10 July 2006

Santa Barbara to the Moon

While UC Riverside orientation begins for the newest cadre of disciples, I'm exploring lunch on the ankle express alongside the tanned homeless on University Avenue at 95 degrees while the A/C, the History Channel, and the endlessness of Al Gore's internet keep things manageable at the hotel upon my return.

Yesterday, we left SJ at 4pm (why, you ask?) so we could take 101 instead of Hwy 5 and catch the simultaneous sunset and full moonrise over the 120-degree view of the cool evening Pacific while supping on cioppino,
shrimp tacos, and oyster shooters at the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company at the end of the wharf. Exquisite meal and the Swiss, themselves, could not have timed that better.
Yes, the long way around, but I'd never been to SB, so the 90-minute dinner layover was worth it. Somebody was having a near-perfect July wedding reception just across the street from the water. From this spot, you can truly see the curvature of the Earth. When one stares at the moon, one thinks of space in general, and specifically, I'm reminded that the Discovery Shuttle crew is currently on an ethereal spacewalk to repair the International Space Station.

I remember graduating from high school when the Columbia Shuttle exploded during takeoff. Several instructors were inspired to discuss all the peripheral issues of the explosion in different classes, including math, philosophy, and government. It was a real door-closer for career choices for this kid who wanted to be an astronaut after seeing Americans walking on the moon on television. They made it look so easy in the innocence of black and white.


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