Californians are pretty spoiled in that we have quite a few major cities that make fantastic vacation spots. Sometimes we don’t take advantage of what is right in our backyard, even though we could have an amazing vacation without even getting on an airplane. I am a native San Diegan and I’ve been a lot of places, but had not yet been to Santa Barbara. I am not sure if I am the only one, but I have the hardest time planning vacations with others. There are always scheduling conflicts, people who are non-committal, and financial limitations.
I was getting close to graduation time, and the opportunity to get away and relax near the ocean was too much to pass up– and driving 20 minutes to the beach would not be the same. So, I forgot about needing friends or family to accompany me, I grabbed a small traveler’s bag, a journal, sunglasses, and I headed out. Okay, it wasn’t that easy– I had to also book a hotel, but you get the idea! 🙂
From Los Angeles, SB is an easy 90 minute drive up the 101, and it actually gets quite beautiful the closer you get to the destination. I left on a Friday evening. Arriving in just 90 minutes, I used trusty Yelp to help me find good cuisine, and decided on a vegan restaurant. It was warm, folksy and bustling with people enjoying a guitarist in the center of the restaurant. I must say I had a chuckle when the waitress raised her eyebrows “So, just you then for dinner? Okay…” Honestly, I rather enjoy a quiet dinner alone every now and again! She should have really saved the eyebrow raise until after I ordered the food I ordered! I had an appetizer which was deep fried cauliflower with Indian herbs and spices, a veganized American dish, and a miniature pecan pie.
Crispy Indian cauli
Cauli/potato mash, vegan meatloaf, steamed kale
The next morning after lounging and snoozing till 8am (that’s super late for me), I headed to D’Angelo and though it isn’t pictured here, I had one of the most delicious croissants ever with strawberry jam. I still had room to polish off my yummy huevos rancheros. My only complaint about this dish is I often forget to ask for the eggs to not be runny! Still very delicious!
Fried corn tortillas, refried beans, cheese, over easy eggs, and salsa.
My primary reason for visiting Santa Barbara was to experience the beach. It did not disappoint! It was a bit cold, but that’s not surprising because I went in May. There were lots of friendly people on the beach who were happy to just strike up a conversation. I’m not used to this at all, but it was refreshing. I wore my pedometer and got about 5 miles of walking in that day.
I thought the SB courthouse was amazing. Apparently the lawn in the summers is where the town enjoys movies outside and sometimes concerts. Some people want more than just getting married at the courthouse, but maybe if they saw THIS courthouse, they would not feel that way. It is so beautiful!
I had a chance to enjoy a lot of the siteseeing with my longtime instagram pal, AriAnna. What a treat!!
View from the terrace
I love Indian food for the versatility, and plethora of filling vegetarian options. The food was just spicy enough for me.
Dahl, cauliflower and potatoes, chickpeas, basmati rice, and yogurt.
If you couldn’t already tell, I had a wonderful time. Taking vacation time is crucial to your mental and physical health. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, you don’t have to go far, and you are welcome to go alone. Rest is not earned, but essential to life. I hope you’ll think about taking some time for yourself soon! I plan to do this again in the near future!