February 20, 2013

Santa Barbara Animal Adventure

Mr. P had a wonderful time traveling to Santa Barbara, California from January 31 to February 4 with Mara to meet up with her friend Tara! They encountered travel woes, a billion cute animals (including the cutest ostriches ever), they went to a film festival and hounded film star Jennifer Lawrence, went to the beach, watched butterflies mate, and went whale watching! How do you fit all that into a few days? Mr. P and his guest are pros at this kind of thing. Here we go:

A crazy layover in Denver for Mr. P and Mara as they missed their connecting flight.

Alas! A beach and a drink in Cali, just how this traveling pickle likes it.

Hello hippie cupcake!

Mr. P enjoys the view from the Santa Barbara courthouse tower. (Looks a bit European, eh?)

What up, Ben Franklin? You like chillin' with a pickle, or what?

Ben must have not liked chillin's with Mr. P. He put these pigeons on him! BIRD ATTACK!

Enjoying a bagel while waiting to board the whale watching boat! WHALES!

Tara and Mr. P trying to stay dry and look for whales at the same time.

Look out One Eyed Willie, we're coming up right behind ya! Well, Mr. P and Tara that is.

At a "weird bar." GAME OVER. Poor Mr. P, he's never been good at this game.

Hello film fest! Hello HUNGER GAMES star Jennifer Lawrence. Check out Mr. Pickle's bow & arrow! His skills could give Katniss a run for her money. In his mind.

Theater front. Trying to get his eyes on THE Jennifer Lawrence.

In the meantime, may as well practice some Katniss-style bow moves...

Alas! Jennifer Lawrence is spotted! Look at Mr. P, being all cute and blurry and stalkerish.

Pickle-blur inside the theater, waiting for J-Law to give her interview and get her award. Yes, inside! It was a beautiful, old-style movie palace! This green guy does enjoy a good film.

Checking out the butterfly preserve. The area is full of eucalyptus trees and milkweed plants, so it's an ideal place for them to stop on their migration to and from Mexico. Mr. P LOVES monarchs.

If you walk up a path from the preserve you end up on this bluff. Great view!

Mr. P's lovely hosts, Mara and Tara. No, their names don't rhyme, and he kept getting it all confused.

Attempting to feed the ostriches at the ostrich farm. OSTRICHES! They are sooooo cute and Mr. P just wanted to pet one.

Then he saw the signs and decided against it. Even though he has survived alligator attacks on more than one occasion.

Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?

They stopped in a Frankenmuth/Gaylord-esque town (except a Danish version) in the mountains for lunch. It was strange to see a bunch of Nordic stuff in the middle of the California hills. The food was amazing though: Danish sausage, Swedish meatballs, cabbage, pan-fried potatoes, and of course, PICKLES! Mr. P was in heaven.

Onto a mini horse farm! Do you C Mr. Pickle?

After leaving the mini-horse farm, they passed by an animal rescue park/petting farm and had to stop. Mara says it was the happiest place she's ever seen. The animals were all running around in the same pens in harmony, and they were all so CLEAN! She tried to take a picture of Mr. Pickle riding on the tortoise, but it was too fast and he kept falling off.

The baby mini-donkeys like to snuggle with people at naptime. Tara and Mr. P. were happy to keep this baby company. Mr. P. tipped his hat down and was about to take a snooze, too.

Happy, crazy animals playing.

Hannah's mom runs the animal rescue. What a fun job!
When she would yell "Heeeeey, Tom!" one of the turkeys would gobble.

Last stop, the lavender farm! The lavender wasn't really blooming, but there was a fun purple store that sold lavender products. Mr. P. helped Mara pick out some sachets to take home!


Alas, an action-packed trip comes to end. So much fun was had! Mr. P thanks his gracious hosts. It's amazing how every trip to California is so different!

Don't forget to check out his itinerary and see if you can fit Mr. Pickle into you travel plans!