By the time we got to UC-Santa Barbara the campus had emptied out. There wasn't a soul to be found in the locked-up physics department, but at least we were able to see the campus. It's a drive from the city of Santa Barbara proper, which I was torn about liking or not liking. Some campuses feel removed from the towns in good ways and others integrate seamlessly into the town in which they live. I didn't get a good sense of this with UC-Santa Barbara, probably because we took the freeway to get there.
This was the walk into campus from the parking area.
I loved this tree arching over the walkway. The campus was generally very open and bright and these little shady nooks were welcome respites from that brightness.
This image is more representative of the larger campus. I loved the patterns the light/shadow made on the ground, almost disconcerting to someone no longer used to walking around in the vicinity of palm trees!
Another example of the palm tree pattern.
My absolute favorite part of the campus was the view from the library. In the building, there were elevators on each side, one set called Ocean, the other Mountain. And you can see why:
After living on the southeastern part of the US many years of my life I am used to ocean and mountains being completely apart. Having them both together still makes me smile.
These photos were literally taken from either end of a big open area upstairs in the library. Through one end you see the mountains and the other the ocean. It was quite lovely, almost like paintings.
Back out to the campus and the very deserted physics building:
I liked the leaning tree.
This part of campus was very nice too, with these very distinctive trees.
In the distance to the right you can spot my son walking ahead. I often ended up far behind him, between his long-legged stride and my own penchant for stopping to take photographs.
I stood with this tree for quite a while. I loved the root system. The long roots in front reminded me of a cat crossing its paws.
Generally, although I lived in California for several years, I'm not really a California girl at heart. I miss the lush green of North Carolina, and the very distinct seasons that for me have always been marked by the changing of the trees themselves. I think that may be why I'm so drawn to trees in California.
I wish we'd been able to see the physics department inside, to get a better flavor of the academics here. But this week I'll post two more UC-Santa Barbara posts that reveal a couple of the things I really loved about our visit.