« Hopkins Wine and Cheese Festival - perfect fall weather | Main | Daylight Savings Weekend »

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Santa Barbara -- hello & goodbye

Pixlr_20191027110508622I totally meant to update much sooner while here in California but I have no idea where our 5 day/4 night stay went. Pixlr (5) It's already time for us to go home tonight and I am so not feeling that at all. It's been a great time. 

So let's see and recap a bit. We left home on Wednesday morning. Our flight out of Newark was at 9am. We were off to LAX and had a decent layover there so we were able to grab lunch at a bar and relax for a bit. Then had a super short connection to Santa Barbara. I always love Santa Barbara airport. It's so convenient. Picking up the rental car was super easy and we were at our hotel (The La Quinta on State Street - near where EF is) in no time. The hotel is undergoing massive construction but the hotel staff has been really nice. They gave us a room facing the street, away from the construction in the back of the building. And they also agreed to let us pay the self park rate rather than the valet rate they are charging now. And the location of the hotel is convenient so really no complaints. 

Wednesday we walked up and down State Street, checking out the different restaurants and stores. I always play the game of "what used to be here" which is getting a little harder as time goes by, sometimes I can pick out two or three different things that used to be in any given location. Can't believe it's been 20 years since I lived here. So crazy. Anyway, Wednesday night we had dinner at a Mexican restaurant close to the hotel, Carlitos. It's a place that has been there for a long time but the first time we went. Good food and it was great being able to sit outside on the patio. 

Thursday was my birthday (40 .... ughhhhh) and we took advantage of the free breakfast downstairs and then headed over into the Santa Ynez Valley for wine tasting. The weather has been really hot and that day it reached into the mid 90ies in the Valley. We went to Brander Vineyard first and did a tasting there, then enjoyed a glass outside in the shade. Next stop was Beckmen which was really nice as well. After a tasting we enjoyed a bottle outside on their covered patio in the shade. From there we headed into Los Olivos and had a delicious lunch at the Wine Merchant's Cafe. And then stopped into one more tasting room in Los Olivos before heading back to Santa Barbara. For dinner we met up with my host mom Linda at Pascucci's. One of my all time favorite places in Santa Barbara. So good. Linda was driving up from San Diego and ended up getting stuck in some traffic which delayed her a bit but I was really glad that she was able to make it. 

Friday we drove to San Simeon to visit the Hearst Castle. We had been there before but this time we did the Upstairs Suites tour rather than the regular main suites tour. The next time we come back we will need to check out another tour. It's such a massive place and always fascinating to go there and hear all of the stories. After our tour we headed across the street to the beach where the Hearst Castle Winery has a tasting room in a big warehouse. They also had a food truck parked there so the perfect spot for lunch. Then continued on to Cambria and stopped at a few vineyards there as well. There is a whole wine trail in that area as well called the Pacific Coast Wine Trail. We went to Moonstone, Stolo and Twin Coyotes. All very neat. And on our way home we stopped at the Boathouse at Hendry's Beach for a lovely dinner on the beach. 

Yesterday, Saturday, we went for a 2 mile walk in Carpinteria by the beach at the Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve. Was nice to be outside getting some exercise in and just to be near the ocean. I love the way the air smells near the ocean. After that we drove back into Santa Barbara and met Linda and her husband JD for lunch at the Shoreline Beach Cafe. Another great spot. The food was delicious and it was great to catch up. After lunch we headed over to the Funk Zone and then back to the hotel for a minute to clean up. And then a lovely dinner at the Santa Barbara Fishouse right down by the water. Another lovely spot I had wanted to try out and was not disappointed. SO good. 

And well now it's Sunday and we will already be leaving today. But at least before that we will get one more lunch at the beach. Heading to the Beachside Cafe in Goleta. Will be the perfect spot as we will need to be in that direction anyway for the airport so really a win-win. Not ready to leave but at least we will have a nice leisurely lunch/afternoon before actually heading to the airport. Then down to LAX and a redeye flight back to Newark. And then back to work. Ughhh. 

Letter/Mail Update:  Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA and Nina/WA.

Posted by Hanna at 02:08 PM | Permalink


Post a comment