Wherein I Touch Briefly on Serenity and Reawakening and Simple Pleasures

Patio of our condo at Santa Barbara

Oh my. I’ve been trying to tell you all about our lovely week away in Santa Barbara for two weeks. And every time I do, we end up having to take our kid to the emergency clinic and so I tell you about that instead.

So, the short version, lest we be interrupted again. And to be honest, it’s Sunday evening and I’d like an early night but I really want to tell you about the fabulous time we had away.

We love Santa Barbara. Love it more every time we go there.

This time, Dave booked four nights in a snazzy little condo he found on the Internet. A property belonging to a couple that have clearly traveled extensively, as evidenced by the eclectic decor and shelves and shelves of travel books. I should mention the gourmet kitchen and the comfy couch that was big enough for all three of us to sit on to watch Clifford the Big Red Dog and the toddler-proof, easy-clean hardwood floors. No carpet to stain. But instead, I’ll suggest you go and take a look at our Santa Barbara set on Flickr. It really felt like home without, you know, feeling like home.

And I’m not going to go into great detail on every single thing we did, except to say that this really was the best vacation we’ve had in ages — and for several reasons:

  • The weather was warm and sunny and none of us were sick. Unlike our vacation this time last year to the Central Coast when the weather was chilly and rainy and we all had nasty colds.
  • We went to the beach three out of the six days and had a great time playing in the sand and jumping in the waves (see the Flickr set and also the clips at our YouTube channel).
  • I grabbed at the chance to do a couple of NIA dance classes and was so glad I did. It’s been a long time since I’ve danced and this was so different from anything I’ve ever done and so thrilling. Never before have I felt every muscle and joint so loose and every cell (pardon the cliche) so alive and zinging as after those two very intense hour-and-a-half-long classes. This week, I’m going to try out a NIA studio not far from where I work and will write more about it then. I also found a yoga studio and soaked my NIA-sore muscles in a delicious deep-hatha class on the Friday.
  • Dave took advantage of Tau’s nap times to get in some short bike rides around the Santa Barbara area. The SB Bicycle Coalition puts out helpful print-and-fold flyers that chart great routes around town and point out local places of interest. Then on the Tuesday, he did an organized 35-mile ride through the Santa Ynez Valley. Those of you who are movie buffs will know this as the setting of the movie Sideways, so of course he had to do a bit of wine tasting after his ride before heading back into town.
  • The day Dave went cycling in the valley, I took Tau on the bus to the Santa Barbara Zoo for the morning. It was a lovely sunny day and he’s really at the perfect age to be introduced to the bigger animals. This was the first time that he could really appreciate seeing an elephant, a lion and a gorilla right in front of his very eyes and it was such a pleasure to witness his delight. The highlight for him was seeing a giraffe up close and feeding it a special giraffe cookie. He couldn’t stop talking about that!
  • Apart from these high points, we spent our time walking the beachfront, browsing wine shops and taking short drives in the area. On the Friday, Dave cycled out to Carpinteria, a very picturesque seaside town, where Tau and I met him for a delicious lunch in a great setting at the Garden Market, a great end to a really relaxing week.

At the Garden Market Cafe, Carpinteria, for Lunch

Feeling well rested at the Garden Market Cafe,
Carpinteria, CA

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