north, to Santa Barbara

Most of my visit to LA I spent in anticipation of meeting lovely India at the airport late on the last Friday night of my stay. Having not seen her in more than a year, I had a stern talk with myself so I wouldn’t become a blubbering mess when we hugged. I managed to control myself, and we took off up the coast for Santa Barbara and Room 13 at the Inn of the Spanish Garden. Arriving there at 2 am to a friendly concierge and a fire in the lobby was a relief after a drive that took 2 hours because I lost my way on that section of road my friend Lisa warned me about, where the Pacific Coast Highway meets the 101 freeway. Fortunately, India had her technology to get us out of trouble on dark country roads. What did we do in the prehistoric days before the Iphone, I ask you?



Santa Barbara treats:

The living room of Carole and Clif Magness, formerly of Santa Monica. A year ago they bought a run-down but lovely old Dutch colonial house, which Carole has turned into a very pretty gem. The deer head is made of wood.

A trip to Montecito along the back road is so beautiful, with eucalyptus trees and fabulous estates lining the route. You can catch the flavour of the local scene at Pierre La Font, selling furnishings, clothes and food, all of it exquisite.

I found a fellow knitter eyeing these giant balls of yarn made from twisted fabric.



In a corner of the store was this little shelf full of my favourite things: wooden spools displaying ribbons, yardage of hand made crochet cotton tape, with shell buttons attached. It was futile to resist. Don’t know what I’ll do with it. Maybe make a south seas-ish necklace for next summer?



No Santa Barbara weekend would be complete without a visit to the Mission.


A display of artifacts inside the Mission.

Who knew that the Franciscan
Fathers wore such cute platforms back in the 18th century?

Australian species do well here. Lovely old Moreton Bay Fig planted in 1890.


Driving down back down the coast we talked about how much we love Southern California.





4 Responses to “north, to Santa Barbara”

  1. lisa Says:

    Oh Mel, so sorry about getting lost in the dark in the Oxnard fruit fields-
    quite scary as I warned you…. just comes upon you and you are lost!
    Thank god for the iphone. Lovely pics of santa barbara, I love it so….. so
    happy to have seen you. xolisa

  2. Rachel Says:

    Love the photos of the Mission, and the coast. The light in Southern California is so beautiful.

  3. Sandy Goudie Says:

    So nice to read about your visit to the central coast. My mother’s family is from the Santa Barbara/Santa Maria area. They are Latino and the family Ruiz dates back to the early days of the Santa Barbara Mission. They were humble laborers and soldados, inter-married with the local Chumash band of Indians. Those old Californios are long gone, but the mission endures. The old family Bible that my uncle Robert kept charge of was donated to the Mission archives a few years ago, where it rests safely, waiting for scholars to read its dusty pages of Spanish language records.

  4. Mel Says:

    Sandy, What an interesting family history! Thank you for sharing.

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