Monday, October 1, 2012

Santa Barbara

From Nancy

We’re finishing up a beautiful 4 day stay in the SB Harbor. We rented a car so we could get around more. Friday night we enjoyed the coastal drive down to Ventura, where we joined sailor friends for dinner and overnight at the beach house. I had lots of things to do in town, with errands to restock the sailboat, favorite stores to visit. Saturday afternoon we hosted an "Open Shindig" in the harbor and in town friends joined us for drinks and snacks. 

Cockpit Party on Shindig

Family Photo from Spring 2012 in Santa Barbara - Miss you Bryan!
View looking North at Ledbetter Beach from the Mesa
Santa Barbara is the closest to my hometown, after moving here when I was 17, graduating from UC Santa Barbara and working here before moving to the San Francisco Bay area. We’ve been visiting SB once or twice a year, eating our way through town, re-connecting with friends that were lucky enough to make a life here While restaurants and shops have changed, the experience is always memorable. Here’s a list of some of our favorite restaurants or things to do. Gotta go as we have one more half day left before we sail back to Santa Cruz Island!

1.Brophy Brothers – Best location, overlooking the harbor. Consistently great seafood. Go early to get a table outside. The noise level is very loud, but the fresh shellfish, chowder & salad combo and people watching is excellent. Worth the wait any time of day.

2.Soujourner- vegetarian café with daily specials, fresh juices, local wine by the glass. Old favorites remain on menu – vegetarian tostadas and lasagna. Rob’s choice: fish tacos, Nancy: Beet, carrot and celery juice and chicken curry salad.

3.La Superica –Opens at 11am, closed on Wed. A taqueria  shack that attracts locales and LA Zagat following crowd.  Stand up ordering of smaller plates, sit in plastic outdoor chairs under a tented roof. We know the menu by the numbers, and always get #16, which is a delicious caloric combo of grilled pasilla peppers, onions, special cheese and corn tortillas. Last night we shared a table with a sailing instructor from Marina Del Rey attending his 55th high school reunion. 

4.Cabrillo Street – From Ledbetter beach to East Beach. There is so much to see and enjoy along this long palm tree and hotel lined boulevard which includes bike and walking paths by the expansive beach. The Sunday morning art shows are a fun excuse to get down there, breakfast at the East Beach café near the volleyball courts is good. Side tours on Stearns Wharf or across to the Urban Wine trail where over a half dozen local wineries congregate, can be dangerous. 

5.Walk State Street – Highway 101 used to go right across State Street, which meant you had to cross the highway to get to the shopping. Now there is an underpass for cars, bike and pedestrians, which starts at the entrance to Stearns Wharf and the dolphin fountain, and goes up State Street. Get your walking sandals, pocketbook and camera, and stroll up the 15-20 blocks for some serious shopping. Great cafes along the way to rest and people watch.

We were in the shadow of Tamsen, a 174ft Perini Navi Mega Yacht.
The two masts were visible from miles away as we approached SB Harbor.

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