Santa Maria

Still unemployed and having ample time on our hands we decided to at least use our non-life in a constructive way and go visit family. Aunt Kathy and Uncle Tom were gracious enough to let us crash at their home, use and air mattress, and pet their chickens...their kindness knows no bounds!
We went to a fun local farmer's market type place with a lovely hay-maze set-up. Melissa isn't trying to decide which way to go, she's just trying to remember which hand is right and which is left.

So coy, Matt.

Luckily for us, unluckily for cousins Phil and Heather, they are in the same boat as us, so they are staying with their parents. We appreciated the convenience of one-stop family visiting, and we got to meet our new little, um, first cousin? Cousin once-removed? Whatever...Cozette, we got to meet Cozette. Uncle Tom was giving Mama Heather a break while we all came out of the dusty maze.

Mustache squash...mmmmm, delicious. (It's not really mustache squash, in case you're confused, but it was called swan-something squash).

Cherie, who actually inspired our trip since she'll be leaving on her mission in November, (very exciting), was sporting a nice, new boyfriend. Aunt Kathy is trying to make up her mind about the situation...the squash, that is.

Nothing like smooching in a pile of pumpkins...

Look how happy and cute a bunch of unemployed college graduates can look.

After playing farmers we went to the ocean side of life. While this pelican may look nice just wait until a fisherman throws a helpless little fish-spine on the dock...'s no mercy. And that nice little pelican was quite the fish defender as well, keeping his free meal away from all the other pelicans and seagulls that were unabashedly trying to make a steal.

One of the highlights of our trips, (besides hanging with family, of course), was standing just a few feet from these beasts. At this dock, up near Avila beach, sea lions just chill anywhere they want, including up on the human infested pier. If we got too close they would growl, so when our backs were turned so we could pose for the camera it was a little disconcerting, though really cool!

Don't worry about the ferocious look of the teeth, this guy was just yawning.

Here we see the evolution of the pelican: