Ok, I admit I am just a tad bit spoiled with family living in both Laguna Beach and Santa Barbara. I mean, those are two of the most beautiful beach locations in California (obviously biased). For the week or so I spent at home in California, I knew I wanted to hit up at least one and so off to Santa Barbara it was.
^^ off in the distance you can see IV (Isla Vista) where UCSB is located. I don’t know how anyone would get studying done with that view 😉
My grandparents have lived in this area for the last 15 or so years and we have visited everything from State Street to the mission, from to La Super Rica to Paradise Cafe, from the zoo to pretty much everything in between. My sister and I used to go to some of the local kids camps, some at the zoo and others at a local elementary school, but the best memories are from crafting and cooking and wandering the local streets. We didn’t have any craft projects or recipes on tap for this trip, but we dominated the shopping and exploring bit.
I made her take this picture prior to our shopping escapades (she may have been slightly embarrassed by the people staring – #noregrets). It is quite possible she 1) is the most fashionable TOMS wearer and 2) has 2x the amount of TOMS my sister and I do combined. Like I said, refer back to #1 and you will understand. She is my shoe role model.
She also let me in on a secret that Nordstroms is starting to have their yearly sales prior to the season, so in this case, early access to the fall line! We saw oodles of people leaving with their hands full of Nordstrom bags and knew we were in for some shopping luck.
Sure enough, we waltzed into the shoe section and each came out smiling ear to ear. I think Nance (grandma) wins the prize for the best looking dog-walking clothes. She picked up some wild looking Nikes and a fabulous purple vest for the occasion. I came out with some TOMS wedges, gold Tory Burch flats, and Ecco boots for fall (all with Nance’s generous and fashion seal of approval). The best feeling has to be when you have been looking for a certain pair of shoes for AGES and then you just happen to find them on sale. Yes, that would be winning at its finest.
Instead, we made our way to the Public Market, which is very similar to Copenhagen’s Glass Market or a cleaner and earthier version of Philly’s Reading Terminal. We took our time touring the options and ultimately settled on splitting a grilled panini with brie, fig jam, and salami.
^^ Real food first. Then we must progress to the better part of the meal – dessert.
^^ Grandma Nancy went for her favorite – lemon curd – while I selected the “John Martin” with coconut and chocolate chips. No clue why it was called that but I’m sure some dude named John had excellent taste.
^^ One can never get enough of the mission style design and endless pattern of tile work
Because one dessert is never enough. Sugar detox starts this week 😉
If you haven’t discovered the Santa Barbara based ice cream company McConnell’s, then you are surely missing out on something. I actually picked up a pint prior to arriving at the grandparent’s house and they already had one in the freezer. Great minds think alike 🙂
^^ Miss Lily who is our family dog’s sister and happens to be blind. She is in the most caring hands ever and it’s so cute to see her because she always recognizes who I am (since I was the one to pick her out of the litter) and even speaks her own little language.
On my second and (sadly) last day, I took a walk down to the beach to clear my mind. There are lots of things floating around – or rather bouncing like a pinball machine – in my head regarding the past, present, and future. From family to friends, work to social life, most importantly, what or where do I consider home. For now, just trust the process because somehow, everything will fall into place.