Sunday, August 8, 2010

Confetti in My Hair

Last night I took my nephew and niece, Pieter and Rachel, to State Street in Santa Barbara to walk around and do some shopping. It happened to be Fiesta weekend and the street was lined with people throwing confetti, waving giant glow sticks and having a good time. (Some of them were having too good of a time, but that's not what this story is about.)

Eric dropped us all of at the corner of Carrillo and State, and headed back home to his parent's house a mile away. Pieter had a wad of cash to burn and so he bought all of us confetti-filled eggs. Rachel cracked one on Pieter's head and in turn Pieter cracked one on Rachel's head and then they turned to me with mischievous looks in their eyes. Silence. More mischievous looks. Hesitation.

"Go ahead, crack one on my head," I said and then braced myself.

"Really?" Rachel said, and with that I was covered in confetti.

We had an awesome time window shopping and eating frozen yogurt and helping Rachel, who is 12 years old and five foot 9, find a pair of jeans. Okay, Pieter didn't enjoy waiting while Rachel and I were in the dressing rooms, but the two of us had a fun! We scored big at one store. We found jeans that fit Rachel perfectly, and when the cashier scanned the $54 pair, they had been discounted to $9.99.

From there, we decided to head home. We had thought of calling Eric's dad to come and pick us up, but decided the long walk in the cool night air would be fun. It was almost 10:00, and we were back at the corner of Carrillo and State. Then we saw them. They're called Pedi-Cabs. Little bicycle-driven carriages that--for a small price--will take you where you want to go. I hadn't spent any money except on yogurt, so I decided to treat my niece and nephew to a sweet ride home. We barely fit on the seat in the "carriage" and I felt bad for the rather small guy and the heavy load he was carrying--us. But he assured me that he could do it. Pieter and Rachel really enjoyed the ride, and the comedy of it all.

We started out down State Street so slow that we could have walked faster. Our driver was pedalling so fast and we were going so slow that people on the sidewalk started cheering and I heard one lady say, "Poor guy, he's pedalling so hard!" We turned onto Carrillo and picked up a bit of speed as we were on more level ground. Then we were really flying--for about a minute--as the road went downhill. We had our driver drop us off a few blocks from Eric's dad's home, when the incline looked too steep for him to make it. We paid him more than it was worth because we had such a good time and walked the rest of the way home.

I rarely go to State Street. It's not a place to take little kids at night. It's crowded and loud and a bit sketchy at times. Eric grew up near there, so he rarely wants to walk around downtown. However, I enjoy going there every once in a while--to drink coffee, people-watch, window shop and be in a place that doesn't shut down after 5 p.m. It was so much fun to hang out there with my niece and nephew--who live in the middle of nowhere in a town in Alberta. We all had a night we will long remember. Lights. Music. Confetti. And a slow cab ride home.

1 comment:

Michele said...

A great story Christine! I'm so glad you're able to spend this time with the 'Canadian cousins'. :-)