After devouring my second In-N-Out burger in less 24 hours of my SoCal trip back in August, I left Long Beach and headed up the coast towards Santa Barbara. I decided to take the longer route up the 1 along the coast. While Malibu ended up throwing some not-so-fun traffic my way, I couldn’t ignore those gorgeous ocean views along the way.
It seemed like around every bend there was a view of another beautiful cove, the bright blue water shining under a perfectly clear sky. I made a few pit stops along the way to get my feet in the sand, take in the view, and stretch my legs for a bit.
My goal was to get settled into Santa Barbara before sundown. It was actually per my mother’s suggestion I was heading up there in the first place. According to her, SB was “totally my style and I would so love the vibe and feel of the city”. What can I say… she was 100% right.
I could already tell driving into the city that I would be in love. I checked into my cute little studio rental off airbnb just outside downtown, changed out of my bikini, and headed towards the marina. Boy was I craving some seafood and a glass of sauvignon blanc! The marina was breathtaking and I got there just in time to catch the sunset. Between all of the boats, tall palm trees, rolling hills in the distance, the sparking ocean and the smell of seafood, I couldn’t stop smiling to myself. I grabbed a bar stool at Brophy Bros. facing this gorgeous view and ordered myself some oysters and a glass of wine to watch the sun go down.
By the time the last oyster was enjoyed and the last sip of wine was drunk, the sun had gone down and I was ready to head into downtown for some more exploring before turning in for the night. Even at night downtown Santa Barbara was amazing! I wandered the streets, checking out all the different alleys off of State Street that were filled with shops and restaurants. After a good bit of walking down the main stretch I was in the mood to keep this sauvignon blanc thing going and set out to find a cool little wine restaurant/bar. A block or so off the main road I found Intermezzo Bar & Cafe, a vibrant little place with a cute front patio, wine on tap and one more seat at the bar waiting just for me.
I snatched the last seat up and ordered a glass of wine. The bar was filled with classy men and women, either on dates or out with friends, and all of whom were dressed quite nicely. I suddenly remembered how I was dressed that night– crazy patterned rave looking leggings, a Hangout Festival tank top, flip flops, and my hair all pulled up up in a high bun.
I looked like a 17 year old who has just gotten back from a music festival.
I laughed at myself for a minute, kind of loving the fact that I looked slightly ridiculous in this place. No wonder the bartender immediately ID’d me but didn’t bother with the couple sitting to my left. About half way through my glass of sauv blanc I found myself in a conversation with the man sitting to my right at the bar named George. George had been living in Santa Barbara for almost 15 years by then and knew so much about the city. I told him I was only in town for the next 24 hours and asked what things I HAD to see before heading back to Orange County. He was more than happy to give me a run down on the must-sees and gave me his number in case I “had any questions about anything tomorrow”.
I now had my first SB friend- Tour Guide George.