John & Anne Wiley

2011/06/02

Here

It’s so glorious to be here. When we were there people would often ask where we’d be returning to after our grand flying adventure. When we modestly told them, most would then change the subject. Maybe they’d never heard of it, or maybe they knew Santa Barbara’s a tasty slice of paradise. They’d also probably assume we’re rich, being from here and flying our own plane across the continent. In case you don’t already know, we are decidedly not rich and the money we’ve saved for years to do this is almost gone. Meanwhile, we’re happy to be here and took our first foray into town.

1291 Tie

1291 Tie

Our traditional view vote crossing the Stevens Bridge was a tie. The coastal view out to the islands was spectacular too but our pic of it didn’t come out. There were some fluffy clouds bunched up behind the islands that enhanced their crisp outline. Downtown we paused walking into the library to snap the courthouse where strong winds were whipping the palms to give a turbulent contrast to the stoic building.

1294 Relative High

1294 Relative High

As I’ve probably written before, we used to drive Stevens and go up in the Courthouse tower for high views of the city and surrounds. Now of course, we’re more often enjoying the view down at them from Tripp as we quietly cruise the area. Though we greatly enjoyed the view descending home to the airport, we have yet to take that ride again and more fully appreciate anew the countless delights. After picking up “King’s Speech” and other DVDs awaiting us at the library, we walked across to investigate noises at the normally quiet courthouse.

1296 Restoration

1296 Restoration

Craftsmen were making final touches to the sandstone replica sculpture in the fountain, restoring the original that had been dissolving back into sand from decades of sun and water. Such bright and open expressions the characters have, greeting visitors and litigants alike with their calming demeanor. Then the louder noise again demanded our attention. Air horns and ebullient cheers erupted, resonating through the large arched passageway from the courthouse gardens beyond.

1299 Triumph of Hope

1299 Triumph of Hope

The black robed figures you can make out seated in two groups are graduating from two “alternative high schools” that enable more of our citizens to get diplomas. Celebrating hard work and determination, these grads and their loved ones were overflowing with a sense of hope, accomplishment and anticipation for the opportunities they had earned with the support of our community. Climbing to the top of the parking garage we took a last look at the open horizons, and basked in the warmth of being Here.

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