Santa Maria

Trip Start Aug 14, 2012
Trip End Oct 25, 2012

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, October 9, 2012

As our previous entry, "Morning Talks" explained, we left Santa Barbara this morning. We set off in the direction of Gaviota State park and hoped to get there early enough in the day to explore. We had been on the road for a couple of hours when we decided to call and check on campsite availability. To our surprise, they are not open on weekdays, and even if they had been, they require two days notice on reservations. Time to re-evaluate our day. We started looking at our maps to find a different place we could reach before night fall. We knew that we wanted to be on the freeway as little as possible. We also knew that we could bike about 30 more miles that day in addition to the miles we had already knocked out. After deciding to head towards Buellton, we continued on up the freeway, our only option at the time.

We continued up the road and stopped at a rest stop right before hitting a tunnel. We sat at a picnic table making tuna sandwiches and talking about how scary the upcoming tunnel appeared. As we were mowing down on trail mix a woman came up to us and asked us what we were doing. We told her a little about the trip and where we were headed for the night, but that Santa Maria would be our next major stop. She introduced herself as Vincenza but told us that we could call her "V". She motioned towards a man laying on the picnic table bench and told us that this was her husband Bruno. They were headed to Santa Maria to go check on their business and invited us to ride with them to avoid the freeway and the dreaded tunnel. After some crazy maneuvering, our bikes were in. We shared a tiny seat while making our way to Santa Maria.

We stopped at a Starbucks and Bruno treated us to some yummy coffees. While we were drinking our coffees we discussed what our plan was. We called a local campsite and got information about the tent camping they had available. When Bruno and V heard that it was going to be $25 dollars for the night they offered us a second option. They invited us to stay at their business, a mobile home retirement community. We were really excited to save the money and to spend more time with the two of them. They took us to the office and showed us around. They had multiple couches that we could sleep on, a full kitchen so we could cook, and a tv for relaxing. We were so thankful for a great place to stay and awesome company.

After getting settled in, Bruno and V asked us if we wanted to go out to eat. Of course we said yes. We joined them at Shaw's Steakhouse where they treated us to Santa Maria's famous tri tip steak! The food was so delicious and the conversation was wonderful! We got to hear of their worldly travels and ask advice from their experiences. After dinner they dropped us off at the clubhouse and hugged us goodbye. Yet another relationship that we have been lucky enough to engage in. Thank you Bruno and V so much!
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