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travel interlude

From Kings Canyon we followed Cam to his house in Santa Barbara. After two weeks on the road, alternating between hostel beds and our sleeping bags, it was wonderful to drop anchor and slow down for a few days.

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We took all our gear out of the car, colonizing a part of Cam’s living room, and then got lazy in a hurry. For two days straight we slept in, caught up on email, and generally did not leave the house until lunchtime. A friend of S’s drove up from LA and hung out with us the whole time we were in Santa Barbara.

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Another friend made a four-hour trek north all the way from San Diego and spent a day with us in the vineyard-filled valleys north of Santa Barbara. Since we had skipped Napa and Sonoma in northern California, we paid a visit to Santa Ynez instead. Most of the vineyards close at 5pm so we only had time to visit two of them, but we also checked out a couple of wine rooms in the Scandinavian town of Solvang, which serves as the gateway to the Santa Ynez Valley.

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When we asked Cam for recommendations of things to do in Santa Barbara, his first suggestion was to visit the courthouse. It wasn’t exactly what we had expected, but he insisted, and was absolutely right to do so. A zoning ordinance caps the height of new buildings in Santa Barbara’s historic center to three stories, which preserves its Spanish colonial look and makes it an incredibly pleasant city for strolling. The courthouse bell tower is four stories tall, so it offers panoramic views of the city all the way down to the coastline. What’s more, it has incredible floor-to-ceiling murals depicting the city’s history all the way back to pre-colonial times.

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We could have easily spent weeks in Santa Barbara, playing ultimate on the beach, enjoying good seafood, and catching up with our West Coast friends, but the road beckoned once again. We had a flight to catch in San Francisco, so we loaded up the car one last time and set off north for the final leg of our California road trip.

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If you’re passing through Santa Barbara, stop by the Cold Spring Tavern. It opened its doors in 1865, catering to stagecoach travelers who wanted to break up their long journey. A century and a half later, it still offers up a hearty meal, with steak, venison, lamb, duck, rabbit, and bear all on the menu.

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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Amira Hasenbush #

    Ouch! I don’t even get a full name drop! :P

    June 28, 2013
    • It’s because you said you only skim the blog :)

      June 28, 2013
      • Amira #

        LOL – skimmed enough to see that I didn’t make it in! I like the after the fact tag on facebook to make up for it. ;) Hope you guys are well!

        June 28, 2013
        • There is another post coming up on the Channel Islands. If you keep your fingers crossed you just might get a shoutout…

          June 28, 2013
  2. Gina #

    I always need a vacation after vacation. I always try to give myself at least a day or two when I get back to just relax and unwind. Glad you got to slow down a little!

    June 28, 2013
    • We crammed so much into this 3-week road trip that we’re still recovering from it (a month later), and it was of course totally worth it :)

      June 28, 2013
  3. eleonora #

    Hi, Ive been a lurker around your blog for a few months. I love this article and your entire site! Looking forward to reading more!

    July 4, 2013

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