Charlie and I had a great little road trip up to Santa Barbara this weekend. After a big brunch of maple, bacon, cheddar pancakes (for me) and chorizo scramble (for Charlie) at our favorite cafe in Solana Beach, we meandered our way up the Pacific Coast Highway with several leisurely stops for dipping toes in the ocean and eating ice cream on old, rickety piers.
Our first stop was San Clemente beach. There's the 31-week belly, enjoying the crispy ocean breeze, and Charlie, contemplating waves. After an ill-conceived stop at "Seal Beach" (no seals, mediocre beach), we headed into the Long Beach area. At this point Charlie makes a sudden detour that leads us in various the alleyways, surface streets, and corridors of the LBC. Whether it was sheer instinct in the way that birds know to fly south for the Winter or some deep-seated, primal urge, like salmon swimming upstream, or simply the sweet siren song of deep-fried poultry, we will never know. But after at least half an hour of what seemed to be aimless wandering, our destination became clear. Charlie had found us a Roscoe's. Alas, Snoop Dog was nowhere to be seen
We made several other stops along the way, including a dusky sunset walk along the swanky Santa Monica cliff side and a desperate Jersey Mike's sandwich stop in Oxnard (I should have packed more road snacks).
Santa Barbara is a nice little seaside college town with numerous tree-lined parks and pretty Mediterranean architecture. We visited the usual sights, including the Santa Barbara Mission and adjacent rose garden. As you know, salvation never seems to be free and it turned out we didn't have enough cash to actually enter the mission. We did, however, enjoy the gift shop and public restroom facilities. And we stopped to smell the roses.
The Santa Barbara courthouse is another "must see" spot. Beautiful architecture, spiraling staircases, Moorish paintings, manicured gardens. Eh. The highlight of that detour was the Crushcakes Cupcakery that we found a couple blocks away. Charlie may have a nose for chicken and waffles, but I can zero in on adorable and tasty little baked goods. Yes, I ate two. That would be a carrot cake on the left and a red velvet on the right. Note Charlie's sad, sad little "mini" cupcake in the background. Rookie.
We spent the rest of the day lounging on the beach and napping in our hotel room. ahhhhh... vacation...
On Monday morning we drove back down the coastal highway after yet another pancake feast, this time at a cute little Danish bakery on the main street in Santa Barbara (thanks to Charlie for that flattering capture). Our return drive was plagued by creepy, foggy marine layer floating in from the ocean and general misty, damp, hair-frizzing conditions. This allowed for very few stops, although we did manage to catch a whole herd of kite surfers taking advantage of the windy conditions. Our trip ended with a stop at the Fogo de Chao in Beverly Hills, during which I was evidently too pre-occupied to take any photos. As usual, I ate entire too many cheesy rolls and Charlie flirted with the gauchos. All in all, a successful trip.