Tag Archives: California

Santa Barbara: Things To-Do

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This past weekend D and I drove up Hwy 101 to Santa Barbara for a brief stay. We’ve had this planned for about 6 months, and I was seriously looking forward to it. We planned on making the trip for my birthday, but the place we wanted to stay was booked solid until this past weekend. That being said, let’s get to a few things that I’d recommend getting in on a trip to Santa Barbara.

1. Santa Barbara Auto Camp

Instead of staying in your normal, run of the mill hotel, we stayed at SB Auto Camp. The SB Auto Camp is an RV Park of sorts, only instead of towing your own 5th wheel down the road, you stay in one of their five renovated, nostalgic, shiny Airstreams. While they had everything we needed and more for the weekend (including 2 beach cruiser bikes), if you prefer a place to spread out and stretch your legs, you may look elsewhere. That being said, D and I made due with our 6 foot frames. 🙂

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2. Downtown SB – State Street

Downtown SB, State Street particularly, is full of restaurants, bars, boutiques, and leads you right to the Pacific Ocean. Whatever you need to do in SB is more than likely happening around State Street. SB is also rich in the arts, full of venues, museums, and galleries. We didn’t take advantage of that on this trip, but it needed to be noted. 🙂

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3. The French Press

Anytime I’m heading out of town, I always try to find a local coffee shop. In Santa Barbara, I came across The French Press, and read reviews saying it was a great place. I went a couple times and loved it. Both times I ordered a vanilla latte, and the thing that really sold me on this place was the temperature. As silly as it sounds, the latte was the perfect drinking temperature. Not too hot, not too cold. Perfecto!  A couple of our friends, Rob and Julie, came to visit, and said that the coffee was sub par, so I’d stick to a specialty drink.

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4. Holdren’s Steak and Seafood

If you are on the hunt for a nice dinner, Holdren’s Steak and Seafood is a great place to try. It’s conveniently located on State Street, among all of the restaurants and nightlife of Downtown Santa Barbara. We didn’t get a chance to eat here on this trip, but the last time we were in SB we had dinner, and it was ALL good.

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5. Mac’s Fish & Chips

Also on State Street, there’s a little dive called Mac’s Fish & Chips. They had the best fish and chips we’ve had since we moved out here. The batter on these bad boys is so dang good and they were made to order. And the chips? Oh the chips! The fries were cut thick and crispy on the outside, they were the perfect side dish to the fish. We ordered a side of coleslaw, and it was super horseradish-y. Not my favorite slaw by a long shot, but you really don’t need at this joint. We didn’t do dessert all weekend, except for here. We ordered a fried Twix with Creamed Chantilly. Normally I wouldn’t have gotten on this train, but man am I glad I did! It was so good.

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6. Rent a Bike

Our airstream came with a couple beach cruisers, but if it hadn’t, we would have rented bikes. SB is so bike friendly, full of bike paths that will get you where you’re going quicker than a car. There are many places on State Street  you can grab a beach cruiser (if you’re willing to pay quite a bit) or you can head down closer to the beach and grab one there. I would definitively recommend budgeting for a bike. You a grab one at Wheel Fun Rentals for $10/hour or about $36/day.

7. The Neighborhood

Like I said earlier, nightlife in SB is abundant, I think for a couple reasons. First of all, it sits so close to the ocean and the weather is always nice. Secondly, it’s a college town, housing Santa Barbara City College. You can stay on State Street and hit bar after bar, or you could meander a half mile off of State Street and into The Neighborhood. This bar made me feel like I was back in college big time. It had a dozen or so beer pong tables outside, and couple ping pong tables and a pool table inside. It had a more laid back atmosphere than most of the place on State Street. Check it out!

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8. Kayak the Harbor

One afternoon we had some free time, and had been biking the better part of the day so our legs were tiiiired. The weather was too nice to stay put at the airstream, so we biked it down to the beach and rented a kayak. Originally we wanted to take a guided kayak tour to the Channel Islands, but the one we wanted was booked, so we just paddled around the beach and harbor. It was really fun and a great way to see the pier, harbor, and all of the boats coming in and out. As long as you stay out of the boat channel, you shouldn’t get ran over. 🙂

There are so many things that didn’t make this list, because we didn’t have time to get them in ourselves. Such as:

Santa Barbara Farmers Market, Beer and Wine TourGuided Kayak Tour of Channel Islands, and Santa Barbara Mission.

Hop you have a great day!

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Farmer’s Market & Softball Game!

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Hello! Today was my one of my favorite days of the week. . .my day off! So I decided to head to town and run some errands. I told myself I was going to the Farmer’s Market alone, but that didn’t happen.

So, first up. . .

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Allow me to introduce you to the Candyland for mature adults, BevMo. Talk about a store that lives up to its’ name. I mean seriously, whatever drink you need, they have it. They have drinks you don’t even know you need.

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The original reason I stopped at BevMo was to pick up some coffee syrup. They sell it in huge bottles, at a great price. Not to mention the selection of flavors. To all the coffee lover’s with a sweet tooth, this is a dream. 🙂 However, I came home with a few other things. I’m sure they will be making an appearance in a later post.

Lancaster Boulevard Farmer’s Market

Lancaster Blvd is an area in downtown Lancaster that has shops, movie theater, restaurants, and a small bar district. Over the past few years the city has really built it up, and it’s turned into a really cool area.

Every Thursday afternoon they have a farmer’s market, where a lot of farmers and distributors come and sell some seriously great produce. So I decided to beat the heat and see what fruit and veggies I could find.

The strawberries were some of the best I have ever had. So juicy, and sooo sweet. 🙂

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I ended up with juicy peaches, strawberries, beets, and some fresh corn. I wanted so much more, but there’s always next week!

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I have an awesome salad coming up using the strawberries and beets…delicious!

We had our second co-ed softball game, which we tied. That is a pretty much a loss in our book, but considering these are placement games I suppose we’ll let it slide. 🙂  D hit a dinger down the 3rd base line, and I played the role of punching bag at short. Didn’t field very many clean, but knocked ’em all down.

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Even though we’ve only had two games, I think we’ve made a post-game ritual of stopping for frozen yogurt! I’m not gonna complain. And neither is D!

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Before we moved to California, Adam and I lived near the best fro-yo place ever, Cherry Berry, and we frequented the place. I don’t know what it was about that place, but we just loved it. So finding this little gem here in the desert has been a chilly treat!

Mine is on the left. Brownie bites, sprinkles, fruit. Ya know, the basics. As Annie (one of my sisters) would say, it looks like unicorn vomit. I disagree. D went the strawberry cheesecake route, complete with little bite-sized pieces of real cheesecake and caramel sauce. Yum-o!

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See ya later!

California Dreaming?

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I must admit, growing up in OK left me a wee-bit naive to how living in CA would actually be. I visited CA once as a kid, but it was your typical coastal extravaganza, complete with San Diego, Hwy 1, and San Fran. So when Adam and I decided to head west, I thought we’d be in the land of palm trees and overran beaches I created a vision of paradise, and at last it was mine! I mean, all of CA is a summer haven, yes? NO.

Enter, the Mojave Desert.

 

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Yup. That’s me and my guy. And the sand. Lots and lots of sand. But don’t be fooled, there are trees here. Well, Joshua trees. Only Joshua Trees.

Anyway. Living in the Mojave Desert definitely has its drawbacks, but it’s not all that shabby. I can be tanning(freckling/burning) on the beach in 2 hours flat. OR skiing in the mountains in less than an hour. You see, this blistering sand dune is actually a prime location for all things outdoor. And we plan to take advantage as much as possible.

Our first outdoor activity took place in our front yard, and it was FAR from recreational! Growing up on the plains of OK, I was used to the wind. But we had grass. And trees. Things that kept the dirt IN the ground. Here, the sand blows straight at you, or your yard in our case.  A while back the winds picked up and blew about 60 mph, and gusted 90 mph. 

Our yard went from. . .

 
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DSC01322In abooooooout 4 1/2 hours.

Adam spent a brief stint raking the sand out, attempting to uncover our beautifully manicured lawn. I could see that he wasn’t having much luck.  I saw the rake fly through the air when I turned onto our street on my evening jog.

The end result?

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A broken rake. Immediately followed by an impromptu trip to Lowe’s.

I think we’ll hold off on introducing ourselves to our neighbors. . .