Ellen and Greg picked me up at 1:00, then we drove to Santa Barbara. We dropped Greg at his mother's, where he wanted to do some chores to prepare for her arrival home today. (He and El will pick her up at LAX.) El and I went on to the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens, where we met my friend and her husband, Mike.
I had been there before, but not for years, and we all enjoyed it. The Gardens displays only foliage native to California and even so. there's an immense variety. Mike is an amateur botanist and pointed out a number of interesting details and characteristics of the plants. There was a romantic note, too: Ellen told us she and Greg had their first date here.
The place is very California primitive with lots of rocks and boulders, dirt paths, and benches made of huge slabs of redwood. What is isn't is flat. It winds up and down--gently, but I got winded and had to sit down a few times and here and there and wait for them to come back from the more challenging inclines. Generally, though, I managed well.
There's a gift shop which we checked out when we got back to the starting point. El bought a pretty scarf as a Christmas gift for Greg's mother and I went to the nursery section and bought three pretty plants for myself. I'll keep them inside at first and later, with warmer weather, hope to have them thrive on the patio.
We left about 4:00 and El and I said goodbye to the other two. She and I went back to Greg's mothers, chatted for a bit, then left for dinner (Greg had already eaten). El took up to a place in the center of town called The Natural Cafe and I had good salmon (wild-caught). After, we picked up Greg and went to Chaucer's Book Store for an hour or more, just reading and looking through the stacks. Ellen bought a book and Greg will order some through Amazon. Cheap me will request that the library get Chris Hedges' latest, The Wages of Rebellion.
Didn't get home until well after nine after another strenuous, but so very enjoyable day.