June: Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara was a two-day, one-night trip for my mother and I. We left Northern California around 9:00 AM and arrived in Santa Barbara/Goleta around 2:15 PM. We checked right into our hotel, changed into our bathing suits and headed straight to the beach. Since it was closest to our hotel we decided to go to Goleta Beach Park and to our surprise it was placed right next to University of California - Santa Barbara Branch. We picked a spot a ways away from the pier and set up a spot in the sand. We own four Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chairs and decided to bring two because they are so easy for travel and quite light on weight. I am tagging these chairs because I believe they are better than any other portable chair, they fold up super slick and you can also almost make it into a lawn chair it goes back so far. Everyone should own these and I didn't mention that they have two pockets on the back... One for general stuff one takes to the beach and the other one is an "on the go" ice pack area. A must buy! Moving on from my beach chair rant, we spent around two hours watching the water, reading our books and enjoying the sea breeze. The time was nearing 5:00 and we both hadn't ate a real meal all day so we decided to go check out Downtown Santa Barbara and grab a bite to eat. The book suggested that we grab a taco in town so our mission was to find a Mexican Restaurant. Driving down State Street, we came across Carlitos Cafe Y Cantina. We ended up cheating the newspaper suggestions a bit and sharing an order of nachos but still, it was delicious and plenty of food for two, I would highly recommend. When talking at dinner something my mom said reminded me that I had a gift card to Yogurtland so I checked if there was one near by and low and behold, there was one less than a mile down the road. After dinner we each got a cup of yogurt and decided we were so tired it was time to go back to the hotel and watch the Amazing Race... YES, we are still watching! Best show ever for those who have not tried it. I almost always travel with my computer and a HDMI-HDMI cord so that it is easy to access Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc., and project it up on the television screen no matter where I am. If you are like my mom and I and don't even subscribe to a cable television service anymore, trying to go back to it for even one night in a hotel is hard for us so we learned this trick to continue our television series on the road. After finishing Season 9, we went to bed. The next morning we slept-in till about 8:30, 9:00 and decided to head down to breakfast. I got a plate of sausage and potatoes with a small muffin and a cup of milk. Compared to most hotel breakfast mornings, I kept it pretty simple and didn't load up on food. I usually make this the biggest meal of the day just because it is free and would highly recommend doing the same if you are traveling on the budget. After we got all our belongings together and packed up the car we decided to head to a beach we saw on the drive in the day before. The beach was named "Refugio State Beach" and when we drove by we noticed it was in a bit of a cove making the water calm enough for paddleboarders. Lucky for us, we brought both paddle boards and were immediately inspired to go out on the water. Entering the beach we were approached with a $10 fee and decided it was still worth it to go into the state beach area. Even though we brought both boards only I ended up out on the water and I completely enjoyed myself... I could have spent all day paddling back and forth but we had the long drive to make again. I bet I spent about 45 minutes paddling up and down the cove, going a little bit farther each time. After deflating the paddle board and re-loading the car, we set out for a lunch spot. (Both of our paddleboards are inflatables and I have an electric car pump so that they truly get hard and feel like a real board... I will link both boards and pump below because I would recommend these to anyone paddle board shopping!) We stopped in a town called Santa Maria on what seemed like their big exit. We ate lunch at Blaze Pizza, walked through Kirkland's and earned some more Shopkicks. Our drive home was pleasant and only made one more quick stop at a Starbucks to keep ourselves awake.
I hope you have fun on your own trip to the Santa Barbara area!
- Small Inflatable Paddleboard I won from a contest! From brand Ten Toes!
- Large Inflatable Paddleboard my mom and I bought with money earned from her work!
- Paddleboard Car Pump from Amazon, one of my best purchases! No more hand pumping the paddleboards!
Pictures below are of me paddleboarding at Refugio (not the clearest but still so cool!) and the photo of the coin dispenser is from Kirkland's and my mom and I thought we should make our own and start one because we are so obsessed with beach trips!