Leaving Las Vegas we headed through the Mojave desert to Mojave town. We thought it would be as good a stop as any especially because Tim had heard that planes are kept here to preserve them and so we thought that sounded like an interesting sight.
The journey was a good one, driving along near deserted roads, except for gigantic trucks, through the desert past a few ramshackle houses and alongside a freight train which looked picturesque chugging along against the backdrop of the mountains and the otherwise sparse land.
Approaching Mojave town we saw the massive wind farm before we saw the few planes which were behind a fence. There were also a few old fighter planes as well. However, the scene wasn't as bizarre as we had imagined, but undeterred we stayed the night anyway. We stayed in our first motel. The sign wasn't a broken neon one I'm afraid and there were no mafia murders (to my knowledge) although there was a connecting door to the next room and we could hear them quite plainly. I thought I might have been hearing a murder about to happen or at least a loud argument, until I realised it was their T.V.
To carry on with the bad film theme we had our tea at Jerry's restaurant which could have been in any American film complete with booths, local clientèle and waitresses who call you honey. Now I realise that I have made several references to American film and T.V but I guess they are the reason everything seemed so familiar, so sadly, when I see Chips going down the free way I get excited. Case in point the next day watching a Christmas Parade in Santa Barbara.
Driving to Santa Barbara the local radio announced that the Christmas Parade was on in town that night. Liking a good parade I was quite pleased anyway but I was even more pleased when they announced that the master of ceremonies would be Christopher Lloyd AKA Doc out of Back to the Future. Now maybe I was a little bit too excited by this but Back to the Future was a good film and when I was young, my sister and I watched it a lot.
Santa Barbara is a very pretty town and we had a nice day wandering round in the sun. I was a bit perturbed as the homeless people seemed better dressed than us. Making me feel even worse was the fact that being the messy eater I am I was wearing part of my lunch. I daren't sit down on a bench in case someone felt sorry for us and gave us their spare change.
We noticed with amusement that people had 'reserved' their spots for the Parade on the side of the pavement by placing their chairs and blankets, some locked to lampposts. At 6.30 we were waiting for the parade with the owners of these chairs. I felt sure the parade was going to be something pretty spectacular. I'm not quite sure why I thought that, but I was wrong. I thought that Lowestoft carnival was more professional! It was like any other parade in any other town but it maybe went on for a a bit longer. It was quite annoying because at the part where we were standing the parade would seem to have a break from their respective performances. For example the bands would stop playing, only to start up again further down the road, so all we got were a few randomly shouted 'Happy Christmas's'. You might say well why didn't you move. Well there were quite a lot of people and moving might have meant seeing nothing at all. In hindsight that might not have mattered, but I did get to see Christopher Lloyd who rode past us in a horse drawn carriage so all was not lost! Although I don't think my saying this to Tim made him feel better about standing on the side of the road in the cold watching a never ending parade.