Saturday, October 2, 2010

socal (los angeles & santa barbara, ca)

I made it to the West Coast last Sunday. I was overwhelmed with a bittersweet excitement. I'd driven as far as I could possibly go. I had already been driving for four weeks. And, no longer would I drive out and away from home. 
So I went saké bombing and wine drinking and Los Angeles exploring.
Oh and sushi dining, of course, because how could I possibly have done any of the above without a little fuel? My friend and I feasted on edamame and dragons.
They were absolutely, positively fantastic, despite the fact that I can't remember what were in the rolls themselves.
Then, and only then, did we venture to the "farmer's market." I put quotations because that is the name of the place where we found these glasses of wine. Apparently the term is used lightly ;). 
The next morning I awoke with a slight headache. There hadn't only been sake, beer, and wine in my system, but limeade. Oh, limeade, how dangerous you are. I will leave it at that.
Nonetheless, we had a hike planned around (not up/down) Runyon Canyon, and it was going to happen. We set out around 10 a.m. 
The views were absolutely breathtaking.
The heat not so much. I felt like garbage by the end, probably worse.
No pun intended?
I learned later that it was the hottest September 27th in L.A. since 1888. As a result, I may very well be proud of myself forever for surviving.
Afterwards, we sat in the air-conditioned car for a while to allow our body temperatures to return to normal. I gulped down water as if it were the elixir of life (which I suppose it is), and then we drove back down to ground level for lunch.
We stopped at a small taco stand. The woman only spoke Spanish. We ordered every taco they had, topped them with cilantro, chopped onions, salsa and devoured them alongside Mexican lime soda and Coke. On our way back we also got small vanilla cones from McDonald's. Sometimes you gotta do, what you gotta do. Plus, I finally felt better.
I got back on the road soon after. Not before making two sightseeing stops though: Sunset Blvd (above) and the stars (below). Couldn't help myself.
This drive was a quick one, north to Santa Barbara, California. Two of my friend's friends had moved their recently and welcomed me to their new home.
Yes, I know. I cannot believe people live with view like this one either.
Dinner was sushi again. I'd like to think it was because I was still on a high from the roll I'd enjoyed the day before and wanted more. In reality it was because the rolls were half-priced.  Life is funny like that.
Following dinner we strolled through the outdoor mall and down State street. We also stopped in the quirky little bar for some Boggle and wine. 
They are an amazing couple, together and separately. It was a good night.
But alas, I was exhausted. I am pretty sure that I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow. And I slept very soundly for a complete eight hours. Sleep is one of the most valuable things on this trip of mine. 
On Tuesday morning I a bowl of cereal and read my book on their back porch before heading out for a quick A.M. overview of "the American Riviera."
[the Botanical Gardens]
[the Mission]
[the courthouse]
Coffee break for a soy latté from Coffee Cat. 'Twas divine.
[State Street in daylight]
[the historic Arlington Theater]
[a restaurant to note for my next visit 0:)]
[the wharf]
[the Pacific]
Santa Barbara has very strict regulations on maintaining the original beauty and integrity of it's town and buildings. It was gorgeous, (almost too much but not quite,) and strikingly different from the mish-mosh showbiz evolution of the vast Los Angeles landscape. I know I could've spent more time in these two places, a lot more time, and yet I am thankful for even these few days. California is an incredible state. The United States is an incredible country. 

Oh boy, I feel the nostalgia creeping in already...


  1. Oh, my god. I can't believe you went hiking on that day crazy lady!!! i didn't even want to be out in the field it was so nasty hot! major props to you woman!

    have fun up north of me! i wish we could have visited while you were here!!!

  2. how lovely is this! My boyf went to college at UCSB so always talks about it! I have only been once when I lived in laguna beach in middle school. I need to go back! It sounds and looks so beautiful!

  3. amazing!! thanks for taking us all on a little journey through paradise btw!! <3

  4. Trying To Heal: Haha, it was horrible and wonderful all at the same time. Thanks darling, me too. Maybe next time!

    afreshdille: Oh, it totally is. Hope you get to visit!

    Kelsey: It is my pleasure :) I wish this adventure of mine would never end!

  5. These pictures bring back the memories. :) I went to college in SB! Someone once told me that the restaurant / square foot on State Street in SB was the highest around. Not sure if in the world or in the US or just in California.

  6. suki @ [Super Duper Fantastic]: Aw, how nice! And thanks for the trivia :) that's pretty interesting.

  7. You were practically in my backyard. Glad you enjoyed your visit!

  8. Only A Girl: Haha, how weird/cool at the same time :) I really did, thank you!


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