There's one thing...

Santa Barbara Travel Blog

 › entry 7 of 17 › view all entries

So, you know I love it out here. Absolutely everything is amazing, all the time. Even when I’m bored… which, lets be honest, I am generally a very restless person, I can just go sit on the beach and be happy.

Foooor example. I was going for a run this morning… 6 miles. My route took me down to Milpas Street, which I discovered is like the Little Mexico of Santa Barbara. Every shop and store was full of Mexican food (Gansitos and Jarritos galore, tortillas fresh off the grill… where is this in New York???), and this one store had those huge pinatas hanging from every square inch of the ceiling. It reminded me of all the birthday parties my family would throw for my brother and I when we went to Mexico every year as kids, and I’d pose for pictures with these pinatas that loomed over me by a foot. Fabulous! Everyone was speaking Spanish everywhere, I felt like I had been dropped in the middle of Mexico City. Minus the pollution, I guess (And obviously I loved it… it made me wish I grew up out here, maybe my Spanish skills wouldn’t be so bad.)

So, I ran all the way down Milpas to the beach, which is another favorite part of my daily runs. And that is when I discovered the one thing that is, in fact, better at home. Much better. …California’s version of the squirrel. Ugh. Really, it was the sorriest looking animal I have ever seen. Only about five inches long, with a scraggly tail, yet unmistakably, a squirrel. It was scurrying around in a filthy cement ditch that collects rain water… where was its tree and grassy playground?? Apparently, there are no bright-eyed, bushy-tailed little buddies out here, not like my favorite hometown squirrels.

I guess the good news is that when I do head back home after being spoiled by the California lifestyle, I can look at all those house-cat-sized squirrels (thanks to excessive amounts of snacks from well-intentioned visitors) that we have running around campus, and maybe life in the cold North will be a little more bearable.

Who would have thought I could miss something as seemingly insignificant as a rodent.

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