Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The coast of California. The good, the bad, the blonde.

During the many glorious days off between the end of my last employment and the start of the new, I decided it time to finally explore regions North and South of Los Angeles. Having moved here more than 4 years ago I deemed myself ready.

Jetta packed, travel partner obtained, and trunk stocked with diet colas, I headed first up to Santa Barbara and then down to San Diego. Unlike my last trip to Seattle, I did not plan meticulously. Nor did I document my trips ad nauseum. I just went, I saw, and I did my best pretending to be a person who is without OCD and can 'go with the flow.'

Here are some of the things we did, saw and learned in our travels...


Santa Barbara is not the place to visit if you like bright lights, big cities or much to do. Santa Barbara is a town of leisure--an activity I'm generally foreign to, but could possibly learn to love. As far as I can tell, the residents of Santa Barbara spend their days playing beach volleyball, drinking wine, shopping on State Street, and doing absolutely nothing of note in Montecito. Save the college students who spend their days drinking and possibly drugging in Isla Vista.

I recommend...

Visiting the Gaviota Hot Springs where you will see Springs that are indeed hot and possibly naked men jumping in should you visit at the same time as my travel partner.

Enjoying a drink at the Four Seasons Biltmore where you will have a view of the ocean and awkward training sessions.

Hiking the mountains above Santa Barbara where you will have a view of the entire city, the valleys, and the ocean.

Traveling outside of the city for wine tasting and letting someone else drive so you can see, well, your life continue after Santa Barbara wine tasting.

And eating at the Cold Spring Tavern where [a friend of a friend of a friend told me that] you will have a view of bikers and that you should enjoy said view with a Coors Original and a shot of whiskey. It was my intent to sit on a biker's lap and while I saw no bikers I did enjoy my lunch at the quaint, historic little restaurant off the beaten path of SB.

Many friends also recommended that we stop at the Solvang Restaurant for Aebleskivers (pancake/waffle/donut like treats). My many friends did not inform us that the entire town of Solvang closes at about 3 pm. I went to Solvang and all I got was this crummy picture of a video tutorial on making Aebleskivers through the restaurant window. Yeah, I know.


To be fair, I cannot really offer commentary on San Diego. We did not make it further than Del Mar, which is an upscale beach town just North of the city itself which is a little bit luxurious, a little bit suburban, and a whole lot of blonde.

We went for a birthday party--a three year old's birthday party which is the only kind I'd travel for. Besides saying with absolute certainty that I haven't been to a finer third birthday party (my own was sans jumper), I can say only this about Del Mar...

The pinnacle of the Del Mar shopping experience is a Chico's at the Del Mar Plaza

I do not fit in in Del Mar. I am neither fit and petite, nor with child. I do not own a pair of Uggs.

The Del Mar racetrack will be the place to see and be seen come July, provided you enjoy betting and own a big hat. I do happen to own a big hat. And I will be attending.

Brigantine has the best fish tacos around. Supposedly. I do not eat fish but this is what I hear and I believe it.

1 comment:

tmp00 said...

I know it's totally touristy but next time you're in Santa Babs you should try to get to the Super Rica Taqueria on Milpas near Cota. Great food; it was a favorite of Julia Child when she lived there.

If you get to San Diego do go to Coronado, The hotel is lovely and the island super-cute. Like most of SD it's pretty blond/Ugg intensive..