Last week brought me to one of my favorite spots on earth, the beautiful town of Santa Barbara. Although I have been there several times, on this trip I vowed to include several firsts. I was given the rare opportunity to travel by myself for five days as the rest of the family had headed to Michigan to attend a family event. I looked at this as an opportunity to refresh and get to know myself just a bit better. I had no one to answer to and no where to be at any particular moment. Let's see what the five days brought me. I stayed at a wonderful VRBO property that was just steps from the ocean. I was able to walk up and down 222 stairs each way in order to watch the beautiful sunset every night. My trip up and down the Mesa Lane Steps to get to the beach gave me the great idea to set a goal for myself of being able to run up the stairs without stopping by the last day of my trip. I was able to walk up without stopping, but because of my sore calf muscles, the running was just not going to happen. It was really amazing to see other folks run up and down several times with no problem. Quite impressive!
My days in Santa Barbara were filled with contentment. I was able to pick and choose what I wanted to do each day. The first full morning there brought me to the Mission Santa Barbara (http://www.santabarbaramission.org). This was my first first of the trip. Founded by the Franciscan Friar Fr. Fermín de Lasuén, OFM on the Feast of St. Barbara, December 4th, 1786, Old Mission Santa Barbara, also known as the Queen of the Missions, has a history unlike any other landmark. It's got a rich and diverse setting, with beautiful gardens and surroundings. It takes just about an hour to wander through the buildings, so it makes a good place to visit before heading to the wonderful beaches in and around Santa Barbara.
Before basking all afternoon on the beach, I had a scrumptious lunch at the Shoreline Beach Cafe (http://shorelinebeachcafe.com). Located directly on the sands of Leadbetter Beach, they provide you with fresh, healthy ingredients, locally grown and harvested whenever possible. These include produce from local growers, seafood from local harvesters and great wines from Santa Barbara County Vintners (quoted directly from the Shoreline's website). The view is incredible and it wouldn't be hard to sit there for hours just gazing at the ocean.
Following up my lazy afternoon with a stroll down State Street, I was able to check out all the great shops along the way. Santa Barbara doesn't lack for amazing things to do…. Tommorow, another round of firsts for 50!
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
Until tommorow's adventures,