|A Santa Barbara sunset #nofilter|
I live in a magical place. Mythical. Wondrous. Exceptional. These are all words that describe Santa Barbara County (and it is why I reference it in the Khloe Alwell series). I couldn't pick just one thing that makes Santa Barbara County unique or special, so I made a list:
- Santa Barbara is one place in the world where the coastline runs from east to west. The mountains are to the north, while the ocean is to the south. This means both sunsets and sunrises are over water.
- You know you're in Santa Barbara because of the flowers. Even amid the worst drought ever, flowers continue to blossom. Not just Yucca or mustard, but ice plant, trumpet flowers, jasmine, poppies, and bougainvillea are common sights.
- Celebrities are common citizens. As in, everyone who lives in SB County has a "celebrity story." Maybe Jeff Bridges served you soup at a charity event, or you got a shot poured by Michael Jordan on State Street. Maybe Kenny Loggins sang the national anthem at your kid's little league game.
- To be perfectly politically incorrect and blunt, an SB 10 is like a 20 on everyone else's scale. Hanging out with an SB 7 is like hanging out with a Phoenix 10+. As a rule the scenery is, ahem, spectacular.
- I can walk to several wine-tasting rooms from my house. And they are all drinkable, with several that are exceptional. There are hundreds of wine-tasting rooms in SB County. If you like old-world high-tannin style, you can get that. If you like new-world fruit-forward, that is here in abundance. And just like they say in Sideways, the pinots are, well, get some pinot!
- Cowboys, hippies, and Hollywood types all live in peace here, and often attend the same events. Somehow. Miraculously.
- Produce here is amazing. Despite the drought. Organic fruit and veggies fresh from the farm down the road are available at different farmers' markets throughout the county. My personal favs are all the berries, white peaches, and avocados.
- Even though pretty much everything here is more expensive (it is one of the top real estate markets in the country), you can still get delicious $1.00 tacos every Tuesday at most neighborhood Mexican restaurants.
- The courthouse is worth sitting in with a latte. Seriously. It is beautiful, complete with sunken gardens, Spanish tiles, and spectacular murals.
- The mission is gorgeous, no matter how you feel about the Catholic church - you have to give it to them. They know decor. Santa Barbara's is called the "Queen of the Missions" for a reason.
Also, if you want a good beach read involving romance and motorcycles (of course!) check out P.J. Fiala's book Dog Days of Summer!