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Published: June 11th 2017
As we peered through the flowers and saw the floating marine layer wafting through the hillside at Godric Grove in Elings Park, we could see why she loved “her Santa Barbara” so much. Just this small slice of her home town revealed to us the beauty and grandeur of a place she held so dear. We had arrived with many others to celebrate the life of one of TravelBlog’s own, Tara Cloud.
We always enjoyed her blogs, her comments to other bloggers and her stunning pictures. But most of all, we appreciated her candor on all subjects and love for her native California. It was more than obvious that she held the Golden State in the highest regard and had a running love affair with Santa Barbara, a smaller coastal city north of Los Angeles, which was her home for many years.
The fact of the matter is that we never actually met Tara in person, yet we always felt that we knew her. Other TravelBloggers have had that opportunity, but alas…..we did not. It was always our intention to meet her and we were sure that a trip to her home away from home in South America would
find us together….but it never transpired, as she left us too soon.
Tara had a way of making you feel like you were part of a running conversation. Each time we published a blog, she would immediately respond with her thoughts….and made you feel special about your travels….she just understood you. We were friends with her on Facebook and the same was true. She made you feel like you were a big part of her life…..yet we were thousands of miles apart. One of the great beauties of today’s technology….
The gathering to celebrate a very special life was well attended and we met some of the people who were so dear to Tara over the years…..some had known her almost 40 years. We listened to the Santa Barbara Threshold Choir and also sang with them, singing the refrains to a song Tara always requested when she sang with them. Many friends stood to tell their stories of Tara, including TravelBlog’s own BVChef.
The tales told were warm, funny and always brought forward the best of Tara, who lived her life on her terms, a free spiirt…with compassion and curiousity…and plenty of both. We heard tales about
Celebration of Life
Taken from Tara's FB page.
a road trip in a moving van, watering summer flowers in the nude, house sitting, pet sitting, hiking and hints of sneaking into the symphony. She taught people to let their inner child out to play and to enjoy each moment.
We saw photos of Tara in her youth, postcards she had recorded her thoughts on during her travels and there was also a table set up with some of her personal belongings. On the table were scarfs, earrings and many other items she had acquired during her travels and lifetime. People were encouraged to take something with them and then take something else to give to someone they meet traveling.....in the spirit of Tara, who was so giving......
This blog is written in the spirit of her memory as we have had the opportunity to explore some of the natural beauty of this part of our great nation. Southern California is often portrayed as a bustling concrete jungle, where dudes in flip flops and women with purchased beauty rule the land. There is a shred of truth there, but in fact, this part of the country holds some stunning natural beauty not seen anywhere else.
Brendan & Tara
Travel Bloggers meet
those of you who either met Tara personally or like us, knew her through this wonderful website….we hope you enjoy the images and remember her as one who loved to meet people, explore new places and as many people reminded us at the memorial…. “be in the present.” Tara Cloud
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