whale watching and mission touring.
(california adventures with new gramma).

for our big cool adventure while my mom was here, we planned a whale watching trip. derek found a groupon, and even though it was late in the migration season, there were still daily whale sightings and we had high hopes of seeing some cool stuff.

look at everyone, all excited for our trip:

everything started of alright. we are super excited for some whale sightings. the group who went out just before us got to see a group of grey whales, so the captain was on a mission to find the same group for our viewing enjoyment.

we booked it for awhile, while he hunted them down, leaving the california coast behind us.

the rocking motions of the boat quickly put the crazelnut asleep. i was worried that she would miss the whales, but i let her sleep as we cruised along.

and then. two hours later, we were still driving around, and everyone was sick and blah. passengers were barfing everywhere, huddled around trashcans, hurling overboard… it was like a scene from a hilarious movie. isaac was the only passenger in our party to throw up, but everyone except new gramma (and hazel, who slept through it all) was feeling the queasy effects of a rocky ride.

eventually, we slowed down a bit and/or the water was calmer and folks starting feeling a little better. but we were still bummed that we hadn’t seen a single thing. and then, we rolled up on a few dolphins.

and all the hours of feeling like garbage were made up for with this face.

the dolphin group turned out to be a super pod, with over thousands of dolphins popping up and around on all sides of the boat.

it was pretty amazing and everyone perked up. i’m sure the boat crew was just as excited as everyone else. the dolphins swam along with us for like 20 minutes and i took one million pictures. all the little white spots on the water are dolphins hopping in and out.

apparently, they enjoy swimming along side the boat, especially in the wake, where they are known to “surf”…

ok. one more. 🙂

the dolphins definitely turned most of the spirits around in our crew. but ike was still a little blah and not feeling it. it’s safe to say that he is a land lover and will never be a pirate or on deadliest catch.

after the dolphin excitement, we happened upon a more predictable ocean life scene, some sea lions, basking in the sun on this buoy.

a much less scenic pic of our lazy sea lions, backdropped by an old oil drilling station, still just sitting out in the ocean. it’s one of several, which give a less than majestic view out into the pacific ocean from the coast nearby.

we never did see a single whale. and we were pretty bummed about that. but the dolphins saved the day. here’s our official commemorative whale watching photo.

we whale watched on a friday and then saturday was moving day. we weren’t moving too far up the coast, so it was a good day to squeeze in a travel day adventure. one of the possible options was the mission santa barbara, which is where the “island girl”, the woman who inspired the book “island of the blue dolphins”, is buried. when isaac heard this, he was all in, and anytime he has an interest that isn’t minecraft, we run with it.

so, off we went. inside, the courtyard was pretty. most of the missions we have been been more along the line of “ruins”, so this was a pleasant surprise.

lots of roses.

and weird cactuses and fruits and flowers.

i don’t even know what i’m looking at here, but it’s cool.

an old ox cart. looks cozy.

finally, we reached the cemetery area, much to isaac’s delight, where we began searching for the island girl’s plaque. there were lots of old vaults and sad little inscriptions.

inside the mausoleum, we were surprised to find a lot of european (and mostly german) names.

enough was enough. this guy was on a mission.

more strange and pretty plant life.

finally! we found her. renamed juana maria after her rescue from the island, the “island girl” was actually buried in a wall, which i’m told was sort of normal. for all his excitement about this event, isaac would not let me take a pic, but hazel was game for holding up the book that has created all this buzz.

in the middle of the cemetery is a GINORMOUS fig tree.

as we wandered back into the sanctuary part of the mission, from the cemetery, we were created by this pirate-y decor.

the sanctuary is still in use today, so we tried to quietly snap a few pics.

the last bit of the mission was a little museum full of artifacts and information about the chumash people who once resided in this area and the spanish missionaries who came over to convert them. we wandered through. twice. because of a bathroom emergency and the one way path through the mission. 🙂

this bell had a sign on it that we were allowed to touch it. say no more to hazel.

outside, we took a few shots of the front of the mission. sans kids.

and with lidkids.

across the street from the mission, there’s a pretty amazing rose garden. so, we began to make our way over, when we came across this giant asparagus looking plant. it was like 8 feet tall.

we strolled through the rose garden, each picking out our favorite variety. this one was the decided victor.

the view of the mission from amongst the roses….

obligatory rose garden lid kid pic.

at this point, we received a call from derek that he was waiting for us at the rv park, for the super frustrating towing in incident. so we raced to the car and hit the road, thus concluding our california adventures with new gramma.

One Reply to “whale watching and mission touring.
(california adventures with new gramma).”

  1. Colleen C. Yarnell says:

    Whoa! From non-whales to giant yuccas! The dolphin pod was cool! We were once in our 24 foot boat near Cape Lookout and were surrounded by 100’s of dolphins. It is thrilling! And as a librarian thrilled with the literary adventures! One of my favorite books too!

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