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Posts Tagged ‘Lompoc’

Jalama122213

12-22

Crowds everywhere!  What the FUCK!  These days California has been no bargain if your an avid surfer.  I have to say 2013 will likely go down as one of the worst years for surfing on record for the entire state.  Besides a moderate spring season, which would have not even been worth mentioning if winter was not so bad, its been one let down after another.  Summer started with some fun, yet far from epic south swells, followed by an unprecedented six week  flat spell.  Then the lot of us thought that maybe fall would be our redemption.  Fall came and went with no combo action and nothing more then a few weak NW swells.  The last hope, our saving grace up here in the Santa Barbara/Ventura area was winter.

Unfortunately as we watched Hawaii get amazing swell after amazing swell (usually a very good indicator that we are about to score), that same swell got to the California coast and sucked.  Glad the boys at Pipe are scoring. Now already in peak season everyone is super hungry for whatever little bump mother nature decides to grace us with.  What does all this mean to me?  Exuberant crowds at all of the well known surf spots, my beloved Rincon being one of them.  If you follow the surf log you may remember a session I had at Rincon not to long ago where the party was steadily ruined by a crowd of about 250 people.  If your not following the surf log  you should because that is where the meat of this blog is these days.

All of the overflow spots where I will usually trade quality for crowd compliance have also been stupid packed.  Even the bad days where few would even think about paddling have become out of hand.  By this past swell I had it up to my head with people.  Luckily I was off from work till the 4th of January and had the ability to do some searching.  Sunday the 22nd of December saw the beginnings of a new long period WNW swell.  Since it was a weekend and a holiday weekend to-boot I was not at all eager to go surf anywhere.  My boy Pat had called me the night before and put the idea in my head to go up to Jalama.
Jalama122313_3I checked the buoys, and the conditions.  Sure enough it had all the makings of a good Jalama day.  My only concern was that if the swell moved in too fast it would be too big to surf.  My boy Mike ended up crashing at my house after a night at the Wild Cat in Fancytown and was keen for a surf.  As soon as I told him my idea he was up for it.  I called Pat to see if he wanted in considering it was his idea.  He bailed, leaving Mike and I on a mission.  That was fine cause three has always seemed like a crowd to me.

We struck out later then I normally would have liked for a Jalama mission. These days I’m always later then I would like when it comes to surfing anyway. The winds looked good all day and the only alternative was to sit in an obnoxious crowd for very average waves down south. Worse case scenario we had a nice drive, surfed a few waves and hung out. Jalama is always a good idea in my book.
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We got there and it was solid. Tarantella’s was way overhead and crowded. I could tell from the bluff it may have been a bit more then I had a board for. I figured I could try my luck with Cracks or maybe even venture further south into the ranch and try some of the reefs I had scoped out a few years ago with Kooky Kyle while he was living at the Palace. I knew of one reef in particular I was interested to surf.

When we got in front of Tarantella’s it was packed, at least thirty heads. The waves were solid double overhead and bigger on sets. I could have pushed the envelope on my meager 5’10 but it would have been a slaughter. When I looked south toward the reef I had in mind,  I noticed there was a wave coming in. Mike was keen and we set off.  Keep in mind this reef is around 500 yards or so from T’s so I was going on speculation at best.  There is nothing better then to walk that far down the beach only to realize it was a flash in the pan and have to walk back. That is the risk one must take to score.

Tarantella's doing its thing.  Believe me it is a much bigger then it looks.

Tarantella’s doing its thing. Believe me it is a much bigger then it looks.

As we approached the reef I noticed a few guys out. I guess we were not the only ones hoping to score a few waves off the beaten path. The left itself was a nice little slab. It came out of deep water and slammed into this little finger reef about fifty yards or so in front of a rock outcrop. The wave had a barrel off the drop on the double ups opening up to a turn section or two on the inside before closing out on the beach break shore dump.

That inside was heavy.  I thought I was going to break my board or neck more then once. It appeared that the crew that was out there were together and at the end of they’re session. We chilled on the beach and assessed the situation. The last thing I wanted to do was crowd four guys who had also went out of their way to avoid such. Plus I wanted get the lay of the land so to speak.
Jalama

To tell you truth I was glad there were guys out. It gave me a chance to learn the wave. With in fifteen minutes of getting there one by one the line up cleared. Mike and I suited up and paddled.  It was solid overhead on sets. I had no idea where to line up or how deep it was. I have this thing when I go to a new spot where I have to pop the cherry. I caught the first wave which jacked up way harder the I had expected. Luckily the reef was rather conform and about four feet deep the entire way.

Mike and I made the most of this fun wave just enjoying the beautiful surroundings and laughing how lucky we were to experience such a thing on one of the most crowded days of the year. We decided to call the wave (although I am sure it already has a name) Pats Remorse since he blew it and stayed home.  It wasn’t the best wave I have ever surfed and certainly far from the perfection of Tarantella’s, but considering the fact we had it all to ourselves it was just what the doctor ordered.

12-23
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I woke up feeling rather sore from the previous day’s mission.  The new swell had filled in according to the buoys.  All reports came back that it was too walled for the beaches and too small and inconsistent at most of the points to make it worth a paddle.  I took my time and waited as all my contacts kept me informed on their hunt.  Finally Pat called and said he was coming up my way, the plan being to go try and get some waves in Isla Vista.  All the college kids were home for the Holiday making the place and line ups a ghost town.  There was plenty of west in the swell that at the very least Devereux and Sands would have something.

Devereux was tiny and kooked out with long boards and SUP’s.  Sands had waves, but it was about chest to head and pretty walled with the occasional corner.  Not too frothy we decided to take a minute and watch two goats head butt the shit out of each other.  At the moment we decided that may have been the highlight of our day.  I must say it was rather entertaining.  One goat was twice the size of the other and they just kept smashing skulls.  Every time we thought the little one was throwing in the towel it would back off just enough to get a solid lunge at the other.

At that point we did not know what to do.  It was a good thing we didn’t just suit and boot the Sands.  As we got back to the lot a fucking UCSB campus police officer was ticketing cars.  The dude was chill and let us bail with out a fine.  There were a dozen or so other surfers’ cars that were not so lucky.  Between that and the goat fight I figured we were already ahead of the game.

While driving off the deliberation began.  Then Pat said what we were both thinking, “What do you think about making another trek to Jalama.  At that point I figured we had nothing left to loose and off we went on a very late day excursion retard mission. We got there and Tarantella’s was fucking huge.  I am talking easily triple over head to twenty feet.  Guys were getting tubes you could drive a car through.  With a pair of 5’10’s between us Pat and I wanted nothing to do with that.

Bombing Jalama beach break

Bombing Jalama beach break

Up on the bluff just before the entrance to the park there is a little pull off where you can check the surf to see if it is worth the $10 parking fee.  From there I looked north onto Vandenberg AFB.  Through my binoculars I saw a few reef breaks that showed possible potential and looked like a not so far walk.  A little further, a distance I really could not gauge from that vantage, could  have been fifty yards or a half mile I noticed a really good right or at least what appeared to be.

Necessity it the mother of invention or in this case exploration.  Pat and I loaded up our gear and started the long march to the unknown.   Seriously we had no idea how far we needed to walk or if what we saw was even ride-able.  We went on blind faith in the hope that our commitment would pay off.  About a half mile in we got to the reefs we had seen from the bluff.  They were do-able, but more closed out on the sets and unpredictable then one would have liked.  From there we could see the mysto right hander better.  It still looked pretty good.  Unfortunately its distance still near impossible to tell.

Our right reef in the distance.

Our right reef in the distance.

I had learned from countless missions abroad that the best way to gauge how far a spot is that you are walking to is to consider how much more visible it gets as you keep walking toward it.  If that spot never seems any closer odds are it’s way too far to walk.  When I walked to the Kumara Patch in Taranaki, NZ for example I could barely make out the wave from the parking lot, which was around 2 miles away.  The spot did not look any closer till I got with in 3/4 of a mile from it.  This wave was definitely looking closer every step.

In the distance just before access to the wave was a cliff head land.  From our position we had no idea if there was going to be a trail around it or not.  We did not even know if there was a beach beyond.  As far as I could tell we were either going to have to climb down a cliff into the surf traversing boulders when we hit the water or paddle from the foot of the cliff.  Either option  seemed to suck to me.  We had already come so far.  Also the closer we got we noticed a column of white water that seemed to make the second section possibly impassable.

We kept on with high spirits.  When we got to the cliff area there was a small goat trail around.  Although an awkward grade to walk with a surfboard and gear it was far better then other trails I have had to traverse in my day.  Sure enough the path emptied onto a big open deserted beach.  The whole scene was surreal. Just Pat and I in the middle of nowhere staring into a right we had not known existed until that day.  The only discouragement was that it appeared to look much smaller then we thought from the beach.

See any signs of human life?

See any signs of human life?

We cautiously waded out into the water.  Remember we had no way of telling how deep the reef was, or how sharp or what creatures may dwell beneath.  It was all a mystery.  Upon paddling closer to the wave we could tell right away it was much bigger then it looked from the beach.  Almost to the take off zone, which was about forty yards in front of this rock out crop I decided to swing around on one of the insiders.  Like I said I love to be the first to test the waters.  What I thought was a smaller one ended up sucking up to head high and reeled down the reef.  It had a nice bowly wall the entire way in.

The reef was rather conform, about five to three feet deep all the way to the inside shallows where it eventually went dry.  On the way back out a set came and cleaned us both up.  It was solid ten foot and bigger.  The sets were make-able if you were in the right spot.  I seemed to always get into them a little too late and got owned by the next section.  The real gems were the in between ones that just hugged the reef all the way to the inside.  There was a little wind on it, but we could tell that if it were glassy or offshore the place would barrel if not just at the first slab section, but the inside slab too.  The place had real potential.
Jalama122313_1

For over two hours Pat and I traded off right for right, pushing the limits of the spot each time.  As the tide got lower a few rocks began to pop up in the take off zone that were a bit problematic.  The wind picked up a bit out of the NW as well adding a debilitating chop to the face.  Considering these new extraneous factors both of us decided to call it a day before any inopportune instances occurred.  Over a mile from the parking lot and over 20 miles from decent medical help and no cell phone reception, an injury would be very inconvenient.

Pat said if he got attacked by a shark to just drag him into the beach, hand him his pack of cigarettes and let him smoke away till he bled out.  There was this big sand drift at the head of the beach so I figured once he died I would just drag him over to the foot of that and push the sand down over him and call it a day.  I could think of a lot worse ways to go and places to be left to rest. Considering the distance for help that seemed to be the most logical plan for any serious injury. I decided to tentatively call this right hand reef, Pat’s Redemption.  T’was another good yet very unexpected day of surfing!

12-26-13
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The day after Christmas Heather and I got a late start.  It was nice to spend the morning together with out any obligations or a care in the world.  Word was things down south were far from good and rather crowded.  Heather had never been up to Jalama and conditions looked right.  Figuring I could find a wave some where up there we set off.  Like I said Jalama is never a bad idea.

We got up there around 2 pm way later then I ever make such a trip.  As soon as I got out of the car I could tell it was bombing just by sound of the waves breaking.  When I came over the dunes it was macking.  I guess the new swell had already begun to fill in.  Thinking things were a bit too big for Cracks and Tarantella’s considering all I had was my 5’10 again (you think by now I would start bringing my bigger board), the call was to go north.  It was still smaller then when Pat and I came a few days prior.  I knew of at least one left hand reef slab I wanted to check out.

We made the walk and sure enough the spot I was thinking of looked really fun.  It was a short little left that offered a quick tube off the drop followed by a hit section, ending with a boostable close out.  Basically it was a goofy foot playground.  There was even a crazy right too, although its pace and steepness made it pretty tough to make.  I did manage one sick one on the right.
Jalama122613-003Heather tried her luck with my DSLR and managed to score some pretty decent photos.  Its been a long time since I got a few shots of me surfing.  She was pumped on the whole experience.  Most people are when they make it up there.  Here we were basically with an entire beach to ourselves.  I must say the only down side was I felt a bit like fish food out there all by myself.  There is some solace to be found in the buddy system.
Jalama122613-198Besides the solitary factor that at times I actually do find most refreshing I have to say it was one of the best surfs I have had in weeks.  As far as the day went I could not ask for a better one.  The weather was great.  I was at one of my favorite places in the whole world and I got to share it with the woman I love.   Who could ask for anything more.  Its the simple things in life that matter the most.

After a year of frustrating surfs, obnoxious crowds and all the other day in and day out bull shit one has to deal with its amazing to know all it takes is an open mind and thirst for adventure to take back your soul.  Some people travel all over the world to find new spots.  I found three in less then a week in my own backyard.

***This blog was suppose to post on 12-23, I wrote it on my cell phone and messed up posting it and somehow lost the whole blog.  Thus it had to be rewritten.  With the holiday it has been sometime since that initial lost posting that was regrettably promoted.  I think this is a way better version any way.  Sorry for the confusion.***

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October is usually a crazy month for surf around here.  This one was rather average, although there were some choice days.  I had a few keepers at Rincon and plenty of beach break action.  I think this may the be winter of the beach breaks unfortunately.  October marked the return of Kooky Kyle to Lisanti Land, this time joining the court at the Palace for an extended stay.  You can check out Kooky’s Korner for his take on things from time to time.  Kooky and I went on a 24 hour idiot mission up to San Francisco to surprise our boy and UCB all star John Mauriello, surfing a few spots on the way up.  Besides that I kicked a second heroine addict roommate out of my house.  Third time is a charm I guess.   Business as usual here in the Land of Lisanti.  Here are the stats and yes I know I am posting October’s stats in December.  I am month behind.  Always a day late and a dollar short.

Number of Surf Sessions: 21
Days surfed: 20
Time In Water: 34hrs
Number of Waves Surfed: 497
Average Waves Surfed Per Hour: 15

Spots Surfed:
New Jetty : 8
Rincon: 7
Waddel Creek, Santa Cruz: 1
Moss Landing Montery:  1
Surf Beach: 1
Santa Clara River Mouth: 1
Emma Wood: 1
La Conchita: 1

Top 3 Sessions in October:

3. 10/27/11 AM Session: 2-3+, New Jetty
Time in Water: 1.5 hrs
Waves Surfed: 25
You know those sessions when you feel like  God? I had one today.  It was only about chest to head high and a bit crumbly with the wind on it, not to mention a larger then optimal crowd.  I was on and that was all that mattered.  Every good wave seemingly came right to me.  All my turns were crisp. I stuck a bunch of airs.  It was just one of those days.

2.  10/18/11 AM Session: 2-4+ft, Surf Beach
Time in Water: 1hr 50mins
Waves Surfed: 27
Ahhh, Surf Beach and just about the one year anniversary of the fatal shark attack that happened there. With minimal swell and a need for adventure Kooky and I threw caution to the wind and went up to the wild north.   Upon pulling into the lot we were greeted by fun looking glassy chest high plus bowls with out a person in sight.  As we got changed this crazy old man who had to be over eighty and was born in Lompoc in 1924, lived there his whole life, began telling us all these gnarly stories of way back in the day.  He lost his wife of like thirty years last year and found himself a bit lonely these days.  I always find it really sad when old people lose their spouse after all that time.  I could not imagine the heart break.  Turns out he should not drive cause he has dementia but does anyway cause he does not give a fuck.  First thing he said to us was “I’m 86 years old and lost in life, maybe I always had been”.  Those words always win me over.  Then as we were about to paddle out this lady whom I have surfed both there and Jalama with claimed some guys saw a 12 foot great white there yesterday. I told her “well that was not today now was it” and paddled out.  Turns out the session was super fun and both Kooky and I scored some sick waves.  I got a few barrels.  We stopped at the Jalama Cafe for Lunch,  my favorite eatery in the area and ran into that same old guy.  What an awesome day.

1.  10/13/11 AM Session: 4-6ft, Rincon
Time in Water: 2hrs 45mins
Waves surfed: 27
Oh man, Rincon.  Today was the first day I have to say Rincon really cooked for me this season.  Kooky and I got there and the lot was packed.  I was going to drive away, but my rule of thumb is that if I can get a space in the front lot then I will surf the place regardless.  I ended up snagging a spot and was stoked I did.  The place was on.  I started up at River Mouth and surfed from there down three times.  I had some sick ones.  Out of the 27 waves at least twenty had no less then 9 turns.  I got two from high River Mouth to Low Cove and called boxed one from high cove.  Killian was out and had some guy filming him with a 35mm.  I had so many sick ones it was incredible. I love Rincon.

Well there you have it the month of October in surf sessions.  As always if you enjoy reading these little session reviews check out the surflog where I post some type of insanity about both my life and surfing every single day.

Alright this was not taken in the month of October. My boy Dave's girl Roo shot it at Santa Clara River Mouth back in March. Its still a sicky though.


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Fuck the 4th of July, what a terrible day.  As far as Im concerned it could be whipped off the calender altogether.  I mean whoopty fucking doo for America and all, but I think I will sit this one out thank you.  That being said the initial plan for the day was to sleep for majority then move on to heavy drinking, moving on to straight up black out drunk.  Even the best plans of mice and men go astray in life.  I awoke at 6:30 am with a shitty head ache from drinking till I passed out the night before (aint alcoholism grand folks?).

The sound was excruciating in my ears, likened to a blaring knife piercing my ear drums deep into my brain.  Then I realized it was just the sound of my cell phone ringing.  Lindsay being the persistent little one she is kept calling till I got reluctantly got out of bed to take her surfing.  I checked the report and buoys and things looked less then appetizing.  On a hail Mary mission I decided to strike out for Jalama.  I had yet to make it up there this season and what better time then on a Holiday when it was bound to be crowded, small and windy.  Happy 4th of July!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Also I have been dying to test my car’s handling capabilities on the Jalama road.  Since Im still alive we can safely agree that it passed (Death wish foiled #1).

Upon arriving to the bluff over looking Cracks it became obvious that the tide was way too low and the SW wind already taking a toll on it.  On the plus side there was almost no one out.  Against my better judgement (who am I kidding I knew exactly what I was about to get myself into.  One phrase: Death Wish Baby!) and Lindsay’s mortification I made the call to run up to Surf Beach.  For those of you who don’t know about surf beach it is this sketchy, sharky, cold, unruly beach break just north of Jalama on Vandenburg AFB.

Surf Beach was featured in many of the old myspace.com blogs and just recently here on surfingruinedmylife.net in the blog: When We Become Food, about a fatal shark attack that happened there in October of 2010.  Since that incident I had not surfed up at Surf Beach.  The place has always been known to be sharky and the entire time out there one is constantly looking over his shoulder in wonderment of what may be lurking beneath.  Its a deep water spot out in the middle of no where and more times then not it is super foggy and there is no one surfing.  I have soloed it there too many times to count and let me tell you all those times I was pretty much shaking in my booties the entire time.

I pretty much avoided the place like the plague for the past nine months.  This morning I found myself standing on the dunes above the lineup staring out into an empty ocean with a solid marine layer making the outside bar unrecognizable.  I saw four guys paddle out but never saw them again once they entered the fog bank.  Lindsay was dead set on not surfing and I was hardly motivated.  The only redeeming factor for me was that I wasted the time and gas to get up there, when I could have already had polished off my first bottle of wine for the day.  Bye bye liver, hello dialysis (Death wish plan #2 foiled).   Nah, if my liver goes I’m just going to sharpen up the Samurai sword I found in the trash outside my apartment and commit seppuku.

Ultimately we saw a set of rights run down this sand bar that got us frothing and we decided to forgo our original hesitations, shark or no shark we were on it.  The water was surprisingly warmer then I had expected and was fairly tolerable.   Lindsay and I got out there and the fog immediately got thicker and the four other guys whom we had seen paddle out were no where to be found.  After nearly twenty minutes of strenuous paddling I made it to the outside bar.  I looked back for Lindsay but she was no where to be found.  I managed to get a few choice rides out there before realizing I had fallen victim to the intense current and needed to get out and walk back up the beach.

Im not going to lie I was a bit scared to be out a few hundred yards from the beach with forty feet of water under me and a fog bank too thick to see more then five feet in either direction.  The first thought that went through my head was that if I got taken no one would even find out till Lindsay gave up on me.  Then my death wish instincts kicked in and I was well at ease.  Of course with my luck being the way it is I survived unscathed by the mouth of the sea’s most vicious predator (Death wish #3 foiled!!).  We surfed two drifts before calling it a day.  After the second drift we had not realized the current had shifted polarity thus walking the complete opposite direction in the fog for an easy 500 yards.   Surf Beach is like the mother fucking Bermuda Triangle.

Lindsay was a bit freaked out by the whole experience, meanwhile I was rather proud of myself to finally get over the fear I have harbored for Surf Beach through the last nine months.  It always feels good to conquer any type of  adversity.  I also realized that I guess I’m just not going to die.  For whatever reason no matter how hard I push the envelope God just wont let me leave this earth.  Everyone says its because he has a higher calling for me.  I just think he wants me to rove across the planet for all of eternity perpetually pathetic and alone.  Whatever the case as long as there is internet you will be able to be entertained by my daily torment, the torment of living.

On the way home I pushed my luck even further by giving a ride to a sketchy character who had just gotten off the train from LA and needed a ride into Lompoc.  I guess he had been shot down by everyone else in the lot.  I looked at it as a prime opportunity to get that stabbing I have been hoping for out of the way (read the opening paragraph of A Guilty Pleasure to get the lowdown on that).  Turns out John was a really nice guy who had just moved to Lompoc and is studying business at SBCC.  He used to work as a cook back in LA.  He was a totally chill guy whom I was able to stoke out without doing anything more then giving him a ride to a destination I was passing through anyhow (death wish #4 foiled).  Lindsay was super against it and all I had to say to her was that there may come a time when she is in need and would be so lucky to be graced with a similar kindness.

After that I treated us to a victory lunch at a spot John recommended called the Jalama Beach Cafe.  All I can say is that the food was superb and the service top notch.  If you ever find yourself in Lompoc be sure to stop in to the Jalama beach cafe for a bite.  I know it will be my new spot for every Lisanti Adventure Tour that makes its way up there.  That folks is how I turned what was to be one of the emotionally hardest days of my life into a bit of positive.  As Biggie Smalls says in Juicy “I love my life because I went from negative to positive”.

Fun surf, but what lurks beneath?

Spared this time...

Just about as gnarly as a shark attack, seppuku.

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I used to work at a surf camp in the summertime back in my late Jersey years and one thing we always taught all the kids was that a friend of mine is a friend of yours.  In surf culture it works like this:  I have a good friend Rick and he knows someone who lives on Maui.  As it turns out I am traveling to Maui and being a broke ass surfer trying to turn a dollar into fifteen cents I reach out to Rick and ask him if maybe he could hook me up with his boy out on Maui.

Rick calls his buddy Keoni and says “hey bud I got a really solid friend here who I can totally vouch for.  He needs a place to stay on the island.  Can you help him out”?  Now Keoni and Rick go way back and he knows and trusts Rick’s judgment.  If Rick claims I’m cool that is all Keoni needs to know and more times then not a person in his shoes will put up a total stranger based on the word of a friend.  That is how friends of friends become friends in the surf world.

I have spent the majority of my travels couch surfing on friends of friend’s couches and have always put up friends of friends in my own abode as well.  It’s a reciprocal process.  You can’t take advantage of the system unless you plan to give back to it or the whole thing will come crashing down.  Hypocrisy in the surfing underground railroad just does not work.  If you take a couch then you must be willing at some point later in life to offer a couch.  That is just how it goes.

So when I got call from former roommate and brother from another mother Cory Kisiel wondering if I could put up two of his friends I was more then happy to oblige even though I already had and currently still have my boss sleeping on the couch.  In this case they were suppose to be two nice ladies from Jersey just looking for a place to crash on their summer graduation cross country adventure.  As it turned out there were three of them, Melissa, Devin and Danielle, but like I always say the more the merrier.

Turns out these were some of the most chill women I have ever had the pleasure to spend time with (get your minds out of the gutter folks they were very respectable females and actually helped restore my faith in their kind a bit).  They were cruising up from L.A. and being it was their first time in California I had them take the PCH up through Malibu for the best scenic results.  While they were driving up I prepared an amazing pork roast dinner, which I slow cooked for nearly 12 hours.

It came out remarkable, the best pork roast I ever cooked.  The bones came out clean being pulled with my bare hands.  I coupled it with a Lemon risotto with cranberries, corn on the cob and mash potatoes (don’t worry I promise to have some new recipes up soon).  It was quite the feast.  My Roommate Bryan and his two friends also joined us as well rounding out the dinner party to eight, the biggest one I have ever hosted here.  It made me realize to my own embarrassment that I need to buy new plate and glassware, not having anything matching and not nearly enough wine glasses to go around.

Next day the girls were cruising up to Lompoc to go skydiving, which went off amazing for them, despite the fact that they were a bit apprehensive.  I gave them some classic Lisanti words of wisdom “Girls you miss 100 percent of the pitches you don’t swing at”.  If you’re a regular reader then you have definitely heard that one pounded into your skull a few thousand times.  I coupled it with “Well I reckon if you jump and survive it will have been a good time and if it doesn’t work out then SPLAT! No Worries”.  They did not die and were glowing from the experience.

Meanwhile I was off slinging drink all over town.  I tried to send the girls on a fun valley adventure to Ostrich Land, Solvang and few other choice locales there, but they decided to cruise back to the Barb and enjoy the beach.  Later they called me and asked how they could get to Montecito to see how the other half lives. That night I cooked the best version yet of a new dish I have been working on I like to call Pasta alla Rosado.  It’s a pasta casserole dish similar to baked ziti but utilizing a tomato/roasted red pepper puree.  I think the dish came out rather incredible, as did everyone else who partook.

After dinner I just could not let the ladies leave without a night experience of the Santa Barbara Downtown party scene.  Devin and Danielle were exhausted from the day’s excitement.  Melissa on the other hand took it like a champion, got dolled up (she looked exquisite by the way) and rolled with my boss Steve and I.  It was a Wednesday leaving us no other option but Sharky’s.  By the time we got there the line was crazy long and the cover was $10.  At one time I had some swing there but these days after taking an almost two year hiatus from the scene Im back to square one.

When all else fails I go to my standard drinking joint the good old Wild Cat.  Wednesday is hit or miss there, but luckily for us the place had a healthy mix of folks.  I looked rather proper walking in with a woman of Melissa’s standing.  Truth be told what Lisanti Adventure would be complete with out at least one night at the shitty kitty?

The next morning the girls packed up and headed up San Francisco.  Having no place to stay there either I took the liberty to call my minion turned partner in crime John Mauriello and asked if he could put the ladies up for a night to which he obliged.  Once again I sent them up PCH to get the best vistas and adventure for their buck and even set them up with this little burrito joint in Santa Cruz that in my opinion makes the best burritos I have ever eaten in my entire life.

There you have the surfing couch share system working in full effect again.  Cory set the girls up with me.  I in turn set the girls up with John.  At the end of the day everyone was more then stoked.  Melissa, Devin and Danielle have been on the road for almost two weeks and I believe have another week or so to go before making it back to New Jersey.

They keep their own blog of the tales from the road less traveled upon.  I highly recommend giving it a view: http://traveltheus.myblogsite.com/.  If you want to read their take on the time spend in Lisanti Land this link will plug you into it directly: http://traveltheus.myblogsite.com/entry18.html#body.  I always think it is interested to read the same instance described from two different points of views.  Their blog will also be featured on my link bar if you care to visit it in the future as well.

The Jersey Girls and I

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Adrienne and I finally decided to take a break apart from each other.  I know it’s for the best right now, but still it’s hard for me to not wish things could not have turned out better.  I tried to keep us together for as long as I could as hard as I could.  She was not ready to try and may never be able to.  I think now the only chance we have of ever reuniting is some time apart.

“If you love something set it free and if it comes back to you it was meant to be” is how the saying goes I trust.  If you’re lost revisit Bowing Out and Once Upon A Mattress for more details.  It looks like from here on forward you will be reading about independent single Lisanti.  Don’t get your hopes up for drunken tales and sexual escapades.  I don’t find pride in those stories anymore.  Before I close the Adrienne chapter of my life I would like to tell one last story about us, our last fun day.

This past weekend I took Ades up to Santa Barbara Wine Country.  Springtime is beautiful up there.  Everything is still green and luscious before browning out during the summer heat and drought.  I had been up there many times thanks to countless Jalama and Surf Beach missions that had went awry leaving me extra time to go poking around.  Adrienne had never been.  I knew my days with her were very limited and that if I did not act now I may not have ever had the opportunity to share one of my favorite places in California with her.  There are so many other places all over the world I wish I could have had the privilege to show her.

As an extra incentive to go I knew many of the 2010 vintages were beginning to be introduced to the tasting rooms.  I planned the whole trip out to go to two vineyards and do some valley adventuring.  Our first stop was Beckmen Vineyards in Los Olivios my current favorite estate wine producer in Santa Barbara County.  They grow mostly Rhone varietals (grapes that are grown in the Rhone Valley of France, Syrah, Grenache, etc), which are currently some of my favorites.  Syrah is considered one of the grapes that grow best in Santa Barbara.

Ades is the one who actually turned me on to Beckmen, buying one their earlier vintage Red Rhone blends earlier in the year.  It was one of the better wines I have had the privilege to drink.  Out of all the vineyards up there they were the must stop.  We get up there and it is just a beautiful vineyard with all the different varieties neatly trellised.  The grounds were nicely gardened with a little lake and rose garden.  There is nothing more aesthetically pleasing to me then a well kept vineyard.  Staring out at acres of pristine rows of vines is surreal.

We go into the tasting room and luckily just missed one of those large wine tasting buses thus had the sommelier all to ourselves.  They had a six bottle tasting for ten bucks and the guy threw in a tasting of the new 2010 Rose for free.  Adrienne is more of a red fan then a white, and I don’t really have a preference.  The 2010 Sauvignon Blanc was quite exquisite.  I ended up buying a bottle.  They did a Rhone white blend (Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc) called Le Bec Blanc that just blew me away.  I bought a bottle of that too.

Then we tasted the Rose, which I found to be quite refreshing, Adrienne was not a fan.  Too sweet for her I think.  We tasted their red Rhone blend Cuvee Le Bec, but it was the same vintage Ades had bought that one time so it was not really special to me.  Finally we tasted their Syrah.  Usually when you buy a bottle they comp the tasting.  I bought two and the dude still charged me for the tasting.

Ades said it was because I was not nice enough to the guy, but the dude kept talking about how he was sick and was coughing all over the wine the entire time.  How nice could I possibly be?  Also I did not really care much for him.  Some people just rub me the wrong way.  I think it was something about his face.

After the tasting we cruised around the vineyard a bit.  I love to walk amongst the grapes, feel the dirt between my fingers.  Just imagine how it will look when I come back for another visit for harvest season in the fall.  If I ever strike it rich someday maybe I will get myself a vineyard and grow my own Rhone varietals.  I can be a Rhone Ranger.

Whenever tasting its good to take a break to give the body a chance to absorb the alcohol.  After all if you get too sloshed then you really do not taste objectively.  My absolute favorite spot in the Santa Ynez Valley is this little park called Nojoqui Falls.  Its this 60 foot limestone water fall that is more like a water slide then a fall thanks to years of limestone being deposited at the base of the falls.  It almost does the opposite of most waterfalls.

Instead of eroding the base, all the rich sediment builds it up.  It makes for a very breath taking sight.  There is all this great moss growing on the limestone and the water bubbles down like chandeliers of foam to a shallow crystal clear pool below.  Brennan and I came a across this gem two summers ago when we were doing our 101 Santa Barbara activities. I love it there and make a trip to it whenever I have some spare time.  I had wanted to take Ades there for months but never made the time.  It’s funny how I always wait till things are over to do something amazing.

After the falls I wanted to get over to Ostrich Land, this crazy ostrich and emu farm in between Solvang and Lompoc.  For $5 you get a pail of food and are let lose in the bird pen to feed these monstrous prehistoric angry birds at your own risk of course.  I have been here many times.  It’s a must stop whenever I go up north with someone new.  The place is like a petting zoo gone sadistic.  It’s a shit show that you have to experience to fully understand.  We both managed to survive the endeavor with all our extremities in tact.

They even had a handful of baby Emus that you could hand feed.  I was super pumped on them.  I wanted to buy some ostrich meat to cook up since I just recently found out in one of my classes that it is good eating. Unfortunately it turns out the meat has become super popular and is near impossible to get at the moment and they don’t slaughter the birds at Ostrich Land, a fact I always thought the opposite. Turns out the place is just for fun and not for food.

From Ostrich Land it was on to our next tasting.  Apparently most tasting rooms close at four and there were a few that closed at five.  We managed to luck upon a vineyard a few miles from Ostrich Land that was still tasting called Dierberrg, Star Lane and Three Saints.  Those were the three wine labels that are produced there and it was an estate vineyard as well (estate vineyard means all steps in the wine making process happens right at that vineyard).  We made the last pouring of the day and the sommelier was super chill and actually poured us a very generous tasting of each bottle.  Their pinot noir was very splendid and so was the syrah. I was rather happy with all of the wines poured.

Unfortunately I kicked my budget at Beckmen and the bottles here were a bit too pricey for me to buy one.  I offered to pay for the tasting and sommelier said it was free.  Well then I had to buy a bottle.  I was going to get the Sauvignon Blanc cause it was only $18, but then she pulled out these other wines called Three Saints that are their “table Wines”.  I bought a bottle of Syrah for $12.

Their vineyard unlike Beckmen was huge, too large to walk around.  As a last stop with the slowly waning sun I took Adrienne to surf beach over on Vandenberg Air Force Base.  Surf Beach is one of the eeriest places I have ever surfed and with the recent shark attack I have not made if back since last summer.  We got there and it was actually a beautiful afternoon.  The beach was closed by the military being that it was passed 6pm (surf beach is only open from 8am-6pm daily), but we could still mill around the parking lot.  Between the missile silos, strange non descript huge government buildings and the vast emptiness of the churned up sea it was a breathtaking site.

Ades did not think it was all that eerie, but of course she wouldn’t.  She likes creepy places.  We muddled around the area for about an hour or so.  I tried to do flips off this concrete pillar to no avail, although I did not break my neck so one may consider that a success.  I think it was some of the most fun we had together in a while and deep down thought we had a glimmer of hope.

I wanted to get dinner at this famous restaurant called the Hitching Post, but being it was Saturday and around sevenish there was like a two hour wait.  Im not about to wait two hours for any food.  I don’t care how good it is. We cruised into Solvang this tourist trap built to look like a traditional Danish village.  There were less choices then I would have expected considering the nature of the town.

We ended up settling for some Danish themed diner call the Little Mermaid Restaurant.  The food was plentiful, cheap and from what I could tell from a quick glimpse in the kitchen mostly heated up out of a can.  The dinning experience was great with a bus girl who for whatever reason kept her purse on her at all times thus accidentally clocking me in the head with it every time she took my plate.  It was a classic dingy Jersey diner with a Danish theme .  We ordered beer to go with the meal, after all that type of food is made to pair with beer.  Then Billy Jean came on the radio and I decided to get up a bust out a move or two.

It was a most splendid day.  Our last day together, maybe forever?  Only time will tell.  The situation is out of my hands now.  I have done and endured all any human heart could for another person.  I can’t force her to love me; she has to figure that out on her own.  Sometimes distance makes the heart grow fonder and I can only hope that after a period of time she will realize that she does still love me but has just hardened her heart towards me for the moment.

As for me I need to hang up my hat and walk off into the sunset gracefully alone.  She moves out June 1st and it’s going to be difficult but I cannot be the one to initiate contact between us.  If she wants to try again she knows how to find me.  For now I have to put my feelings for her aside and move on with my life.

A lot of good has come out of this.  I learned tons about myself and have went through a complete transformation as a person.  I think I have finally learned what it means to be human.  I wish Adrienne the very best in life and hope she finds the happiness I was unable to provide for her.

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