Day Trip To Santa Barbara

A couple weekends ago Gary and I took a day trip out to Santa Barbara. Work has been all over the place lately and I thought a change of scenery would be nice. While my timing wasn't so great (I had to bake almost every cookie for our MK/BITA cookie gram the next day), the trip was surprisingly refreshing and restorative.

We started off our trip at the new Santa Barbara Public Market. I've been eager to try Enjoy Cupcakes ever since I discovered them on instagram and their cupcake flight did not disappoint. Gary had yet to drink his morning coffee so after a circle around the rest of the market we went to The French Press. I didn't order anything so I can't speak on flavor, but the service was very friendly and welcoming! A nice change from certain hipster coffee shops in Los Angeles.

After coffee we walked down State Street. I had no clue it was the street to be on and that most businesses I bookmarked would be on or nearby State. After some window shopping we ended up eating lunch at Cajun Kitchen Cafe. I didn't have a spot bookmarked for lunch so this was a last minute decision, but we both quite enjoyed it! It was a typical greasy spoon/diner but with Southern/Creole food. Gary and I shared their breakfast gumbo and some plain beignets.

Our next stop was the Santa Barbara Mission. We didn't take a tour so I don't have photos, but the weather was nice and the quick drive over was through a nice neighborhood with pretty houses.

After that we headed to the beach. Natalie suggested I visit the one directly across from the Four Seasons, Butterfly Beach. It was seriously beautiful, relaxing, calming, and overall so enjoyable. I've really never been a beach person. I think it's because growing up in the San Gabriel Valley, my two most frequented beaches were Santa Monica and Venice, which aren't exactly the cleanest. I'm also pretty terrible at relaxing/laying out (I could doing something!) but the small beach was the perfect distance for a short, leisurely walk. And we saw a bunch of dolphins! We looped back around then walked into The Four Seasons. Wow! Was that a gorgeous hotel or what. It was nice to feel fancy, even if for just 20 minutes.

(can you see me?)

Next it was time for something sweet. My friend Michelle proclaimed Rori's as the best ice cream she's ever had, so of course we had to try. I ordered their lemon curd ice cream which had lemon curd swirled throughout and Gary ordered a chocolate mint patty. Both were absolutely delicious. Knowing we still had other place we wanted to try, we both ordered an "itty bitty" scoop that was the perfect size. It even came with an adorable matching mini waffle cone! Seriously, all ice cream places need to offer this size!

It was too early for dinner so I suggested that we visit a grocery store. Not a common destination while on vacation, but after finding it on Zero Waste Home's Bulk Food app, I wanted to visit, hoping it would be similar to Rainbow Grocery in SF. The Isla Vista Food Co-op was right by UC Santa Barbara and it made me a little jealous of those college students having a store like this so accessible. They sold Fat Uncle Farms almonds in bulk so we got a couple treats for the drive home. While much smaller than Rainbow, it was such a great little market for the community. I really wish there was something similar in my neighborhood.

Dinner was eaten at Sama Sama Kitchen. The space was so clean and crisp, our server was nice, and the food was good. Ultimately we were expecting something else and left slightly disappointed.

To finish off the trip we went to McConnell's Fine Ice Creams. Gary introduced me to McConnell's by bringing home a pint of their peppermint ice cream a couple years ago. We tried a bunch of different flavors but I ultimately chose blueberries and cream. It had whole, fresh blueberries inside! Gary went with cookies and cream, which I also liked, but I really loved my choice.

All in all, it was so great to get away from LA for the day. Of course, we couldn't wait to get home and missed our cats (and hoped they didn't get into any tussles while we were gone). I haven't taken day trips since I was a kid and you know, didn't really have anything to get away from, but now I feel like I need to schedule one every month!