When you have little time for a weekend in Santa Barbara County – you plan ahead, get your ducks in order and set forth to conquer. Santa Barbara has been referred to as the “American Riviera” and I would never argue with that comment. The architecture reflects Spanish Revival, rich ornate and a little rustic.
I selected my Bally Loafers for the first day’s journey and my first stop was at the Hungry Cat for a proper and pleasurable brunch. A delicious glass of “extra trocken”, bruder rheinhessen champagne followed by Crab cakes Benedict with black kale, house-smoked bacon and hollandaise. Absolutely delicious.
I felt sure Montecito was where Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres lives because of the hidden lush driveways and Estates peaking thru the 100 year old trees.
Lotus Land is a 37 acre botanical wonder housing 9 different gardens which included an Australian Garden, Japanese Garden, Water Garden, Aloe Garden, Cactus Garden, Bromeliad Garden, Cycad Garden, Topiary Garden, and Tropical Garden.
I reserved a 2 hour tour with a docent who shared background history and details on the plants. It was a beautiful place to visit.
The main purpose of the trip was to attend my Dad’s Memorial in Santa Maria the next day. I headed 101 North and enjoyed a breathtaking coastal drive the first 45 minutes leaving Santa Barbara followed by pastures of cattle, horses, llama, and sheep as I approached Santa Maria. Classic Music accompanied me on my little journey. My sister from Virginia joined me in Santa Maria and together we paid our last respects for our Father’s Memorial. We stayed at the Historic Santa Maria Inn, which felt “historic and old”, but the restaurant made up for the accommodations. We had two great meals there, a delicious brunch in the courtyard, followed by an impromptu fashion shoot of Julia.That evening we ate in the dining room and shared a mouth watering tri tip dinner – which is what Santa Maria is known for. Yum Yum!!!! We both flew home the next day. I was flying out of Santa Barbara in the evening so I had a few fun hours to kill before coming back to reality. I started my day enjoying lunch at Arts and Letter’s Cafe . The Arts & Letters Café serves classic California cuisine set in a beautiful courtyard in the heart of Historic Arts District in downtown Santa Barbara.The Chef participates in the Santa Barbara First program to ensure the freshest ingredients. He uses farmers, ranchers and vendors with local ingredients and sustainable raised seafood to prepare his fare in the California tradition. I enjoyed a delicious Seafood Salad, accompanied by artisan bread and olive oil that was so fruity and delicious I ate the whole basket of bread just so I could dip in the olive oil. Me Bad!!! Upon using the restroom I thought it was hilarious they were selling a $14,000 painting right across from the toilet!
After lunch I decided to stroll down State Street and do a little shopping. My successes were at Crossroads, Nordstroms, and H& M. Lots of fun taking my time and looking at everything. I hardly ever shop like that– I guess you can call it vacation shopping- .
Break time for A delicious espresso at French Press while resting my tired limbs, and watching the world go by.
A quick drive to the Harbor and Ocean and then time to say good bye to the American Riveria.
Until Next time……………