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A Spontaneous Weekend Getaway to Santa Barbara

Sometimes life starts to get a little overwhelming. Sometimes, getting away from reality for a bit can help free the mind trapped in an endless hamster wheel of duties, obligations, responsibilities. It’s a way to usurp the days of routines, to recenter, and reset.

After a particularly challenging week, Michael and I set off for our beloved Santa Barbara. As we drove along the coast and the familiar sight of the curving coastline along the freeway came into view, the sighs we didn’t realize we’d been holding released themselves in exhalations of relief.

We spent the weekend exploring new, quiet neighborhoods, walking among the curving oak trees that seemed to bend down to shelter us. We strolled along the streets of downtown, taking our time, with no other pressing agendas to attend to. We returned home, released from the tension we hadn’t noticed had crept up on our shoulders, that had weighed so heavily upon our backs. Once again, we learned the importance of creating space for rest.

Recommended Stops:

  • Ennisbrook Trail [Montecito]: This gorgeous trail lies amidst a high-end residential neighborhood. The “hike” is a short, flat loop that took us through an oak forest with lovely stone bridges. It feels like a world in itself, so quiet and seemingly removed from the noise outside.

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Random box left in the middle of the woods

Random box left in the middle of the woods

Amazing trees

Amazing trees

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  • Gaviota Wind Caves: A bit longer of a drive outside of Santa Barbara, the Gaviota Wind Caves hike was worth the climb up the mountain to see wind-carved caves. Normally, this would not be my preferred type of hike [it has steeper climbs, and is mostly exposed to the merciless sun]. However, the caves are still worth seeing at least once. Being there reminded us of the sheer awesomeness of nature.

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The first, small wind cave

The first, small wind cave

Wind cave at the top

Wind cave at the top

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  • The Blue Door: There’s something about old things that almost never fails to instill a sense of nostalgia. This three-story building filled with vintage and modern knickknacks lured us in through its bright blue doors, with a promise to help us waste a few hours poring over fantastically alluring pieces of old furniture, books, and typewriters. With an ever-changing inventory of only “authentically vintage or locally handmade” pieces, each visit promises never to be the same as the one before.

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Good Eats:

  • La Super-Rica Taqueria: Actually, I wouldn’t say that this place is amazing [especially after eating those mind-blowing tacos from Tacos El Gordo]. However, these were decent street tacos. Be forewarned, that the tacos come with minimal garnishing and toppings. What really sets these apart is the tortillas. They make these tortillas from scratch, by hand, and whatever voodoo they do to them causes them to come out soft, fluffy, and unlike any other tortillas we’ve ever had. As other reviews recommend, try their special, #16.

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  • McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams: This ice cream shop has been around since 1949, and they’ve been making their ice cream the same way until now: from scratch, with organic, natural ingredients, and dairy from their own creamery. The line was out the door when we stopped by on a whim, and it did not disappoint.

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