A lazy day in Santa Barbara

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

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, January 4, 2013

We had the day to ourselves today, so put together a relatively undemanding itinerary:

- Coffee on the balcony;
- The Mission;
- A bit of shopping;
- Lunch;
- The botanic gardens
- Watching the sunset on the beach;
- Drinks;
- Dinner.....

The sun was warm enough to relax on the balcony with a coffee by 9.30, so we didn't rush out. However, the great thing about our apartment is that you can walk to most things in Santa Barbara. The Mission is just over a mile up the hill, and the walk takes you along some of the lovely tree-lined residential streets which are a feature of SB. The Mission itself is a Franciscan monastery, one of 21 set up in California in the eighteenth century by Spanish monks as part of their aim to convert the local native Americans to Christianity. Some of the buildings are over 200 years old, although parts were destroyed in the great earthquake of 1923. Being early January there were very few other visitors, and we were able to wander around the grounds in peace. The most impressive part was the church itself, with front doors which open to a superb view of the sea a couple of miles away.

After our visit we walked back to the apartment, and then into the town - Liz wanted to look out for boots and a jacket, whilst I headed for the bookshop. We then met up for a light lunch in the Arts and Letters Cafe, which is a mixture of gallery and cafe, with a rather nice courtyard dining area.

Fed and watered, we headed back to the apartment, grabbed the car, and drove up in to the hills behind Santa Barbara to visit the Botanic Gardens. The gardens themselves were very peaceful, and just big enough for a decent walk. Near the end we found the perfect spot - a stone bench with views down to the sea and the islands beyond. We spent half an hour reading and watching the lizards, before driving down to the beach to watch the sunset. The cloudless skies of the day meant a spectacular descent by the sun, with the colours turning darker red as the sunset progressed.

We are now back at the apartment sipping the rather splendid red wine which the owner of the apartment left us!

Unfortunately tomorrow is our last day, and we will be headed back to LA in the morning..... 
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