**This post was inspired by a text I sent to one of my best friends on 6.8.21**
Tonight I’m thankful I took control of my alcohol consumption patterns in college and basically cut it out for a while early on in my 20’s. Not only did it make me feel physically ill (not drunk or hungover, legitimate adverse impacts on my health), but the behaviors associated were enough to raise an eyebrow for me internally.
Part of my homework from my therapist the past two weeks has been to be deliberate about self care, and I took it a step further by setting the expectation that I keep a daily self care journal of sorts to go with it. Friendly reminder to the reader that self care is about the intent, not the activity.
Today felt like some next level bullsh*t. Even though it was very non-catastrophic it was still very emotionally taxing, and I knew exactly what would feed my soul and give me the level of self care I needed. I opted to eat a sizable homemade burrito and sip on Jameson.
Whiskey has always been my happy beverage. I genuinely enjoy sipping on it (also Bourbon and Scotch). However, I fully recognize that if I didn’t check my levels of consumption and intent behind consumption in college, I would probably be in a present day situation where I am forced to live completely dry. I am thankful I paid attention to my own patterns early on. I am thankful I have been very aware of all of my pattern based behavioral tendencies for a long time. I am even more thankful to be aware of what patterns can lead to. I fully recognize that I have a degree of OCD that heavily manifests in patterned behavior, and that could quickly lead to an addiction.
I am thankful for the self-awareness I had years ago, and I am thankful for the relationship I’m able to hold with alcohol today. I’m thankful that I’m able to truly drink whiskey (yes, straight whiskey) with my partner and not worry about patterned consumption. I’m thankful that I’m able to keep shelves fully stocked with various alcohols and have the distinct thought of “I wonder how long it will take me to get through that all?” that lands on the side of “hopefully before it goes bad.” I’m thankful I know and respect my limits. I’m thankful to be able to enjoy specific types of alcohol because I genuinely enjoy specific types of alcohol.
I know that I’m not alone in a potential struggle.
When I started this blog I intended it to be a longer form of sharing my sewing projects, fun events and trips, as well as what might now be considered “hot takes.” It has taken a few different forms since 2016 when I posted for the first time, and after all that time, I finally feel comfortable in my direction for this personal project. I will continue to share my life, my trips, and what makes me happy. Along the way, that will also include some informative pieces.
I will be writing a bit on relationships, though this will mostly be on relationship structure, rather than my actual interpersonal relationships. I will be writing about trips as I slowly start to go places again (spoiler, one will be on a trip to Disney World this year). I will write as I move into a home and develop that aesthetic for myself. I will be sharing my truths and, as necessary, about events that have shaped me hoping someone who might be going through something similar silently finds peace knowing they aren’t alone. An example of that is when I posted Boudoir & Boob-iversary – I met my exact goal with that post and I’m so proud of that.
If I choose to post about a more personal topic, please know that I am not doing so seeking advice. I have a therapist, as do almost all of the people closest to me. My therapist is a trained and experienced professional in the type of life I am living. I am also not interested in advice if you are not privy to the deeper details of my life and have no experience (or at least attempted education) in the topics that relate to me.
I have spent too much time concerning myself with the opinions of others and living my life in fear of being on the receiving end of backlash for not fitting in someone else’s box. I refuse to live the rest of my life in fear of someone else’s parameters for their own life. I will be filtering blog comments for that and tightening my social media platforms because of it.
Please do not misunderstand – if you have a differing opinion, I welcome that. It is the unsolicited advice, bigotry, and willfully ignorant commentary that I am referring to. If the way I relate to the people & world around me does not *directly* impact your life or the ability to live your life the way you want to, I do not need criticisms on how I’m living mine. If it does directly impact your life, then I’m all ears.
If you have a question, ask respectfully and I will give you a respectful answer in return. If you want to ask something but don’t know how, please preface your question with that and we will work through fleshing out what you’re wanting to know more about together. I am more than happy to do that, and welcome it because it also helps strengthen our communication.
That being said, if you do know me personally and don’t feel comfortable asking me about aspects of my life, I ask that you take a moment to reflect on why that might be. If your lack of comfort stems from it being a new or uncomfortable topic for you, I would hope I have created an open enough dialogue with you in other places that you would feel comfortable expressing discomfort that is not for a lack of compassion. If your lack of comfort is because we aren’t close anymore and the thoughts behind it tie back to a variation of “do I even know her?” in response to something you’re reading, please contemplate conversations we have had that may have resulted in my withholding personal information. This is meant in no malicious way, it is something I evaluate myself with different relationships in my life and I feel it’s something too many people don’t take time to consider. If that is something you wish to change, that is another conversation I’m more than willing to have – all I ask is that you keep in mind why I might not have been comfortable initiating it myself.
All I want in this life is to be happy and fulfilled, and see the people around me experiencing happiness and fulfillment in whatever way best fits them and does not infringe on some else’s ability to pursue the same for themself. What works for me does not work for everyone, but it’s also important to note that what works for many of my friends does not work for me. To be transparent, what works for most of my friends is outright unhealthy for me. My goal here is to share positivity, reality, happiness, and in some cases to share different ways to achieve that happiness, while also hearing and respecting others.
I have fought for myself, my happiness, and my life as I currently know it. It has been hard, but it has been worth it.Happiness is not worth sacrificing.
**This is a re-post, updated to better articulate my feelings in some areas. Original post date 8/2/17**
**re-post to the re-post date is 1/2/2021, updates are either a strikethrough or written in this lovely shade of navy. I love the original premise of this, but it needs some updating**
Normally I don’t do “rant” posts, but this is one. I don’t know if there will be enough of these to technically have a “series” of rants, and they will only appear when I see fit. In this and all cases of rant posts by me, they are not meant to be political, there will be generalizations made for the sake of the underlying frustration fueling the post, and I’m not writing these as any kind of attack on anyone in particular. This (and any rant post that may come in the future) is a topic that has been weighing heavily on me and that I felt compelled to share my honest opinions about. Now that I’ve gotten through the disclaimer, it’s time for the rant..
Society as we know it is ever-changing and has come a long way (relatively) from where it was even 100 years ago. Among other things, women can vote, LGBTQ (and others I’m missing) persons are increasingly free to live their lives openly, and self expression via tattoos, piercings, and unnatural hair colors is becoming more commonplace. Despite that, there is still this expectation of what I call the “white picket fence.”
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been put in boxes by strangers and those that know me alike because of my natural blonde hair, demeanor that seems to exude “sunshine,” and God given intelligence. I grew up going to church, and from an early age it was instilled (*not* at the fault of my parents) in me that my future would look something like the following scenario: I would get a college education of at least a Bachelor’s degree, meet a good Christian man, likely a business man or engineer, have a wedding featuring a Pinterest worthy church ceremony, and have a few kids. It’s likely I could work part time, so long as I was able to be a “good little wife” and I would spend most of my time keeping up our house with the “white picket fence.”
For some people, that works. For them, that’s great. Where my issue lies is with the expectation for myself and other girls like me to have ambition and be educated, free-thinkers, but that we’re also expected to “fall in line.” To me, it’s all too Stepford-y (yes, that’s a link to a Wikipedia page).
I’ll go ahead and start with religion. Religion can be great, but it can also be the cause of literal war. I believe what I believe, and I choose to carry out my faith/beliefs in a way that make sense to me. Through the course of my dating life, I have learned that religion is not something I need in a relationship. I know that some of my readers will need a moment to digest that, but it’s my truth and I havewant to be honest about it. I have been in religiously based relationships that have been severely dysfunctional, not to mention very awkward and forced. I have been in relationships lacking religion entirely that have been very open and rational. I prefer my romantic relationships not be based in religion, and I even encourage they lack religion. I like knowing where the other person stands, and how they got to that point. That tells me more about their character, personality, and integrity than how many Sundays they attend a year. The only common ground I require in this topic is respect in each other’s views and respect for the journey to that place.
Revered occupations come next. I’m all for educating yourself, following through with school, and doing what you can do to move up. However, education, schooling, and progress can be seen in any field (albeit to differing degrees), and I would much rather my partner be successful while doing something that makes them happy and feel fulfilled than have some high paying desk job that literally sucks their soul. Yes, high paying desk job and fulfillment can come together, but that is not the norm.
Pinterest worthy wedding time – I’m all for pretty and photo worthy, but there are a few issues with this. Marriage should first and foremost be about the commitment, not the aesthetic. In reality, I’m pretty close to sold on the idea of a courthouse wedding. Despite how many I’ve attended or been in, weddings are strange to me. I support marriage between two people who wholly care for and are committed to one another, but large weddings make me uncomfortable because of how intimate and significant a marriage is; in this day and age, I feel we invite far too many people to witness this intimacy and almost expect inappropriate comments to be sprinkled throughout in regards to “wifely duties.” No thank you. Not for me.
Marriage is about respect and partnership, and I feel that many weddings tend to gloss over that in favor of highlighting the “shackling” commitment being made and the newfound expectations of sex to please the husband.
Through the last few years, I have realized a lot about myself, and that includes extreme codependence that is exacerbated in cohabitation situations, and toxicity around money/co-mingling of funds specifically. I do not see myself cohabitating with anyone for more than a few weeks (so vacationing) or remarrying. That’s not to say I will not have significant partnerships, but they absolutely will not be “traditional” in the sense society praises. In the coming months, I am going to do a whole separate blog post about my personal realizations on marriage & relationships as they apply to me.
Children. As long as I can remember, I felt like I was expected to have kids (after getting married, of course). I cannot wait for my friends to start having kids, but I am in no rush to do so myself, and am certain that my life is not hinging on whether or not I’m a biological mother to other humans. Never say never, but kids don’t make my short list (unless they’re goats) of things to do.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time explaining what I don’t want, so I think it’s only fair that I share what I do want. My idea of a fulfilling life more closely resembles the following: owning a bunch of land with a modest house, having a husband who works hard for what he wantspartners who work hard for what they want and support me working towards my goals, spending nearly all my free time traveling, and caring for a small zoo’s worth of animals. I’m sure a fence will be involved, but that’s to corral the animals.
My life goals include seeing and doing as many things as I can in my life, and none of them are conducive to coming second to someone else’s whims or being reliant on someone else for financial allowances.
The world is filled with different ideas and expectations for the “right” way to live your life, and I’ve only covered one niche (middle-class, cis-, heterosexual, Christian, in America). At the end of the day, if you’re happy, not infringing on someone else’s ability to live their life the way they want to, and you’re being a generally good person, does it really matter what “right” looks like?
When I moved back to California, I wanted to have more time for Disney trips, so I made it. The more I shared my adventures with my grandma, supplemented by my mom’s experiences in the park, the more vocal grandma got about wanting to go to Disneyland herself. In 2017 we decided that we would take her for her 80th birthday that was in August of that year.
Unfortunately, that fall stayed too hot, and by the time it cooled down enough for us to be comfortable taking her, the holiday madness in the parks started. With that, we decided to make the trip in the spring. We opted for the period of time after spring breaks ended and before Grad Nite season started. This meant our trip would have to take place in the last two weeks of April.
In planning this trip, we decided that we would dedicate Monday to driving down, Tuesday and Wednesday to being in the parks, and that Thursday would be for driving home. We also went into the trip with a list of pictures we knew we wanted, food we wanted to try, and rides that were important. We are proud to say we accomplished everything on our lists!
My mom and I picked up grandma at her house just before 10 a.m. on Monday, April 23rd. From there, we made our trek down to Anaheim. Quite a few stops were made along the way, and we finally made it down to the hotel just before 3 p.m.
For this trip with grandma, we decided to really splurge and stay at the Grand Californian – proximity to the parks, bell/valet services, room service, and amenities played a big role in our decision here. Of the Disneyland Resort hotels, this one truly is my favorite.. since the room renovations, the showers are to die for!
Once we got settled in the room, the three of us went into Downtown Disney for dinner. We made our own “family style” experience at La Brea Bakery, and it was just the right amount for each of us.
From dinner, we made our way through Downtown, pausing to go into some of the shops. We made it to the other end and found our next destination: Trader Sam’s.
Despite it being around 6:30 or so, we lucked into a table inside! This meant grandma got to experience the activities that accompany some of the drinks (for those who are unfamiliar, this includes brief changes in lighting, yelling by the bartenders, and other special effects).
When we left Trader Sam’s, my mom wanted to go into the lobby of the Disneyland Hotel to see their teacup chairs. This was a brief detour because by this point we were all very tired from the traveling of the day. We made it to the room and called it a night shortly after.
In the Parks – Day 1:
The next morning we all got up early and started getting ready while we waited for room service to arrive. During our trip the parks closed a little earlier and opened a little later – this kept us from having to rush ourselves and grandma first thing in the morning, and kept us from staying in the parks too late.
We were at the entrance to Disneyland about a half an hour before the park officially opened. After getting through the gates, we took advantage of the fact that the park wasn’t technically open yet and wandered through the Emporium that sits on the corner near the City Hall at the start of Main Street.
After stopping to look in the shop, we made our way down Main Street to get castle pictures before it got crowded.
We crossed the bridge into Fantasyland and went to Snow White’s Scary Adventures. When we finished there, we decided to move on to the Mad Tea Party, which grandma got a kick out of!
When we finished our spin on the teacups, grandma expressed interest in the Matterhorn, and after mom and I weighed the pros and cons (i.e. how jerky it is, the lack of real padding, etc.) we decided to get in line.
She ended up liking that one too!
When we were done there, mom wanted one of the chocolate churros that are a limited feature for Pixar Fest inspired by Coco (which I still haven’t seen), so we stopped at the churro cart in Frontierland. Once the churros were consumed, we went to Adventureland to do the Jungle Cruise.
Following the cruise, we made our way through New Orleans Square. While walking through the square, we witnessed a proposal at one of the caricature stands, which was adorable! Once we had passed through, grandma and I made our way to Haunted Mansion while mom waited elsewhere. When the ride was done, we met with mom where I waited in line for one of those Toy Story Alien popcorn buckets.
That day we had reservations at Carnation Cafe for lunch, which was phenomenal! From there, we headed across Main Street to the silhouette shop.
The silhouettes at Disneyland have to be one of my favorite souvenirs, and I’m so glad my mom brought up wanting to do one while we were in the parks with grandma.
It had been a long day already, so we started our trek to the hotel so that at the very least, grandma could have some down time. On our way back to our hotel, we stopped in World of Disney, followed by the Starbucks Reserve in Downtown.
Once we got grandma back into the hotel room, I decided to look at ride wait times for some of the more intense rides that were not a particularly great idea to try and take grandma on. At that point in time, the wait time for Guardians of the Galaxy was allegedly only 45 minutes. I decided I was going to go, and I knew mom wanted to as well, so we left grandma to rest and wandered into the park (which was particularly convenient coming from the Grand Californian).
Turns out the wait time was closer to 90 minutes, which was okay overall because grandma got to really rest. When we finally got through the ride, we made our way back to the hotel room to pick up grandma so we could head back into California Adventure with her.
Our first ride stop when we were back into the park was the Little Mermaid ride. After that, we decided to take grandma on the Silly Symphony Swings. She LOVED those – they would end up being the only repeat ride with grandma the whole trip.
From the swings, we moved on to Cars Land as it was nearing dusk. The only ride we did in Cars Land that day was Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters. After our ride, mom wanted a Neapolitan shake from Flo’s V8 Cafe. We walked through Cars Land with the lights on, and I made sure we walked around the back side of Flo’s toward the wharf so that grandma could see they way that the Cadillac Range gets lit up at night (a personal favorite of mine).
We got back to the hotel relatively early that night, which was good because it was a long day. According to my phone, we had walked just over 5 miles that day.
In the Parks – Day 2
Day 2 of fun in the parks started similarly to day 1 in that we got room service and went to Disneyland first. We only had one objective for that park when they opened at 9 a.m. – get a picture with the Mickey flowers in front of the train station.
After we got our picture, we hit California Adventure. Once through the park gates, I took our park tickets and got FastPasses for Radiator Springs Racers while mom and grandma took their time walking up Buena Vista Street. From there, they met me at the entrance to Cars Land so we could get a picture with the Buzz and Woody cars by the “Welcome” sign.
With our picture taken care of we made our way to Toy Story Midway Mania, which only had a 5 minute wait time. Once that ride was marked off the list, we made our way back around the pier the long way (construction is still heavily underway) to the swings so grandma could ride them again.
Mom and grandma went on their way to do Soarin’ and I made my way to the Starbucks location in the park. When we met back up, we headed towards Hollywood Land. On our way to our next destination, we took a little detour to take a picture by a mosaic wall near Schmoozies, ride Mike and Sulley to the Rescue (a ride mom and I had never been on) because grandma likes Monsters Inc, and to grab a hot dog.
Around that time was our return time for our Radiator Springs Racers FastPasses, so we made our way there through Bug’s Land so that grandma could experience that. Mom and I also paused to get FastPasses for a second round of Guardians later that afternoon. Following our race, I wandered to the Cozy Cone for a bacon mac & cheese cone and my mom went back to Flo’s for another Neapolitan shake which grandma had a little bit of.
At that point, we had finished most of what we wanted to do in California Adventure, so we headed back across the plaza to Disneyland. Our first order of business in the park was to take the railroad on a round trip. Once we made it back, we walked up main street and got pictures in our Minnie ears with the “Partners” statue.
That day was particularly warm, so we made our way towards Adventureland to get some Dole Whip and sit through a Tiki Room show. After the show we walked across the park to the Monorail. We rode the Monorail to Downtown Disney, and made a stop in the new Disney Home Store as we made our way from the station to the hotel.
With grandma at the hotel to rest once more, mom and I made our way back to California Adventure for our Guardians FastPass return. After the ride we got back to the hotel (much faster than the day before) and gathered grandma to get dinner.
We walked back to the park entrance of Disneyland and jumped on the train for a 3/4 trip to Tomorrowland. Dinner was at Pizza Planet (which is fantastic rebranding in my opinion) where mom got pasta and grandma and I got slices of pizza. Mom also got one of the Alien macaroons. After dinner, we got back on the train to go to Main Street and head back to the hotel.
Based on my phone’s tracker, we walked just over 6 miles the second in-park day of our trip.
We had room service delivered Thursday morning before we left and were thankful for bell services to help us get our stuff back down to the car. As might be anticipated with typical LA traffic, it took us an hour and a half to get the 30 miles from Anaheim to Downtown LA. We ended up making it home in just about 5 hours.
We all had a great trip to Disneyland, and I’m so grateful that I have those memories with my mom and grandma!
Ink Master has been among my favorite competition shows since it’s inception, and in 2014 it introduced me to a few tattoo artists I have dreamed of being tattooed by. One of these artists is Season 4’s runner-up Walter “Sausage” Frank. Since Ink Master, he relocated to Las Vegas and opened a shop, Revolt Tattoos, with Season 3 winner Joey Hamilton (another truly gifted artist). I have driven through the area numerous times since the shop opened, but I had yet to find a design nor actually set foot in the shop. His tattoos are striking, bold, and legible photorealistic designs, and I knew someday I would find myself wanting something sizable, detailed, and meaningful enough to contact him. I also knew my Revolt story would happen organically, when it should, but I never could have guessed what the price of that inspiration would be.
After Colin died, I knew I was going to get something tattooed on my body in remembrance of him, and initially I was decided on red roman numerals on my side of his date of death. Later, after his mom found a zoo worth of owls in his room, my plan changed. I started my artist search around Fresno, but realized that anyone who could accomplish the photorealism that I wanted would be expensive and I would have to wait. It then dawned on me that if I was going to be paying as much as I was and waiting as long as I would be, I might as well go to one of my “dream” artists.
I first contacted the shop in December 2016. I filled out the basic contact form, explaining my flexibility in timeline and in design so long as there was a photorealistic owl. Additionally, I was open to color so long as it was mostly neutral toned. For how much I like to be in control, I was pretty open about what the tattoo would look like.
Through our communication, an appointment was booked for me to come in on October 3, 2017 at 10 a.m.
From the inception of the idea, I decided I was going to make a small trip out of this appointment. I chose to not fly for a number of reasons, but fortunately for me, I have made the drive between Fresno and Vegas half a dozen times and find it relatively easy.
As it turned out, Emily’s bridal shower was the Saturday before near Pasadena, so it made sense for me to go down then, stay in the LA area, and then head to Las Vegas from there (my last post, “SoCal Adventures,” details that part of the trip). As it turned out, I made my way to Las Vegas on October 2nd.
October 2nd in Las Vegas turned out to be a dramatically different day than I had planned. The original itinerary I had included going to the Luxor to see the Bodies Exhibit, and possibly walking The Strip. With the shooting the night before, everything was closed and eerie, so I loitered in LA a little while longer than intended. I took myself to breakfast at Twisted Sage, a place my darling Sarynna had showed me on my trip with her to Azusa nearly a month before. From there, I headed into Vegas, drove past the Strip on I-15 before getting off the freeway, after which I checked into and sat in my hotel room for awhile before heading to a Yard House that was south of The Strip right off the freeway.
The following day, I had my appointment which was far and away the most well documented tattooing experience I have ever had.
My mom and aunt drove into Vegas that morning from Fresno, arriving at the hotel around 9 a.m. They ate breakfast, took their stuff to the room, and then we made our way to Revolt.
I met Walter Frank for the first time just after 10 a.m. as we discussed in more detail what I was looking for. Through our talks and looking at pictures, we decided moving the image to my hip from my side would be a better decision as far as fit, size, and longevity were concerned. This move required me to change out of the yoga pants and athletic shirt I had originally worn to the shop and into a dress which would allow easier access to my hip.
Almost 2 hours later, we had a sketch, he prepped his station, and we were ready to apply the stencil.
The shop offers live streams of their tattoos, so I took this opportunity to share the link to Walter’s station so that friends and family not present could watch the process unfold.
The course of the next 5 1/2 hours consisted of lots of tattooing, lots of jokes about ass, and walking breaks. I’ve included the “progression” pictures below:
I wanted the owl’s eyes to be Colin’s eyes. For those of you who are unfamiliar, his eyes were a dark brown that became a vibrant green in direct light. The group present acted as voting committee of how to best do them in the likeness of his eyes as to not get too muddy with the black of the outline and the pupils. We opted for a green color toward the center, becoming brown at the edges.
Walter was such a great artist to sit for. He humored our questions, sass, and the emotions associated with what we were there for for nearly 6 hours that day.
We ended up leaving the shop around 6 p.m., heading to Yard House for dinner. That evening was highly emotional, and we were all spent by the time we got to dinner. We all were asleep by 9 p.m.
The day following my appointment, we all made the drive back to Fresno.
I am so happy with my experience and the end result. This trip helped create a small light in an otherwise grim situation. As much as I don’t like the fact that my reason for going to Walter was to memorialize Colin, there is no one I would have rather had as my artist.
What was originally going to be a short trip to Las Vegas for my newest tattoo turned into a 5 day trip that started Saturday, September 30, in La Cañada, California for my darling Emily’s bridal shower!
Emily has been a close friend of mine since she moved to Fresno and started playing for the same volleyball club as I did between 7th and 8th grade. A few months back I visited her and her fiancé Bobby in Santa Barbara. Since then, more wedding plans have come to pass, and we are now a few weeks away from their big day! The shower was brunch in a family member’s backyard. I’m proud to say I won the game that was guessing Em’s age in a collection of 16 pictures!
One of my favorite features of the shower was the video Emily’s sister-in-law Amanda made with Bobby that consisted of Amanda prompting 20 questions to Bobby and him guessing Emily’s response. His answers were so genuine and honest, and Emily’s reaction to some of his answers was priceless.
I ended up staying with Emily’s mom that night near Anaheim. Being the Disney addict that I am (and knowing I was going to bite the bullet and get an annual pass again), I decided to take a quick detour on my way to her home. I was hellbent on seeing Disneyland in all of it’s Halloween glory, so I reinstated my annual pass (I went with the signature pass, I previously had a signature plus pass.. I’ll go more into this on a later post), and went into Disneyland with the intent of walking up Main Street, looking at all the decorations, and riding Haunted Mansion. Yes, that is all that I did in the park that day.
The next morning, I got up and drove to North Hollywood where another dear friend of mine lives: Catriona. We planned to spend a portion of our Sunday at Universal Studios exploring the Harry Potter section before her show that evening.
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While there, we ended up seeing a friend from high school who is currently in the frog choir, and went on a studio tour tram narrated by another cast member of the show she was in that night.
Overall, I thought the Harry Potter section was very well done, and the food was fantastic! The “big” ride that part of the park features, though, is not one that sat well with me because I cannot do 3D or copious amounts of movement in rides (for comparison, I can’t do Star Tours at Disneyland because it gives me motion sickness).
The show Cat was in that night was called The Scarlet Pimpernel, one I wasn’t familiar with. It was a very small production, but the actors were all talented, so it was enjoyable.
The next morning, October 2nd, I started my drive to Las Vegas.
Every few weeks, I get lucky enough to have either a Friday/Saturday or a Saturday/Sunday scheduled off work. With that “rotation” I had Saturday March 3rd free, and so did my dear friend Emily. As such, we made plans so I could visit where she is currently living in the Santa Barbara area.
Due to work, I got to Santa Barbara late Friday. Fortunately, my leaving Friday after work gave us all day Saturday to do fun things. After some brainstorming, we decided that we wanted to make sure the day involved brunch, local restaurants, historical buildings, and getting close to the beach (getting in the water wasn’t a requirement for me on this coastal trip).
For us, the day started off with meeting Emily’s fiancé at her favorite breakfast place, The Cajun Kitchen. Although we each committed to our own entree, we also split a bowl of beignets. From brunch, we regrouped and then decided that our next stop for the day would be the Santa Barbara Mission.
After wandering around the outside of the mission, we decided to do the self-guided tour that goes through the garden, cemetery, church, and museum.
This part of the day made me particularly happy because I love the California Missions. As I have previously talked about with reference to National Parks, I took California for granted before I moved to Colorado, and I decided years ago that I wanted to make it a personal goal to see all of the missions. Before this trip, I had toured the missions at San Juan Bautista and Carmel, and had been on the grounds for (but not inside) the mission at San Luis Obispo. At a later date I am sure I will do a more in depth explanation, but in part, I’m drawn to the missions because of their architectural beauty, the fact that parts are still in use, and that people can still be buried there (regardless of religion).
After we finished the tour, we decided to head into Downtown Santa Barbara. There, we went to the County Courthouse to climb four stories worth of stairs to get to the top of the tower. The first two floors of this building consist primarily of public and private offices as well as courtrooms (two of the Supreme Court rooms were actually in use that day). The third floor on the west side of the building had only a small room with the internal components for the clock on the exterior of the building. The fourth floor above the clock was solely an observation deck, and each side offered a panoramic view of the city and it’s surrounding natural features.
Once we were done at the top, we took the elevator back down to the main floor and sat in the courtyard for a little while (we also probably definitely accidentally photobombed a wedding).
From there, we decided to drive down the pier and then park by the harbor and walk around some more. We walked past an array of personal boats and a gathering of the Santa Barbara Ukulele Club before reaching the building for the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. We didn’t go in the museum here, but went to the top floor observation deck.
For dinner, we went to Sandbar in Downtown. After eating more fish tacos than I had intended, I started my drive back to the valley. Although I took no pictures this time, I stopped at the Madonna Inn (which I LOVE) on both the drive down and the drive back.
While I live in the valley, these little trips help keep me sane and active, and I am grateful that I’m living in a place that affords me the freedom and fulfillment that my soul finds from travel. I don’t mind traveling by myself, but adventures are that much better when shared. I’m so thankful to Emily and Bobby for spending the day eating delicious food and looking at old buildings with me. I look forward to the next adventure I have with you two!