Friday, April 25, 2014

Santa Barbara on my mind...

It's Friday! Which means it's time to daydream about a weekend escape. In reality, I'll be attending kid's birthday parties and frequenting the park and/or Home Depot. Nothing wrong with that, but mama is dying for some R&R.

This week (ok fine, every week) I long to visit Santa Barbara. It's one of my all time favorite destinations. It's only a 90 minute drive north for me and most Los Angelinos, making it ridiculously tempting to just hop in the car and go.

What I love most about Santa Barbara is the amazing mountain backdrop set against majestic beaches and ocean bluffs as well as the charming spanish colonial style buildings that dot the hills with white stucco with red tile roofs.

By the time I arrive, I'm usually starving. So I stop in and have an early lunch at Julia Child’s favorite, La Super Rica Taqueria. Fresh homemade tortillas and grilled pasilla chiles with cheese. OMG. Last time we were there we saw Gwynnie and Chris Martin, pre-breakup, and she totally made me want to have Tracy Anderson be my personal trainer. Be prepared to wait in line, unless of course you're A-list status. I promise it's well worth it!

I particularly enjoy the off the beaten path experiences that can only be discovered by finding the hidden gems that make a town not just an exceptional place to visit, but transport you to a destination of true escape. That's what I'm after!

So next up, I drive through Hope Ranch and check out the beautiful scenery. I love to meander down windy oak shaded roads, spying on dream homes and scouting ocean vistas that lead to secluded beaches. I have to make sure my favorite driveway is still intact in all its glory. Here I dream a little dream of what it would be like calling this my zip code.

PS- it's not trespassing if you don't actually cross the property line!

From there, I wind down the road to Arroyo Burro beach and take a long walk down the shore. I prefer to go west down the beach where the dogs run off leash. Get your toes in the sand and check for sticky sea anemones in the tide pools, Quinn's fave.

After a long beach walk, take Cabrillo St. along the coast back downtown and stroll down State Street for some retail therapy. My go to stores are Wendy Foster for me and Chicken Little for the kiddies. Duck into Paradise Found for a spirituality check and discover some some fab finds to feed your soul. 

Speaking of food, I'm hungry again. So I'll head to dinner at The Palace Grill where the muffins are amazing and the cocktails are served up mason jars – yes, literally, it's a vat of alcohol. And after I've finished said vat, we'll all sing ‘It’s a Wonderful World’ with the natives.

Finally, I'll finish off my evening with their famous chocolate soufflé. Wait, what am I celebrating again? Oh yeah, escaping! We should all be so lucky.

As you can see, Santa Barbara is the dream destination for me to imagine my inspired life! To collect memories like seashells and take a part of that joyful day home as a reminder to find the bliss in the everyday. Even if that means birthday parties and Home Depot. Remember to find your bliss. 

Where is your happy place?


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