Thursday, May 30, 2013

California love, Part 3, The Wrap Up *sigh*

So I've let more than a week pass since I started this Santa Barbara trilogy. It's getting harder and harder to think about writing about California.... I love it so much and would seriously love to live there. We looked at some real estate and could buy a nice house, but is a decent lifestyle sustainable?? I've heard that tax rates can be 60%?? ugh.... At least the weather here in Kentucky is GORGEOUS for now!! So sunny and hot and fabulous!! Now, the final Santa Barbara chapter, let's get to it!

One of the very best things about Santa Barbara is the fact that you can walk everywhere! Our resort, discussed here in Part 1, was right across the street from the gorgeous beach and beach walk. I LOVED getting my exercise in each day on this wonderful paved trail! It was packed from dusk till dawn with people enjoying the nice weather in every way thinkable, from jogging and pushing strollers to driving rented pedal buggies and rollerblading! So, so nice to just be OUT, you know?? Even the dogs were laying around and happy! One thing that cracked me up was the population of the most fat ass squirrels I've ever seen in my life. Even for rodents, life in santa Barbara is apparently good! ;) 

When we walked by the historic beachside carousel for the millionth time, hubs asked, are you wanting to ride it?? Of course!! I had been DYING to ride it! :) It was $2 each and lasted SO long we were in tears from laughing so hard by the time it stopped. Hubs noted that it was probably the most entertainment we would ever get from $4! LOL!

We made a day trip to Michael Jackson's Neverland. Very, very interesting. The place is in the middle of nowhere, 7 miles down a two lane road that runs through some of the most breathtaking countryside we've ever seen. It looked almost like Africa, really. Wide open spaces but still moments of greenery and lushness. Cattle and horse ranches that I would guess are in the hundred million dollar range. So quiet and serene and lovely. Can you imagine what they thought when MJ started moving in tractor trailers full of carnival rides and circus animals?? Omg. It was shocking to think about. I don't know what I was expecting but I was so surprised by the setting. 

We fully intended to park the car, jump a fence and roam around. What's the worst they could do? Ask us to leave? When we got there we were totally caught off guard by how much security is here 24/7. Manned guard booths at the gate. Cars parked all along the road. A car that runs constant circles round and round the property. Who pays for all of this?? When you read online about the situation it definitely sounds like there is no money involved. If I had known what to expect, I would have brought cash and slipped the guard a fat bribe to at least drive us around in a golf cart! I'll be putting that tip in my Trip Advisor review! ;)

So we had to settle for pictures at the gate, which is covered in handwritten notes and gifts to MJ. The whole place is just weird, weird, weird and if/when it's opened to the public, I'll be first in line (but I hope for the people that live around there that never happens!). 

We had a couple more stand out meals, dinner at La Playa Azul and awesome brick oven pizza and Italian beer at Olio Pizzeria.

cucumber margs! yum!!

And at one point we happened into a benefit that featured a contestant from the voice that we had never heard of, Orlando Napier. He was good! Reminded us a lot of Remy Shand. We figured out after we had paid admission and been talked into raffle tickets that the benefit was for a Jewish charity. Our kids go to catholic school... Were we allowed to be there?? Hahaha

All in all, SUCH a fun trip. The hubs is my best friend and such a perfect travel companion!! I heart you California, and miss you always! See you in September when we are there for the Emmys!! Xoxo

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