With only four weeks left til I start my new job and leave my precious little boy in the care of my brave husband three days a week, I’ve started to put some effort into shedding the final inches of my post-baby belly so that I can wear my usual work clothes without looking like someone threw them in the dryer on high. I’ve found that stroller walks are not only a great way to help me reach this goal, but it also gives me a chance to take my 2-month-old outside for a bit. And I mean, come on! We’re in Santa Barbara! It’s got to be one of the best places in the world for taking your baby on a stroll while soaking in the beauty of your surroundings.
Thursday morning has become my two-hour stroller walking day. Sometimes it’s with other moms from my PEP group, sometimes it’s by myself. This morning it was just me and my baby boy, so I thought, Hey, why not capture the incredible beauty I encounter along the way? So I did. (Props to the iPhone 4.)
Come take a stroll with me…
Matthew and I started our walk at one of my favorite places in all of Santa Barbara — Shoreline Park. Perched on the mesa overlooking the bay, this park boasts some of the most dazzling views in all of the city. Yesterday’s pounding rains contributed to today’s picture perfect conditions (though, I’ll admit, it was quite blustery). Blue skies. Sparkling waters. And a clear view. You could see for miles.
As we headed northeast down the hill with the Pacific Ocean on our right and the Santa Ynez mountains up ahead, we found ourselves being greeted by rows of thick, stately palm trees.
We continued to the bottom of the hill and strolled along Leadbetter Beach, where a rowdy group of young adults were getting ready to wreak havoc on the barbeques and picnic tables.
A few minutes later, after passing the beach’s cafe, we found ourselves meandering just inches from the sand.
On our left was the sports stadium for Santa Barbara City College. If you ever find yourself at the top of the steps, you’ll discover a magnificent, elevated view of the ocean, the harbor, and the Channel Islands. I imagine this has to be the community college with one of the best views in all of the country.
Next we approached the harbor. So many boats!
Right across from the harbor lay hundreds of cages waiting to make their owners proud. It’s lobster season here in Santa Barbara!
Once we passed the harbor (and its fishy smell), Stearns Wharf started to come into focus.
Matthew LOVED the super bumpy ride that the wooden boardwalk gave him (and I didn’t mind the lovely view). This kid is all about deep pressure. The bumpier, the better. Put him right to sleep.
The wharf is usually pretty crowded, so it was nice to be able to calmly make our way down without having to throw some scuze-me!-pardon-me! elbows.
It was lovely. Blustery, but lovely.
Once we exited the wharf, it was time to head back. But, of course, nothing is that straightforward when you’re traveling with an infant. He started fussing, so I started jogging. It only took a few minutes for me to realize that A) I’m out of shape and B) he was really hungry. So I found a shaded bench and we made a stop to fill his empty tummy…
…and change his full diaper. Soon he was happy as a clam.
After our pit stop, we climbed our way back up the hill. (Has this hill always been this big? My goodness!) I’ve never been able to see the Channel Islands so clearly. That rain really cleared out the sky!
As we ever so slowly marched our way up, I saw a cute old man walking toward us, also pushing a stroller…with a dog in it. D-O-G. A dog! He passed me, I smiled at him, and no more than five seconds later I heard him yelling at some dude who had sped right by him on a skateboard as he zoomed down the never ending hill. “You punk kid! There’s no skateboarding here! Get in your own lane! What do you think you’re doing!”
Little old man taking a walk along the ocean while pushing his fluffy white dog in a stroller and angrily yelling at some punk kid for breaking the rules. Sounds about right.
After nearly two hours of strolling, we made it back to our car at Shoreline Park. As I took one final look at the path behind me, I couldn’t help but stop for a moment and think to myself, Wow.
I still can’t believe I live here. It’s amazing. It’s beautiful.
Thanks for strolling with me!