Monday, August 8, 2016


after our night in lompoc, we headed towards santa barbara. it was a pretty drive which included pch. our first stop in santa barbara was the botanic gardens, a cool little place that is organized a bit thematically. there is a native, redwoods, and japanese gardens section. 

my favorite of course was the native. i love me some california wildflowers.

the trail along the redwoods

one of the best parts is the aqueduct. mission dam was built in 1807 to supply the nearby mission water.

campbell bridge takes you over the dam.

blaksley boulder

there is also a maze for the young'ns, like myself. 'fairy houses' are included in the dead ends.

my favorite 'pets on leash' sign. there was also one with an octopus.

they also have a little nursery where you can buy native plants.  cool.

it looks like a hare :D

next was towards the 'old town' of santa barbara, the presidio. the actual full name is 'el presidio de santa barbara state historic park.' funny enough, we first ended up at a motel called 'the presidio' (whoopsies google maps). it was built in 1793 as a spanish military installation. el cuartel, the soldier's quarters, is the second oldest building in california. the presidio was established before the mission and eventually led to the development of the city, the pueblo.

there was actual fruit growing in the courtyard, including grapes...

and oranges.

inside the chapel.

i thought it was so cool that any part of the wall that was missing (including this adobe wall) they would just will in with a glass window.

across the street was a cute little coffee shop (they roast their own beans). for the first time i tried cold brew. i don't understand the hype; it tasted no different.

after, we walked around the area to admire some of the old architecture, including the local newspaper, city hall, and little satellite sites of the presidio. we also shopped down main street. next, was the santa barbara historical society museum.

the santa barbara historical museum

last on my list was a visit to the santa barbara courthouse. i heard it is crazy fancy, and it was. they actually have a chapel and people rent it as a wedding venue. also it is so admired that it is open on the weekends just to visit; with tours and a gift shop! 

a pretty detail through the archway.

the interior was beautiful.

and every pre-cold war building needs a fallout shelter sign. 

you can take 4 flights of stairs up to the top of the tower. very crowded and touristy, but worth it.

the very last and spontaneous destination was the santa barbara mission. now when i was a kid my parents took me and my sister to all 21 missions in california within 2 years. that is a lot of missions in very little time. i'm glad i did it (family vacations are good for the kiddos), but i am pretty much done with visiting missions. there are only some i would want to revisit; specifically ones that are run by the government or a nonprofit, NOT the church. 

why you may ask? i don't like the gloss. missions were not a happy place. they were pretty much concentration camps (now keep in the mind the term does not only refer to the nazis or even thar severity). indigenous were forced to hard labor by building these missions, practice christianity, and lose their own culture; the road for neophytes to become 'civilized.' its a scar on our history that public schools and the church like to ignore. the point of this rant is that the santa barbara mission is ran by the church. anyhoo, LOOK AT THIS GLORIOUS SIGN!

walk like a padre.

there were also some chalk drawings outside for some reason.

i love me some mucha.

this reminds me of the olympics. by the way, i love watching the olympics. it's the only sport i can really get into. so much fun and sentimental.

now for a song! i will keep with the trend of chris stapleton. he has some really good songs. now i think my second favorite song is 'tennessee whiskey,' another single. some honorable mentions are 'fire away' and 'whiskey and you' (for someone who has never tried whiskey, i sure do like songs about it). enjoy!