Finding the Balance

Trip Start Oct 23, 2012
Trip End Oct 26, 2012

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Where I stayed
Read my review - 3/5 stars
What I did
Ostrich Land Buellton
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Anytime I take the kids out for an outing I'm trying to find the balance between something that will enrich their lives...make their worlds bigger...their understanding greater, and fun.  FUN becomes the bargaining chip to make it through the enrichment.  Thankfully skating is a super cheap and easy bargaining chip.  "Hey!  If you can't just walk around this museum and keep your mouth shut, we won't be going to such n' such skate park afterward...blahblahblah....Why don't you be quiet and learn something..."  So that's a continual battle.  
But really, I think that the most learning comes when we are just driving...sitting side by eye contact.
Today, just a few days shy of the VOTE 2012 with the Libya /Obama scandal in the news and all else that is involved, there is a lot to talk about.  The 11 year old child has a lot of questions. "Why are there people who would vote for ______?"  Lot's of questions...!   So maybe the learning isn't so much about stuff and things as it is about world view...  and I think really that our worldview shapes the way we evaluate much of everything else we see....  How does our worldview cause us to look at the California missions, the Spainiard's mission with the Indians?  
When we see the great number of homeless people living on the beach in Santa Barbara...what does our worldview "do" with that...compassion vs. responsibility?  So, I think that this kind of learning can't really be measured...these kind of field trips can't be photographed to capture the "learning" and yet this time..our time on this road trip, really is a great education...the kind of learning that gets the wheels of the mind turning...figurin'...when one question spurs on another...and when theres nothing but road and time ahead to talk about it...  and if your lucky, and well behaved, respectful and cooperative there'll be a skatepark coming up here somewhere soon.

We took off from Simi Valley this morning with the goal of hitting up the Santa Barbara skatepark then heading up to Solvang.  We hoofed around the quaint town for a bit and grabbed some lunch with the promise of stopping in at famous Olson's bakery afterward.  Poor Shayne just had her braces tightened so eating was almost impossible (and not very attractive).  She decided that a meringue would be the easiest thing for her to eat/melt.  Nate opted for a custard filled little number with chocolate frosting on top.  
Our next stop was the Hans Christian Andersen park, filled with oak trees and a nice little skate park.  The kids skated for an hour or so and we got back on the road toward La Purisima Mission near Lompoc, making an entertaining stop at Ostrich Land along the way.  Those are some hilariously hideous animals.

I really like La Purisima Mission (as much as anybody can like a mission, I guess) because it is one of the more primitive ones that I've been to.  Some, like Tucson's San Xavier del Bac is so ornate and stands in such stark contrast to it's surroundings that it's hard to relate it with the community it was serving.  Purisima seems more like the "working man's mission".  The basic set up is the same as many of the other missions but the decor is less....flashy.  It stands in a open field with a couple of towering oak trees and has large corrals which hold some long haired sheepy animals, a few goats and long horned bovine (couldn't get the right perspective to make a gender judgement call) a couple of turkeys, some chickens and two really cute pigs.
By the time we left the sun was getting low in the sky and the shadows and golden colors of the field and hills around us were warm and beautiful and it was quiet and easy to feel like we were back in time.  We headed back toward Solvang for a bowl of soup and Pea Soup Andersen's and decided to drive down to Ventura to find a hotel.  The drive through the hills was really pretty but the herds of deer...I mean like a whole lotta deer!....grazing along and right up to the shoulder of the highway was horrifying.  Though somewhat smaller than the everything is bigger in Texas deer, and though I was driving a vehicle somewhat bigger than my Eurovan, I (and the kids) were terrified that one of the deer my just decide to bolt out in front of us.  It didn't happen....And for that we are thankful.  

It was a sunny day with light santa ana winds which made the sunset drive from Gaviota State Beach to Ventura just beautiful.  Every camp ground we passed made me sad though that we weren't in the van, camping our way along.  Maybe next time.
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Debbie Wasa on

Glad you are having yet another adventure. Are you driving Big Blue? Or did you stay classy? LOL Not missing a thing for sure at school . Have fun, look forward to hearing more of your trip.

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