Sunday, July 1, 2012

Santa Barbara | Courting The Sea

Continuing with the 2nd half of Day 2 in Santa Barbara, which was June 25th, our wedding anniversary.  :)

Todd had the great idea of going over to the courthouse, because there’s a tall tower on top where you can see all the way to the ocean, with nice panoramic views.

The inside of the courthouse had very pretty art and details.

One of the smaller side entrances into the courthouse.

From inside, you can see one of the buildings that used to be a prison!

Inside one of the big courtrooms.  They marry people here sometimes.

The ceiling inside the court room was very ornate.

The pictures don’t do justice.  The room was huge and the walls were very tall.

Todd standing by one of the walls with painting on it.

Front of the court.

Everywhere we went inside the building, we saw awesome architecture like this.

We climbed up to the very top, where the clock tower is.  You can see all the way to the ocean from here.

I love seeing the Mediterranean-style red-tile roofs in Santa Barbara.


Awesome views.





It’s free to go look inside the courthouse, so I would highly recommend it if you go to SB.  They do have a section of the courthouse where actual court business is conducted.  You can’t go into that section unless you go through a metal detecting doorway.  But all the art, architecture, and ocean views are free!

Walking back to downstairs hallway to exit.

Just off State Street, you can see many alleyways like this with restaurants and shops.

We walked by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art but didn’t get a chance to go inside.


As you walk on State Street, you see cool buildings everywhere.



We walked back to the hotel to rest a bit.  Then right before walking out for dinner, we remembered that the hotel had complimentary wine & cheese in late afternoon.  So we went over to the main room and sure enough, there was wine & cheese.  Todd hates cheese so he just ate a cracker and some red wine.  I had some cheese with crackers and white wine.  The hotel also has complimentary milk & cookies after dinner, but we were too full to partake, as you will see why below! 

We walked back to State Street and had dinner at The Palace Grill.  We had been there twice before but it’s been quite a few years since the last time.

I had the Louisiana-style soft-shelled crabs.  There were three of them and they were delicious!

Todd had gumbo pasta and he ate all of it very fast.  Very flavorful.

Oh, and the meal comes with these corn bread muffins.  All kinds of flavors, all freshly baked.

Good thing we walked five miles, because we shared a dark chocolate souffle for dessert!  It takes 30 minutes for them to make the souffle fresh, so you have to order your dessert at the same time as your meal!  As soon as the waiter brought the chocolate souffle, he ripped the middle open and poured in the chocolate pudding/sauce.  It couldn’t be more delicious!

There was more walking after dinner.  The pier and beach were sort of on the way back to the hotel, so we decided to stop by.

That’s when I noticed something very unusual.  The Santa Barbara beaches face Southeast, not West!  I’m so used to seeing the sun set over the ocean here in San Diego, this was weird!

If you look at the geography of the SoCal coastline, the beaches usually face Southwest.

But a closer view of the beach/pier in Santa Barbara shows it faces Southeast!

Once we figured that out, we knew we had to go back onto Stearns Wharf for some photos, because finally we can have nice lighting on our faces at sunset with the ocean behind us!


And we were right.  Lighting was gorgeous!

So different than the photos we took in the morning.

Morning photo.

Evening photo.20120625-IMG_0896_600


There were cute little shops in those buildings on the pier.  One of them was an ice cream shop, but we already ate so much, so no more for us!

Looking back at the coastline from the pier.

More golden hour gorgeous lighting.

The line and wait into this restaurant on the pier was very long!


This time we had to ask a stranger to take our photo, since we left our tripod in our hotel room.

This is one of my favorite photos of me in a while.

I just love the view!  That guy is pretty cute too. :p

Back to the hotel to relax.  Or as we like to call it, “twin laptop time”.  The Lavender Inn has free WiFi, in case that makes a difference to you.  It did to us, LOL!  It really annoys me when you pay some good money for a hotel and they charge you an extra $15-$30 per day for internet access!  Yes Westin and Four Seasons, I’m talking to you.

The next morning (Tues 6/26) we headed home, so there won’t be a whole blog post for that day.  However, it is worthy to note that on the way home, we stopped for lunch at Rusty’s Pizza in Carpinteria.  Todd LOVES Rusty’s!  They have restaurants in Santa Barbara too, but we wanted to get on the road before lunch to avoid traffic in Los Angeles. 

Guess who was excited?

That would be Todd.  Here’s an extra-special Todd Shot.

Thanks for coming along on our travelogue to Santa Barbara!  I know that a few months from now, I will read this blog post again and it will bring a smile to my face to re-live our wonderful anniversary trip again.  :)


  1. LOVE all your trip, looks AMAZING. i am so very jealous right now as its just pure frost here just now and freezing :( I agree with the wifi thing, when we stayed at the hilton this year for a few days it was 12 per day so we just done without, not paying that ontop of almost 200 per night for a room. :)

  2. I always enjoy how you break down you vacation in days when you blog about it.

    The evening sun in SB is spectacular. Your photos from the tower are beautiful.

  3. Gorgeous photos!! It looks like you had tons of fun, I haven't been to Santa Barbara in forever and I don't think I've ever been to most of those places. Your photos definitely make me miss living in California!!


  4. You know what strikes me most about your amazing photos of Santa Barbara? ... it's just how much the architecture reminds me of places [closer to my home] in the Mediterranean! Honestly, the red tile roofs, the building shapes etc they all have a very Spanish influence!

  5. Sue, yes, love Santa Barbara for the Spanish influence! Everything was very cohesive and it feels like visiting somewhere far away in the Mediterranean, except everyone speaks English and it's only 4 hours drive away! :)

  6. This looks like the perfect anniversary weekend! Santa Barbara is very beautiful. Thanks for showing.

  7. It was such a fun trip. And we got some lovely photos to remember it by. When is Rusty's opening down here?

  8. awww SB is so beautiful! I can't believe I went to school there. Its weird looking back because I never fully appreciated how pretty it was because I was so miserably stressed out about school. Love all your picutres. You missed going to campus though! Go gauchos! :)


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