Santa Barbara and Henry

Trip Start Dec 27, 2012
Trip End Jan 06, 2013

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, January 3, 2013

We left Los Feliz just before 10am, and had a trouble-free journey in the beautiful morning sun to Santa Barbara....we followed the 101 Freeway which took us out through the sprawling suburbs of LA, and over to the coast at Oxnard. From there, for the last 30 miles or so, the road runs along by the sea (or the ocean, as they say here). The blue of the water was dazzling, and there was a huge urge to just get out of the car and jump in! Fortunately I resisted this, but as we got to Santa Barbara a little early we parked up by the harbour and walked to the end of the pier. There was plenty going on, with motor launches headed out to the Channel Islands (a group of quite large islands about 5 miles off the coast, protected as nature conservation areas), plus yachts and other little boats pootling around.

We'd arranged to meet the owner of our next apartment at 1pm, and arrived a little early - giving ourselves 20 mins to sun-bathe in the garden, which was VERY nice!

Allie showed us in, and I have to say we are very lucky to have chosen an absolutely lovely apartment, one of 5 in an old clapper-board house, set in a beautiful tree-lined road. Allie's young daughter, Olivia (!), showed us Henry, a crazy little kitten who we get to look after as part of the rental!

After dropping our stuff we wandered into town (just 10 minutes away) to grab some lunch, finding a little cafe with outside tables. Liz had the breakfast, whilst I had the macaroni cheese. The waitress persuaded us to have some sort of cheese/corn ball starter, which of course we didn't need, and I selected a local beer, which was much stronger than I had bargained for. Anyway, we were completely unable to finish our main courses (mine in particular was huge!). The key thing now was to walk off the excess, which we did by exploring the whole length of the main shopping street, which stretched down to the beach. I grabbed a take away coffee, and we returned to the apartment for an afternoon kip!

As dusk fell we set out to do a little shopping. We have discovered "Trader Joe's", which is a chain of small-ish supermarkets where most of the produce is organic, or at least fresh. The one in Pasadena was great, and the Santa Barbara version is even better. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood, and the check-out staff were laughing and joking with the customers....a million miles from the Tescos experience!

After our huge lunch we just about managed a light supper of goodies from Trader Joe's, and relaxed to music on the old record-player in the apartment.
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