Santa Barbara

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Once upon a time, I lived in Santa Barbara.  It is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful, romantic, places in the United States. 

SB

I love everything about the town, even it's faults (and there aren't many).  I love it when the weather is crystal clear with the mountains jutting up barely inland from the beach.  I love it when I wake up and the coast is socked in with heavy "beach fog" and I know it will be a cozy sweater morning with a hot cup of coffee beside me.

Santa Barbara is home to the exceptionally wealthy (Oprah and countless other celebrities).  It is also, with it's mild weather, a haven for the homeless. 

Homeless

It is a very difficult to afford to live in Santa Barbara if you are, financially, between those two extremes. 

Downtown State Street is irresistible, bustling with tourists and locals alike.  The shops are expensive and exclusive for the most part, but so charming it's difficult not to indulge at least a little bit.  Purchasing a coffee at the Santa Barbara Roasting Company while perusing the shops in Paseo Nuevo is a treat in itself.  Delectable aromas emanate from a large variety of superb, local eateries. 

Sigh!  I love the town.  Can you tell?

For those of you who have read Twenty Four At Heart even for a short period of time, you know I need the beach.  I truly need to walk the sand, smell the salt air, hear the waves crashing, etc. in order to refresh my spirit.  Over the years I've found when nothing else will do the trick, it's time for me to head up the coast for a weekend in Santa Barbara.  No matter what is going on in my life, I always return feeling renewed, centered, and at peace. 

Last weekend I enjoyed a leisurely drive up the coast.  I stopped along the way to visit with family and arrived mid-afternoon in Santa Barbara.  Wandering the shops downtown was first on the agenda.  It was a beautiful afternoon and the outdoor mall was crowded.  I am in town frequently enough to notice when new shops arrive or old favorites disappear.  My friends and I were quickly assaulted by the pungent odor of cheese as we strolled past the new Cheese Shop.

Having digested little beyond coffee the entire day, we were quickly lured inside.  The owner of the shop (he also owns the original store in Carmel) immediately took us under his wing.  We spent an hour in the store "cheese tasting."  (They also offer wine tasting but I needed to drive so I passed on the wine.)  When we left, we were carrying a bag of seven small wedges of assorted cheeses from all over the world, a new cheese knife, two varieties of salami, a bottle of wine, wine glasses, crackers, and a wine opener. 

Cheese

We headed straight for the beach. 

Heaven. 

Honestly, what could be better than throwing a blanket down and relaxing by the ocean?  The day was spectacular, the company was fantastic, the assortment of snacks delicious.  It was my perfect late afternoon/early evening.  (Well, no sex, but other than that!)

SBeach

Adding to the enchantment, a wedding took place right on the beach as we sat there.  The bride was beautiful in a breathtaking dress and bare feet.

When the wine was depleted we stayed and enjoyed the sunset.  Eventually we packed up the snacks and went into town to meet friends for dinner.  We enjoyed a wonderful Italian meal at Pascucci.  The entire day was fantastic.

Every Sunday morning there is an arts and crafts fair along the beach in Santa Barbara.  The mornings are often foggy and cool.  I love to grab a coffee and walk for miles in the cool morning air.  Enjoying the artists wares in booth after booth makes for a relaxing, entertaining morning.

ArtFest 

Along with observing the art, the people watching is also fantastic.  Santa Barbara is an eclectic community.  I love when I run into some of the 60's folks who came to Santa Barbara many decades ago and never left.

Van 

Before ending my weekend, I made a point of walking out on Stearns Wharf.  The pier holds an assortment of shops and restaurants.  I love to stroll the pier because a visit to Santa Barbara isn't complete unless I've had a chance to spend a little time with my favorite birds.  I always seem to find a few pelicans hanging out at the end of the pier.

Pelican 

Pelicans are sweet, endearing animals (unless you're trying to fish).  Once I spent a little time visiting with the pelicans, I knew I couldn't procrastinate any longer.  It was time to return home.  Sigh!

63 Responses to “Santa Barbara”

  1. Linda

    *sigh* I feel refreshed just reading this. Thanks for the great tour! …checking flight schedules….

  2. Linda

    *sigh* I feel refreshed just reading this. Thanks for the great tour! …checking flight schedules….

  3. Linda

    *sigh* I feel refreshed just reading this. Thanks for the great tour! …checking flight schedules….

  4. Linda

    *sigh* I feel refreshed just reading this. Thanks for the great tour! …checking flight schedules….

  5. Linda

    *sigh* I feel refreshed just reading this. Thanks for the great tour! …checking flight schedules….

  6. Linda

    *sigh* I feel refreshed just reading this. Thanks for the great tour! …checking flight schedules….

  7. Lori

    Sounds beautiful and relaxing. This would be my kind of weekend. I too find such peace and tranquility walking on the sand by the ocean. Sadly, I don’t live anywhere near an ocean so will have to live the experience through yours. Glad you have such a perfect weekend to get filled back up again.

  8. Lori

    Sounds beautiful and relaxing. This would be my kind of weekend. I too find such peace and tranquility walking on the sand by the ocean. Sadly, I don’t live anywhere near an ocean so will have to live the experience through yours. Glad you have such a perfect weekend to get filled back up again.

  9. Lori

    Sounds beautiful and relaxing. This would be my kind of weekend. I too find such peace and tranquility walking on the sand by the ocean. Sadly, I don’t live anywhere near an ocean so will have to live the experience through yours. Glad you have such a perfect weekend to get filled back up again.

  10. sometimessophia

    I feel that way about the ocean… or being by the water in general. Any day that starts with a cup of coffee and a stroll near a beach can’t turn out bad…

  11. sometimessophia

    I feel that way about the ocean… or being by the water in general. Any day that starts with a cup of coffee and a stroll near a beach can’t turn out bad…

  12. sometimessophia

    I feel that way about the ocean… or being by the water in general. Any day that starts with a cup of coffee and a stroll near a beach can’t turn out bad…

  13. goodfather

    GREAT bus, lol! Your tour of Santa Barbara was great. My Great-Aunt lived in Carmel – I loved the beach fog that would roll in, and burn off by the afternoon.
    It looks like you had the perfect weekend ;).

  14. goodfather

    GREAT bus, lol! Your tour of Santa Barbara was great. My Great-Aunt lived in Carmel – I loved the beach fog that would roll in, and burn off by the afternoon.
    It looks like you had the perfect weekend ;).

  15. goodfather

    GREAT bus, lol! Your tour of Santa Barbara was great. My Great-Aunt lived in Carmel – I loved the beach fog that would roll in, and burn off by the afternoon.
    It looks like you had the perfect weekend ;).

  16. Kelly

    Jealous, jealous, jealous!!! What a beautiful photo you opened with! Now I need to go to SB too.

  17. Kelly

    Jealous, jealous, jealous!!! What a beautiful photo you opened with! Now I need to go to SB too.

  18. Kelly

    Jealous, jealous, jealous!!! What a beautiful photo you opened with! Now I need to go to SB too.

  19. Midlife Mama

    **Sigh** I am so envious!! I love the beach and the ocean. I haven’t had an ocean fix in a long, long time. I can’t get Dr. Jekyll to go with me, b/c he doesn’t like to go anywhere “just for the weekend” without taking an extra day off on Monday “just to relax.” And his vacation days are scarce. And if I tried to go by myself, he’d feel obligated to go with me, and would be grumpy the whole time because he knew that he would get home just in time to go to bed and get up and go to work. So I just don’t go. Believe me, we’ve had this conversation, Dr. Jekyll and I. LOL
    And as I’ve said before, Santa Barbara is one of my all-time favorites. I saw everything you described in my mind. And I LOVE Pascucci’s.
    Thanks for the memory treat! 🙂

  20. Midlife Mama

    **Sigh** I am so envious!! I love the beach and the ocean. I haven’t had an ocean fix in a long, long time. I can’t get Dr. Jekyll to go with me, b/c he doesn’t like to go anywhere “just for the weekend” without taking an extra day off on Monday “just to relax.” And his vacation days are scarce. And if I tried to go by myself, he’d feel obligated to go with me, and would be grumpy the whole time because he knew that he would get home just in time to go to bed and get up and go to work. So I just don’t go. Believe me, we’ve had this conversation, Dr. Jekyll and I. LOL
    And as I’ve said before, Santa Barbara is one of my all-time favorites. I saw everything you described in my mind. And I LOVE Pascucci’s.
    Thanks for the memory treat! 🙂

  21. Midlife Mama

    **Sigh** I am so envious!! I love the beach and the ocean. I haven’t had an ocean fix in a long, long time. I can’t get Dr. Jekyll to go with me, b/c he doesn’t like to go anywhere “just for the weekend” without taking an extra day off on Monday “just to relax.” And his vacation days are scarce. And if I tried to go by myself, he’d feel obligated to go with me, and would be grumpy the whole time because he knew that he would get home just in time to go to bed and get up and go to work. So I just don’t go. Believe me, we’ve had this conversation, Dr. Jekyll and I. LOL
    And as I’ve said before, Santa Barbara is one of my all-time favorites. I saw everything you described in my mind. And I LOVE Pascucci’s.
    Thanks for the memory treat! 🙂

  22. Donna in VA

    I feel exactly the same way about the beach. It’s where I go to get my zen on. Only I go to Nags Head in NC, or the local beach here in VA Beach (although I prefer NC). It’s not anything like Santa Barbara. But I’m quite sure I’d love it. It looks spectacular!
    I’m glad you had such a great trip!
    (OH! And I had no idea that you and Undomestic Diva were related – how cool)

  23. Donna in VA

    I feel exactly the same way about the beach. It’s where I go to get my zen on. Only I go to Nags Head in NC, or the local beach here in VA Beach (although I prefer NC). It’s not anything like Santa Barbara. But I’m quite sure I’d love it. It looks spectacular!
    I’m glad you had such a great trip!
    (OH! And I had no idea that you and Undomestic Diva were related – how cool)

  24. Donna in VA

    I feel exactly the same way about the beach. It’s where I go to get my zen on. Only I go to Nags Head in NC, or the local beach here in VA Beach (although I prefer NC). It’s not anything like Santa Barbara. But I’m quite sure I’d love it. It looks spectacular!
    I’m glad you had such a great trip!
    (OH! And I had no idea that you and Undomestic Diva were related – how cool)

  25. Lori

    Booking a hotel today. Seriously. It’s entirely your fault. Where did you stay?

  26. Lori

    Booking a hotel today. Seriously. It’s entirely your fault. Where did you stay?

  27. Lori

    Booking a hotel today. Seriously. It’s entirely your fault. Where did you stay?

  28. phhhst

    I forgot, until I saw the artwalk, that during the seventies I used to go roller skaking (not blading) along the walk. I love Santa Barbara too. Big sigh.

  29. phhhst

    I forgot, until I saw the artwalk, that during the seventies I used to go roller skaking (not blading) along the walk. I love Santa Barbara too. Big sigh.

  30. phhhst

    I forgot, until I saw the artwalk, that during the seventies I used to go roller skaking (not blading) along the walk. I love Santa Barbara too. Big sigh.

  31. Missy

    Wow. I hadn’t realized how much I missed Santa Barbara until I read your post today. My daughter went to school there and my husband and I used to visit quite often. So much to do and see. Thanks for all the vivid memories.

  32. Missy

    Wow. I hadn’t realized how much I missed Santa Barbara until I read your post today. My daughter went to school there and my husband and I used to visit quite often. So much to do and see. Thanks for all the vivid memories.

  33. Missy

    Wow. I hadn’t realized how much I missed Santa Barbara until I read your post today. My daughter went to school there and my husband and I used to visit quite often. So much to do and see. Thanks for all the vivid memories.

  34. Kristan Hoffman

    Hmm, that first picture of Santa Barbara reminds me of San Sebastian, supposedly the most beautiful city in Spain b/c you can see the beach and the mountains at the same time.

  35. Kristan Hoffman

    Hmm, that first picture of Santa Barbara reminds me of San Sebastian, supposedly the most beautiful city in Spain b/c you can see the beach and the mountains at the same time.

  36. Kristan Hoffman

    Hmm, that first picture of Santa Barbara reminds me of San Sebastian, supposedly the most beautiful city in Spain b/c you can see the beach and the mountains at the same time.

  37. jennster

    you are making me even MORE HOMESICK than usual!! lol
    i feel the same way about hte beach- but what i’ve learned is that it isn’t just any kind of beach that i need- apparently for my spirit and soul, a beach is not a beach is not a beach. *sigh*

  38. jennster

    you are making me even MORE HOMESICK than usual!! lol
    i feel the same way about hte beach- but what i’ve learned is that it isn’t just any kind of beach that i need- apparently for my spirit and soul, a beach is not a beach is not a beach. *sigh*

  39. jennster

    you are making me even MORE HOMESICK than usual!! lol
    i feel the same way about hte beach- but what i’ve learned is that it isn’t just any kind of beach that i need- apparently for my spirit and soul, a beach is not a beach is not a beach. *sigh*

  40. Heather

    OMG that sounds like heaven. Such a great weekend. You should write for a travel website. You’d make everyone break their budgets to get to wherever you wrote about.

  41. Heather

    OMG that sounds like heaven. Such a great weekend. You should write for a travel website. You’d make everyone break their budgets to get to wherever you wrote about.

  42. Heather

    OMG that sounds like heaven. Such a great weekend. You should write for a travel website. You’d make everyone break their budgets to get to wherever you wrote about.

  43. Sandra

    What a terrific weekend you had! I haven’t been to Santa Barbara to hang out since 1985/1986 when I had a boyfriend who went to UCSB.

  44. Sandra

    What a terrific weekend you had! I haven’t been to Santa Barbara to hang out since 1985/1986 when I had a boyfriend who went to UCSB.

  45. Sandra

    What a terrific weekend you had! I haven’t been to Santa Barbara to hang out since 1985/1986 when I had a boyfriend who went to UCSB.

  46. jill prettyman

    I love Santa Barbra, and I too can not live with out the beach, it has such a healing quality. My Husband and I often get in the car not sure where we are going and it somehow always end at the beach!! I’m glad you had such a great weekend. I just got back from seeing Jimmy Buffett in Vegas, we went with a big group of friend and had a great time, filled with lots of laughs and Boat Drinks!!

  47. jill prettyman

    I love Santa Barbra, and I too can not live with out the beach, it has such a healing quality. My Husband and I often get in the car not sure where we are going and it somehow always end at the beach!! I’m glad you had such a great weekend. I just got back from seeing Jimmy Buffett in Vegas, we went with a big group of friend and had a great time, filled with lots of laughs and Boat Drinks!!

  48. jill prettyman

    I love Santa Barbra, and I too can not live with out the beach, it has such a healing quality. My Husband and I often get in the car not sure where we are going and it somehow always end at the beach!! I’m glad you had such a great weekend. I just got back from seeing Jimmy Buffett in Vegas, we went with a big group of friend and had a great time, filled with lots of laughs and Boat Drinks!!

  49. Momo Fali

    I NEED the beach too, but since I live in Ohio that means my spirit only refreshes every four years or so. I’m off to wipe away my tears of jealousy!

  50. Momo Fali

    I NEED the beach too, but since I live in Ohio that means my spirit only refreshes every four years or so. I’m off to wipe away my tears of jealousy!

  51. Momo Fali

    I NEED the beach too, but since I live in Ohio that means my spirit only refreshes every four years or so. I’m off to wipe away my tears of jealousy!

  52. emmysuh

    I HAVE been to Santa Barbara, I got confused, but I remembered. I was like 9 or so, in Ventura, but we drove down there. I loved it too.
    Please stop tempting me with the beach. I grew up on the beach in Florida and somehow I think my body never got over the shock of moving away. I adore it!
    Loved the pictures.

  53. emmysuh

    I HAVE been to Santa Barbara, I got confused, but I remembered. I was like 9 or so, in Ventura, but we drove down there. I loved it too.
    Please stop tempting me with the beach. I grew up on the beach in Florida and somehow I think my body never got over the shock of moving away. I adore it!
    Loved the pictures.

  54. emmysuh

    I HAVE been to Santa Barbara, I got confused, but I remembered. I was like 9 or so, in Ventura, but we drove down there. I loved it too.
    Please stop tempting me with the beach. I grew up on the beach in Florida and somehow I think my body never got over the shock of moving away. I adore it!
    Loved the pictures.

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