Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quirky Santa Barbara

N and I had a late birthday weekend to launch the beginning of 30th year. Well, it was my 29th birthday, so that's the start of my 30th year, right? I'm trying to get myself into the mindset of "I'm THIRTY years old" so when it really happens, I won't freak out too much. A year of mental preparation should be enough. I think.

N planned the weekend for us in Santa Barbara. We just can't stay away from that town! Since it was our third time there, he put a lot of effort into finding some quirky, off the beaten path activities for us to do. And it was extra challenging since it was supposed to rain a lot that weekend, which really limited the outdoorsy things we could do. In the end, he pulled it off big time.

But first, we had to go to Arroyo Burro with Stewie, of course. That beach never ceases to amaze me. I know I already filled previous posts with cute Stewie-on-the-beach photos, but will that stop me from posting more? Nope.

We went further down the beach than ever before and came across this neat "cave" in the rock. It dead-ended not too far in where I found a pile of empty beer cans and some graffiti. Charming.

One of the exciting discoveries of the trip was the BEST. BLOODY MARY. EVERRRRRR. Those capital letters do not exaggerate. Take a look:

Yes, that's a whole crab claw in there. And spicy pickled green beans. I ordered it while we had brunch at Tupelo Junction Cafe on State Street. I loved it so much, in fact, that we went back there for brunch the very next day so I could order it again! I really love Bloody Marys, but whenever I order them I'm always disappointed somehow. They just never taste like how I want them or expect them to...either too heavy on the alcohol, not spicy enough, not savory enough...but this one was PERFECT.

Oh--and the food was also really good and the prices were seriously reasonable. They call everything "small plates" on the menu but they're totally regular entree-sized. They also had two tiny tables outside so we could bring Stewie with us.

N also found a little hike in Nojoqui Falls Park about 40 minutes north of the city that we took Stewie to. You drive up a highway and turn off onto a tiny road where you find a very short (less than a mile) trail to a secluded waterfall. It was seriously amazing.

We also had dinner at Cold Springs Tavern, a really-really old restaurant up in the hills. It's been there since 1865 and is a really fascinating place. It felt like we were driving into an abyss since we were so far out from the highway and there were absolutely no other buildings or lights around. I don't have any good photos since it was pitch black up there, but it was definitely a fun experience. The water from the spring tasted great! BEST. WATER. EVERRRRRR. Ha!

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