and Darwin is left in charge. There’s a first for everything.

Have you heard of snowbird season? Typically a snowbird is a retiree, or anyone with a schedule flexible enough to allow an escape from harsh winter weather by adopting a temporary home in a warmer climate.

In Southern California the snowbirds usually adopt Palm Springs. If you live in one of the coldest parts of the country right now, 90° F in February probably sounds unbelievable.

I really do wish I could at least temporarily transfer some of the warm and dry Southern California conditions to blanket those of you in the extreme cold right now. Between multi-state storm-related power outages and the flooding and ferocious winds in Southern England I think I had best just make peace with drought conditions.

I’ll kick that problem down the road and be grateful I’m not freezing.

After this weekend perhaps I’ll share just the right photos to entice you to come and visit next winter.

Cameras-in-hand, we are headed north to unwind in a beautiful part of our state. Only a couple of hours up the road, but a world away, we will be enjoying ourselves in the gorgeous Santa Barbara County wine country.

It’s one of those long Presidential holiday weekends, and not only was I able to arrange my schedule for some welcome rest and relaxation, but two little girls are also on holiday.  Recent family events have prevented me from fulfilling my time-with-granddaughters-quota, and I plan to make up for that deficit.

One week ago I wasn’t certain we would be able to follow through with our plans.

Thank you very much for the many lovely messages of concern for my father’s recovery. He is doing so well that I feel comfortable leaving town for a few days while he safely continues his physical therapy.

About the time my mother assumes mastery of their many electronic devices, each with unique idiosyncrasies, dad should be home to assume his supervisory role.

So I’m free to move forward, eager for long walks with spacious views and hopefully a beautiful sunset or two.


I think it’s likely we will be entirely off the information highway for the long weekend. Truly unplugged? I don’t remember the last time I was fully disconnected from the Internet. I wonder how that will feel?


Oh, and did I mention we will be taking Zena with us?


She doesn’t look like she really needs a vacation, does she? She’s a very smart dog, so I think she’s wisely resting up for the weekend adventure.

On our way up the coast we’ll stop in Santa Barbara so she can get her toes wet with her good buddy, Obi at the only off-leash dog beach in the area. I do have some concerns about this, thinking specifically of the car interior, but I’m assured by my son that it will be wet and smelly fun.


I think Jay will have to drive because as soon as we reach the coast I won’t be able to take my eyes off the ocean.

I will miss my time visiting with each of you, but I will come home with lots of stories, and be refreshed and eager to share them.

In case you were wondering, Darwin will be left behind to take care of things at home. He is very independent and at the moment he isn’t eating much at all. I think he’s a bit confused by the current weather fluctuations.

I’m sure he won’t miss us very much. And how much trouble can he really get into over just one weekend?


Please don’t answer that. I’m trying to stay positive.

Oh, and did I tell you that the property brochure mentioned goats?  Maybe I’ll come home with a new pet.