girls’ getaway: the santa barbara edition

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you know when you get up super early on christmas morning because you’re so excited to run downstairs and see all of the beautiful loot santa left you overnight? that’s kind of how i felt on friday morning upon realization that my girls’ weekend to santa barbara had at long-last arrived. well that, and the fact that i took a 6 a.m. studio barre class to get my fitness on one last time before my two-day hiatus.

anyway, after tucking and sweating and battling it out at the bar amongst the pre-work workout ladies at studio barre, i raced to starbucks, grabbed some very necessary caffeine, came home to shower, dress, and pack everything up before heading over to my parents’ house by 9 a.m. we loaded up the car, said goodbye to bailey (the family dog) and were off to fend off friday drivers on the 405. girls’ weekend, commence!

despite a few trouble spots on the 101, we arrived at our first destination –summerland beach cafe -a hair before lunch time.

summerland beach cafe.

summerland beach cafe.

located just a few miles south of santa barbara proper, this well-known roadside haunt boasts delicious breakfast cuisine (served all day!) and eclectically charming decor. it’s also dog-friendly! anyway, after being properly fueled for the remaining leg of our journey, we piled back into the car en route for state street. with check-in for our bed & breakfast not until 3 p.m., we decided to kill time by perusing the heart of santa barbara’s downtown district. and by “kill time” i mean, we were ready to get our shop on.

we covered a lot of ground in those three-ish hours -anthropologie, nordstrom, gap, banana republic, j.crew. clearly, when it comes to shopping, my mom and i treat it like an olympic sport. and while many of the stores turned out not-so-thrilling merchandise (looking at you, nordstrom and gap), we did manage to walk away with a few gems (stay tuned for this and this to make an appearance in a daily outfit post near you). also, banana republic is offering 40% off your entire purchase through today, 10/29. i mean, you should probably take advantage of that.

anyway, with the late afternoon fog creeping in from the coast, we decided to head back to our b&b so we could check-in and get freshened up for dinner. first of all, let’s just take in how adorable the bath street inn is:

bath street inn.

bath street inn.

i mean, the cutest, right? the charm continued right on inside, too. it was kind of like stepping back in time to the 19th century. but still with modern luxuries like plumbing, and electricity, and wi-fi. we stayed in the “tiffany room” -the most important aspect of that detail being the fact that the bathroom had a clawfoot bathtub. so basically my dream come true. anyway, after we got acquainted with our innkeepers and settled in our home away from home for the next two nights, we changed and settled on a restaurant for dinner. but first, a trip down to the pier for a sunset photo shoot.

santa barbara palms.

santa barbara palms.

santa barbara sunset.

santa barbara sunset.

sunset over the harbor.

sunset over the harbor.

pier photo shoot with momma.

pier photo shoot with momma.

after navigating our way along the oceanfront, we went to appease our growling tummies at the sojourner cafe. doing our research of momma and me-friendly eateries before we headed up the coast turned out to be a wise decision. the “souj” -as apparently the locals call it -did not disappoint, we both left very full and satisfied.

we returned to the b&b around 7:30 p.m. i note the time because no more than twenty minutes later was i de-make-uped, pajama-ed, in bed, and completely passed out. i regretted nothing about that decision. not only had i had a late night the evening before, day one of our girls’ getaway had proven to be choc-full-o-fun (and activities).

12, count ’em TWELVE hours later, i awoke to the sun beaming through our little window, and my mom bringing back coffee from the kitchen downstairs (God bless her). to get another early start to our day, we quickly changed into workout clothes and headed for a sunrise visit to the santa barbara mission. we had planned on visiting the california landmark at some point, but seeing as our breakfast spot didn’t open until 9 a.m., we figured an early morning tour of the grounds was a good of time as any.

now objectively, of all of the california missions, i must say that the santa barbara one is among the prettiest. but vanity aside, this building holds special meaning because it was the one i chose to replicate for my mission project in fourth grade. granted we made it out of sugar cubes and clay so it didn’t hold a candle to seeing the original in person, but hey, we still got a good grade.

santa barbara mission.

santa barbara mission.

captured the sun coming up over the grounds of the mission.

captured the sun coming up over the grounds of the mission.

following our quick jaunt around the mission, we hiked around the trails adjacent to the nearby botanical gardens.

view from the trail.

view from the trail.

and with a few more cardio calories burned (and it finally being close to breakfast-serving hours), we headed into town for a hearty meal at the adorable scarlett begonia. we both enjoyed the quinoa “oatmeal” and sipped our second cups of coffee on the restaurant’s outdoor patio as we mapped out the remainder of our day. next up on the agenda? a coastal bike ride.

we rented two roadster bikes from wheel fun rentals, a shop conveniently located a block away from the sand. though it was far from balmy along the coast (holy fog, batman), we braved the cooler misty temps and logged in a few miles up and down the boardwalk strand. we passed many a fellow jogger, surrey-rider, and even a halloween costume-themed pitbull meet-up. luckily the pits behaved themselves, as did our fellow bicyclists (but barely). of course the sun peeked out from behind the clouds just as we finished up our excursion, but i suppose the chillier temps were better for avoiding an awkwardly sweaty situation. anyway, following our ride, we went back to the hotel to shower/change before heading eastward to the wine country of santa ynez.

bikers.

bikers.

located approximately 35 minutes inland, the santa ynez valley is the perfect little getaway from the beach. the rolling hills proved to be the perfect picturesque backdrop for our drive. and before we knew it, we had arrived at our first stop: gainey vineyards. it was a bit too crowded for our liking, so we forwent the tasting in exchange for some vineyard-gallivanting and photo-taking.

baby grape vines.

baby grape vines.

Gainey Grapes

gainey grapes.

momma rocking the skinny arm in the vineyard.

momma rocking the skinny arm in the vineyard.

just posing by this post.

just posing by this post.

selfie improvisation when no one is around to take your photo.

selfie improvisation when no one is around to take your photo.

after we had successfully taken our fair share of photos in the vineyards, we got back in the car and drove a few miles down the road to kalyra winery. it was here that we discovered such a thing as a “dessert wine ONLY” tasting. um, yes please. i made sure to take my purse in with me to the tasting room because i had a strong feeling i would be carded. turns out, i was right. our pourer was extremely knowledgeable and offered a lot of pairing suggestions with each featured wine. we split a tasting, because, let’s be honest, that’s all i can handle (and also, mom was driving) and after sampling a total of seven wines, we ended up purchasing two of them. looks like we’ll be having some delicious orange muscat this thanksgiving!

on our way back to the coast, we decided to pay the newlyweds a little visit in their new santa barbara love nest. that’s right, i got to introduce momma to K and her new hubs (hi guys!) and spent a few minutes hearing all about their honeymoon. it’s pretty fun when you can introduce your friends to your parents. each respective party hears so much about the other, so it’s always cool when you can put faces to names. after we said our goodbyes, we headed back to state street to stretch our legs and enjoy the gorgeous fall weather. while we strolled, mom took these gorgeous shots of the downtown area.

it kind of looks like we're in europe.

it kind of looks like we’re in europe.

downtown state street.

downtown state street.

after our afternoon jaunt, we came back to the b&b to get ready for dinner. this time, we went with a recommendation from one of our innkeepers –adama, a local vegan eatery on chapala street. you guys, i don’t even care if you’re not down with vegan cuisine, this place was amazing. like hands down one of the best meals i’ve had a while. we each started with the kale-tahini salad, which came served with walnuts, shredded beets, fuji apples and lentils. sure it sounds kind of like an odd combination of flavors but it was the opposite of that. it was delicious. and we both plan on recreating this stat. after we licked those plates clean, our fajitas arrived. roasted bell peppers and onions came served alongside “chicken” strips, beans, and brown rice and a side of guacamole and corn tortillas. i mean, they were no match for casa de bandini’s authentic version, but for a vegan alternative, they were quite tasty. then, dessert. ohmygoodness, dessert. i wanted basically one of everything from their in-house vegan bakery, but i settled on a homemade chocolate chip cookie and a scoop of their vanilla-flavored “gentle” gelato (dairy free & gluten free) (one of 14 flavors they serve, i might add). momma had a vegan carrot cake cupcake which she did not hate (see also: loved and devoured). then we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant and back home. actually, there was minimal “rolling.” vegan cuisine leaves you feeling light and fresh. so basically i could have afforded myself an extra cookie.

pre-feasting at adama.

pre-feasting at adama.

after logging in another 10-12ish hours (vacation bodes very well for my sleep patterns), on sunday, we woke up, packed up, showered up, and headed down to breakfast. you see part of the charm of staying at a b&b is that in addition to getting a bed, you also get breakfast with your stay (hence that whole “bed & breakfast” name). breakfast specifically catered to your gluten-free, dairy-free allergies no less. we dined on poached pears, homemade granola and rice milk, and a mini egg florentine in the shape of a heart (adorable). it was the perfect way to end our stay at the bath street inn. following our morning meal, we carted our suitcases back down the three flights of stairs and packed them in the car before turning in our key and saying our goodbyes. we were back on the road by 9:30 a.m. en route to the final stop on our itinerary –the camarillo outlets. and by “outlets” plural, i mean, “oulet” singular. as in the only outlet that matters: j.crew factory. after a couple of trips around the store, i walked away with a few great additions for the upcoming holiday season (think plaid and lots of it). momma scored a couple of scarves, too.

by the time we left camarillo, we were anxious to return home. luckily there was a serious lacking of the traditional L.A. traffic (thank you traffic gods) and we had relatively smooth-sailing the remainder of our journey southward. to pass the time, momma recounted tales of my early years (and her first years as a momma). fun fact: my time as a tiny tot was spent in the ventura/oxnard area. so as we passed through those cities, mom pointed out places where we used to spend our time. i don’t know about you, but i don’t recall a ton from the ages of 0-2 so it was kind of fun to have her fill-in-the-blanks.

we arrived back to my parents’ house around 1:30 p.m. and were greeted by toppie and bailey who had both missed us (obviously). we unloaded our suitcases and packages and i reloaded my respective items into my car. a bathroom break and a few hugs later, i was ready to get back home to put all of my goodies away and tackle my (very full) DVR. and just like that our girls’ getaway: the santa barbara edition had come to a close (le sigh).

i realize it is a rarity to share the kind of bond my mother and i are blessed enough to have. without a question she is my absolute best friend and i make sure to not take that fact lightly.

so momma,

thank you for a wonderful weekend away. for every meal and mile driven and for making me pose for pictures i might have not wanted to pose for at the time (because now i’m grateful we have them). thank you for treating me to a few new wardrobe additions and for stopping by the H household for a visit. i am grateful for you and our bond everyday, but on the heels of this past weekend, i find myself especially grateful.
in short, you’re just the best and i love you to the moon and back.

love always,

your P

2 Comments
  • Kenna
    October 30, 2013

    Hiyeeeeeee!!! =) <3

  • Teresa
    October 30, 2013

    Perfect – but I’m sure you’d agree!

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