“You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” Well I would never want to leave the beautiful Hotel Californian. My husband and I checked out this new hotel when we had a quick getaway to Santa Barbara to celebrate 10 year anniversary. It is gorgeous. They just had their grand opening party last night. I still can’t get over all the changes to lower State Street since I was in college at UCSB only a few years ago. Back then there was very little going on lower State Street except a few dive bars. This is the latest addition. I love all the black and white tile.
After seeing this t-shirt I had flamingos on my mind. Coral is one of my favorite nail colors for summer. I was able to find the perfect coral, “On the List” in my new favorite Essie Gel Couture. My last mani lasted over a week. It is indestructible.
This past weekend we had a quick getaway to Santa Barbara which included swimming and lounging at the Coral Casino. It was the perfect mid-summer getaway and my coral, flamingo manicure fit right in.
For our anniversary dinner last week in Santa Barbara I wore heels and a silk blouse, but for walking around during the day it was all about comfort. My favorite AG Jeans, New Balance sneakers and of course, a striped tee. This one was customized on National Stripes Day at J. Crew. My seven year old selected the patches and placement.
My husband and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary earlier this week. We got away for one night to Santa Barbara where we were engaged and married. We had perfect weather just like we did nine years ago.
This summer we visited the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. It is so well put together with great interactive exhibits for kids. I highly recommend it. My son loved it and we visited two weeks in a row. I also loved the adobe building, so on our second visit I took advantage and shot this fall look.
Our end of the Summer mini-vacation included an amazing meal at Plow and Angel at the San Ysidro Ranch. It is just so beautiful there. I wore a J. Crew dress that I featured in Stripes and Paisley on the Vineyard. This time swapping the pops of pink for my favorite leopard print. The dress is so easy to wear and is a great neutral shirting stripe that can be styled so many ways.
Enjoying the beautiful grounds after dinner.
Dinner at or absolute favorite restaurant. It is rare to find a place with such amazing food for adults and healthy options that are appealing to kids too.
Then we headed back to Butterfly Beach and The Biltmore for sunset.
On our recent trip to Santa Barbara we explored the El Presidio real de Santa Barbara after a delicious dinner (and margaritas) at nearby Playa AzulPlaya Azul. The Presidio contains an original adobe structure called El Cuartel, that is the second oldest surviving building in California and was built by Spain in 1782, with the mission of defending the Second Military District in California. The chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano, known as “Father Serra’s Church”, is the only surviign building in California that is older.
I went to college in Santa Barbara at UCSB and did not spend that much time exploring touristy spots. It has been fun to explore with my son. There are so many great sites to see and if you like Mexican food, Playa Azul is a must.
It is nearly impossible not to feel “in the pink” in Santa Barbara, especially at The Biltmore, overlooking Butterfly Beach. The Biltmore was built in 1928 and epitomized Southern California glamour and was a favorite retreat of old Hollywood. The grounds are just so beautiful and Butterfly Beach is a favorite of ours. The butterflies actually left soon after the construction and care was put it to the landscaping and trees so that they would return. We learned about this in the beautiful children’s book “Butterfly Beach” by Polly Caldwell Bookwalter that we purchased in the gift shop for vacation bedtime reading. We spotted a few butterflies on one of our morning walks. The beach walks were so beautiful that I even managed to win my weekly Fitbit step contest against several competitive New Yorkers.
Yesterday’s post was about the shoes that were the inspiration for The Navy Leopard. I’m still wearing them almost two years later. I was happy to have them with me on our recent anniversary getaway to Santa Barbara that I wrote about in this post. We ended up walking a lot. It was also very windy, so I paired them with this this gingham cashmere twinset from J.Crew. They are a great option if you want to be comfortable, but want something more stylish than the shoes you wear for exercise.
From the time I can remember my earliest memory, I wanted to be a mother. I thought about what my kids would be like, where I would live and taking them to school. I pictured at least three to four kids. I did not waver from this. I wanted a career as well and wanted to establish that first and then juggle it all. I carefully watched others in the workplace do their juggling act and had concerns about how it would be done and where the sacrifices would be made.
I took me a long time to find my husband and along the way I had multiple careers. We had our son later in life and it was not easy to get pregnant. I feel so grateful that I am now a mother and also know that Mother’s Day is a tough day for a lot of people. My third date with my husband was the night before Mother’s Day, ten years ago. He had lost his mother twelve years before that. It was a hard day for him. For many years it was hard for me too, waiting for my turn and wondering when and if it would happen.
I feel honored and lucky to be the mother of my incredible son. He constantly surprises me with his old soul knowledge and then follows it up with silly Kindergarten antics. He and my husband planned a very special day for me that included a drive to Santa Barbara and a lovely brunch at The Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch. We had recently celebrated our Anniversary with an amazing meal at their other restaurant Plow and Angel . My husband had the brilliant idea to do a day trip for their Mother’s Day Brunch. It was flawless.