Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The one where I see a billion butterflies then eat at different taco places all afternoon

During my tremendously nice free Saturday in California, Ethan, Becky and I decided to check out the butterfly sanctuary just north of campus. It's a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, but I'd never bothered to go when I lived there. Apparently, there is a magical eucalyptus forest where monarch butterflies go during their long migration (which I understand takes several life cycles). In the forest they hang out for awhile and make the next generation of butterflies, so if you're lucky enough to visit at the right time of the year, you'll encounter thousands of butterflies copulating (is that what they do?) all around you. The whole thing really was amazing: there were just butterflies everywhere. One of the best parts (besides the fact that it was a beautiful clear day and the eucalyptus smelled enchanting), was that the butterflies, by nature of their size and movement, eluded capture on most people's cameras. It's not easy to get a good shot of them (unless you have a fancy set up), so they were best experienced just by looking and enjoying the moment. That's something that I've [sadly] grown unaccustomed to. I did manage to get a few snaps for proof, and a pretty stellar video that shows them bursting out from a tree. All the little specks in the video are butterflies. In case that wasn't evident. 

After seeing the butterflies, we'd planned on eating at a local taco place that's really tasty. I was especially keen on this idea, since it's not always as easy to get great Mexican food in New York. However, on the drive up, we'd spotted a second taco place, and felt a dilemma: try something new or stick with the old fave? Luckily, Ethan and Becky are adventurous, and so we collectively determined to embark on a TACO TOUR of Santa Barbara. Amazing. We hit up four places. I've already forgotten the name of the first one (oops). Next we went to La Super Rica, which is the famed place we'd initially set out to visit. We had to wait in line for an hour (it's that good), but it was okay because it gave us some time to warm up. Third, we went to another place nearby downtown (El Taco?) that cooks their brisket in Cola Cola (which is a great idea). At that point, I thought I was done for the day. But no, after walking around a little bit, I regained my stamina and we went to Wahoo Fish Taco, which isn't really remarkable or local, but it's delicious, so oh well. 

It was one of the best days this year and so great to make some California memories with E and B.

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