The last time I passed through Santa Barbara was in 1983 in a torrential downpour and it was all a blur. I vaguely remember Spanish arcades and palm trees. This time I got a much better look and it was lovely.
We started about 15 miles south in the laid back beach town of Carpenteria, where as per my brothers recommendation, we stopped for coffee and an Acai bowl at a mellow coffee place called the lucky llama. Then onto the beach where we walked in the fog along what looked and felt like soft pristine sand until we returned to the car and realized our feet were coated with sticky tar that we first thought was from pine needles but later realized must be from the oil spill last year. I made the mistake of trying to scrape it off with my fingers which then got coated. pIty the poor wildlife that had to deal with this sticky stuff.
bUt on we went to lovely Santa Barbara where the Spanish style architecture , the giant palm trees, the bourganvilla was enchanting. Reminded me at times of Santa Fe, Naples (Florida) and even the plaza in Kansas City. We had good humble tacos at Lilly’s taqueria and explore the shops nearby, then we toured the pretty old stone mission (shades of Peru and Tucson), walked to the end of the wharf for a dazzling view back across the water past the Spanish white buildings and the mountains beyond., drove around some of the neighborhoods with pretty old craftsman and mission style houses, ate some ice cream at McConnell’s (since 1949) and drove back to la via orange and lemon gloves and strawberry stands to Burbank.