Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Or ... Kayaking

Yeah.  So, here’s what happened.  I emailed the Santa Barbara tour company (Captain Jack’s tours) last night and asked what tours they had going Wednesday that I could join along (since there’s only one of me, and they won’t run a tour with less than 2).  Answer:  (answer actually begain with “Ahoy!”) a local wine tasting tour of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Santa Barbara wineries (pass) and a kayaking/hiking trip in Gaviota.

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I’m not excited by the kayaking/hiking trip.  First, there’s the whole arm/kayaking thing.  Then there’s hiking.  Which their website describes as something like having “moderate semi-strenuous” segments.  Exactly how moderately semi-strenuous are we talking here?  (Hello.  I’m a wuss.)


So I called them today, to see if they had any other tours running.  Spoke with Andrew.  Nope, just those two.  I asked about the strenuousity (?) of the hike, and Andrew said there’s a lot of uphill and you have to be in pretty good shape.  Now, yes, I am a queen of DDR level 1, but let’s not kid ourselves here -- pretty good shape, I ain't.  He asked what I’m interested in, tour-wise.  I mentioned the horseback riding.  Andrew said he could get me horseback riding for $45.  No problemfor just one person.


OK, problem.  I have to get to Gaviota myself.  I cannot get to Gaviota – I’m taking the train up.  Andrew is flummoxed.  He says he’ll put (the actual) Captain Jack (arrrr) on the phone to see what we can work out.  Jack says he can’t pay someone to drive me out and wait for me when there’s only one of me.  I could take a taxi out there and it’ll run me about $65 each way.  I am not pleased with this plan.  He asks what I’m interested in doing and he’ll try to put together some multi-activity thing for me.  He’ll call me back.


He calls me back.  The Gaviota kayaking/hiking thing takes place in the same general vicinity as the horseys.  He can book me to kayak with everyone else, then I ride a horse for an hour and half while they hike for two hours.  He’ll throw in a free drink at the bar when I’m killing the extra half hour.


Sold.  Given the inability to get out to the horseys without paying $130 in taxis, this is pretty much the only way I’m going to do this – so I’ll attempt to kayak after all.  Hopefully this will be fun.  Andrew tells me what I’ll need to wear (and bring) for the two activities.


Problem.  Having decided last night that I wouldn’t gokayaking, I didn’t pack shorts.  Do not want to kayak in jeans.  And I’m leaving for the train station from work, so I really don’t want to go all the way home just to get a pair of shorts.


I work in downtown LA.  In an area where there are many shops selling very many very cheap items.  Without tax.  Cash only.  Some items are of questionable provenance.  (Like that shelf in the back of the electronics store full of all different models of computer printers.  All unboxed.  All used.  All $7.99.)  Most are of questionable quality.  I figure it will be faster if I just run out and get a pair of shorts for $5, than go home.


Except, when I’m out there, I realize everything else I didn’t pack.  No sports bra.  No hat.  No swimsuit cover up.  I’m actually out there shopping for about an hour.  I come back with:  shorts, sports bra, hat, swimsuit cover up, and six pair of socks, all for the low, low price of $27.  None of this is the highest of quality, surely (and I didn’t try any of it on before buying) but hopefully, it’ll work for two days.


(Yes, I bought 6 pair of socks – that’s for more than 2 days.  They had size 6-8 socks!  Nobody has size 6-8 socks.  They’re all 9-11, which is supposed to start at shoe size 6, which means that those of us with shoe size 5 end up with the heels of our socks somewhere around our ankles.  At 50 cents a pair, it would totally be the bargain of the century if I finally found a source for socks that fit.)

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