Sunday, February 17, 2013

Searching out the good stuff

Santa Barbara is really growing on me. I have to admit that I was disappointed at first.  I had heard great things about this city and my expectations were high.

When we arrived here we had spent 27 hours on the water with very little sleep. But, more than sleep, we both wanted a good lunch at a table that wasn’t rocking beneath us. Brophy Bros. Clam Bar here in the Harbor was the perfect spot. Great food, good service, and a beautiful view of the town beyond the Harbor all conspired to heighten my Santa Barbara expectations.  Restored and refreshed we walked into town.

The elderly volunteer at the Visitors’ Center recommended only two attractions: the stores and restaurants of State Street and the Ronald Reagan Ranch Center. The Ronald Reagan Ranch Center holding no allure for either of us, we set off to explore State Street. State Street begins with a store for adults only, cigar bars, and tattoo studios.  After a few blocks we found so called “upper” State Street where both the stores and the clientele were dramatically different, but Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstroms, Macys and the like are of as little interest to me as a tattoo studio. Less, in fact, as the tattoo studios at least exhibit artistic spirit and freedom of expression. At the end of our first day I would have chosen to leave, but, that not being an option, I decided to make the best of it and explore the city beyond State Street.

I have been walking several miles a day and there is so much to see and to experience. The architecture alone keeps me entranced for hours. Yesterday we walked to the Farmers’ Market. I was amazed at the abundance of inexpensive produce. We bought a 25 lb. bag of freshly picked organic oranges for $11, 6 limes for $1 and organic avocados priced 4 for $1. Poor Mike had to walk the mile+ back to the boat laden with shopping bags and a 25 lb. sack of oranges slung over his shoulder. I, on the other hand, took a historic walking tour, went window shopping in the Cultural Arts District, and discovered yet another wonderful bakery. I wonder why the lady at the Visitor’s Center didn’t recommend those things, or the historic Santa Barbara Mission or the spectacular park that meanders along the cliff overlooking the sea.

I am so glad that we were forced to stay here and I’ve learned the lesson that a positive attitude and willingness to search out the good stuff make all the difference in the world. We're even going to give "lower" State Street a second look. I've heard that it's quite a lively place after dark. You just never know what you might discover if you keep an open mind and adventurous spirit!


  1. Okay - now it's showing ALL of my posts - so if people want to post using the "Anonymous" option, just tell them to identify themselves in the context of their post. Sweet. Love you,

  2. Hi Deb! Apparently it also works by checking "Name/URL" put your name or favorite alias in(a URL is optional skip it) and click "Publish Your Comment"

    this is amazing can't wait to read more thank You Janet XO!

  3. twenty-five POUNDS of oranges...?!

  4. Yes, Margy, You would be surprised at how fast I can consume 25 lbs of oranges. Especially when they are so fresh and juicy and squeezed into a glass with tequila and Grand Marnier!