There was this time…(pt. 12)

Massive secluded spaces to pull over and enjoy

It was an old Reddit post I only recently came across that made me think of this story. The Reddit story is funny and a huge relief for all of us thinking we might be alone in doing stupid shit.

And stupid shit is what this blog is made of, god damnit.

After I was gifted by my wonderfully generous father, David E. Knop, a car, my former-boyfriend, Geoff, and I decided to take our new-used Toyota 4Runner, with our adorable dog, Chimi…


We decided to drive up the amazing El Camino Cielo road that rings the mountains around Santa Barbara.

Good idea, of course.

Except that our decision was made after spending an entire day at Butterfly Beach in Montecito under the hot, hot sun.

Butterfly Beach was about 100 yards from our apartment. Once, I went swimming there to “exercise” at 9 am. I say, “exercise” because I have no idea what the hell I was thinking. With no one on the beach to point and scream instead of saving me, I came way too close to being Great White fish food. I only saw how close when I made it to shore to find that what I was swimming alongside of was a huge, dead sea lion with a man-sized hole chomped out of his middle. But that’s a story for another time.

Usually, it was me and Geoff and Chimi and a foot-long sub sandwich from the Greek-Italian Market and a 12-pack of Coronas.

It clearly sucked.

This particular day was a long day in June. Around 5 pm, perfect weather and my perfectly-tanned ONLY front-side of my body (yes, just perfectly-tanned front, totally white ass,) was fried. My half-tan was due to the awesome chairs I’d found that were too comfortable to get up and flip over. They were so comfortable. I miss those chairs.

By then, Geoff’s perfectly-tanned tennis-perfected body had had enough of fending off the coeds flirting with him. That’s “hims”– plural. Both Chimi and Geoff.

Because how could you not flirt with that?

No one apparently.

On a rare day off work I had once, I took my dog to the beach. He ran off because he owned that beach and it was normal. I expected him to come back to settle into his palapa we had to make him every time out of sticks and usually my beach sarape. Fluffy black fur wasn’t the best at keeping a tiny dog cool.

I hadn’t even noticed how far he’d run off, as it was so quick, until I spotted some 20-year-old in a microscopic bikini holding my dog in her hands.

I stood up, walked over, “Um, excuse me, can I have my dog back?”

She says, “Oh, you know Chimi?”

I didn’t punch her. I swear.

I just took my dog and went home to wait for Geoff. And maybe carefully rearranged his things. All of his things.



The day in question, we hosed off a happy, sandy Chimi and jumped in the new-used 4Runner.

We drove up the picturesque, windy roads, full of excitement. And way too many Coronas for which I’m ashamed of admitting. We found our perfect spot in the wilderness to camp with the glorious views of this magnificent place.

Santa Barbara; a quaint drinking village with a fishing problem

We pass out peacefully. And except for one sudden terrifying moment when the coyotes tried to lure Chimi out of the open back of the 4Runner, we slept like 3 logs. Lulled by quaint animal noises and crickets and the musky-sweet scent of ocean and night-blooming jasmine.

Until morning.

Morning, we woke up to find that we’re not in a secluded spot in the country.

No, the sound of slamming car doors woke us up to the fact we were “camping” in someone’s front yard.

Not the woods

Morning came with us hauling our half-tanned asses out of a trespassing charge.

Good times.