From Mojave we took the road toward Los Angeles. Instead of entering the city we veered off towards the coast road and the town of Santa Barbara. We’d pre-booked some accommodation as we’d read it can be hard to find a room in Santa Barbara. After check-in at the, quite expensive, Sandpiper Lodge we drove down the main road and into the town centre. The sun was shining and it was pretty warm, in contrast to the chilly temperatures we’d had inland. Santa Barbara is a nice little town and we had no trouble whiling away the day. We had to stay in the town centre as there was a Christmas parade on in the evening. Actually it was called a holiday parade for reasons of political correctness. Gemma insisted that we stay on and watch it because the parade’s master of ceremonies was Christopher Lloyd of Back to the Future fame.
The parade went on for ages. I think my feet began to bleed. Endless columns of marching bands, gymnasts, cheerleaders and the like walked past us, most putting in a very half hearted effort. Every time there was a break in the flow of paraders I thought my luck might be in and the parade might be over, but it wasn’t to be. More people would come from up the road and march past us. We were stuck. The car was parked in a multi-storey directly across the street being used for the parade. We couldn’t risk dashing across for fear of being trampled by baton twirling teens. Just when I was beginning to think that I might be stood there all night the last float came past and the crowd began to disperse. We did get to see Christopher Lloyd come past in carriage, waving regally to the crowds. He didn’t go back or forward in time though, which was quite a disappointment.