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Hello, California? Party of One…

I left the state for the weekend. I had to. Watching others show off their pandemic coping skills now that it’s summer–hiking, boating, lake play, poolside lounging, open air shopping and dining–leaves a girl bereft of cheer. Girls that live on the surface of the sun are doubly locked in. COVID plus heat was supposed to render us immune. Not so much.

In past lives, we learned to live with the summer grumpies by heading North, dining in air conditioning that could preserve a corpse and seeing movie after movie. Have you seen our theaters–dinner, wine, even bubbly delivered to your behemoth of a recliner. Texas got nothing on a Scottsdale theater in the dog days. COVID stole that too.

Unable to tap a melon at a farmers market, sip iced tea at an outdoor bistro or see the Hair Goddess V regularly enough to keep my spirits up sends me away. Is that the sea calling? Hello, California? Party of one. Escaped to heaven on earth. Montecito.

Just the right amount of breeze and sea air wafting drifted us to The Honor Bar for an Aperol Spritz and teensy fries. They’re skinny, the best of fries, but also stubby. And very crispy. Fry connoisseurs, get thee to The Honor Bar in downtown Montecito stat.

No sightings of Oprah or Ellen. They live there, don’t you know? Although one would presume Ellen is staying tucked away given her latest jam. Will she ever let Andy in the house? How about if he promises to wear a mask? Personally, I’d refuse the show as peeing my pants at a clown sighting on national television is not on the list of must-dos.

So I’m moving. As soon as the biggest Go Fund Me, lottery or bestseller knocks on the door granting wishes. I grabbed a real estate mag and found a house for this duchess runs in the 4-5 million range. Not that duchess–her house was 14 million. Is she technically still a duchess? Montecito’s not a bad consolation prize. As they settle in, they’ll discover those fries and feel much better.

Fortunately, for us, COVID left open parking spots and plenty of social distancing. Those of us who don’t go about meeting strangers willy-nilly in new places anyway don’t find the distance thing a real tragedy. So it was a table for two outside, on the main drag, at The Honor Bar. As we did a sip-and-see, heads swiveling at all the hamlet has to offer, a truck roared by–the kind where the guy seems not only unaware his muffler has fallen off but that we all assume he’s making up for something small? That guy.

“Well, I’ll certainly have to talk to the city council about that sort of thing,” I sniffed.

Middle Chicken, one of my fave travel companions, answers, “Well, I guess that means you’ll be writing your way to Montecito.”

Sounds like a working title, non?

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