A couple of weekends ago, I got to coordinate a wedding up in Santa Barbara and used it as an excuse to spend a weekend out of town and exploring. Santa Barbara is about 90 miles north of LA, though the drive can take as long as three hours if traffic is bad. Luckily, I left on a Friday at 11:00 am and didn’t have to worry much about traffic. I stayed in a little studio that I found on Air BNB that was perfect for the trip since it was just me and I was working the majority of the weekend.
I arrived in Santa Barbara in the afternoon and headed straight to the wedding venue for the walk through and the rehearsal. The wedding was held at the University Club, and the venue was absolutely gorgeous and the staff was amazing. If you are looking to get married in Santa Barbara, you should definitely check it out (and also hit me up if you need a wedding coordinator!). After the rehearsal I went to check into my room and spent a few minutes getting settled and freshening up. I then headed out to go find something tasty and simple for dinner. I happened to find Fresco Cafe via Yelp and it was the perfect place for a solo dinner. They had an awesome patio, yummy Italian food, and the most important part of any meal: wine. I had the caprese sandwich and it was really tasty.
The next day was wedding day so I didn’t have a ton of free time, but I did, of course, make time for coffee and breakfast. I headed to Handlebar Coffee Roasters, which was convenient to both the wedding venue and my studio. I also found this coffee place on Yelp, and based on the line out the door, knew it was going to be yummy. The coffee was good, but what really sold it was the almond croissant. It was literally one of the best pastries I have ever eaten and I would go back to Handlebar just for the croissant.
The wedding on Saturday was absolutely amazing and such a beautiful day. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but the couples I work with are all just awesome people. They are down to earth and relaxed, and always so appreciative of my hard work (so like, the exact opposite of my teaching administration). It was one of my favorite weddings I have done this year and I am so hoping to work at the University Club again soon!
On Sunday I woke up tired and sore, as is usual after a long wedding day, but I was also excited to do some Santa Barbara exploring. I had been to SB before as it is home to a pretty popular college (UCSB) that I had friends go to, but had never really spent time dedicated to exploring the town. Coffee was obviously my first priority, and this time I headed to the French Press, which is located on State Street, the main downtown drag.
I knew I wanted to walk by City Hall since it is a gorgeous building and luckily it was only a couple blocks away from the coffee shop. I think if I were getting married in Santa Barbara, I would be tempted to just go to City Hall!
For lunch I headed to the Santa Barbara Public Market, which houses several small food stall type shops. I had a really tasty sandwich and mint lemonade and got a nice break from the heat (that was probably the only downside of the weekend–it was just as hot in Santa Barbara as it was in LA, which is unusual).
I spent the rest of the afternoon strolling around the shops on State Street. There are a bunch of little local boutiques, along with some art galleries and some chain shops like Old Navy and Paper Source (which might be my favorite store ever).
My last stop before hitting the road was McConnell’s Ice Cream shop. I didn’t do a ton of research about places to eat for my weekend, but the couple of posts I saw all mentioned McConnell’s as a must do, and all those posts were right. I consider myself to be something of an ice cream aficionado, and this was definitely some of the best I have had. I got peanut butter cup and salted caramel and both flavors were amazing.
Overall I had an amazing weekend in Santa Barbara. The only bummer was that Matt and Squirt weren’t able to come with me. It would have been a much more fun trip with the two of them along, but I still had a great time (and alone time is not such a bad thing in the grand scheme of mom life). I am really hoping I get to do some more work in Santa Barbara soon, and maybe next time the boys will come and we’ll make a family trip of it!