Thursday, August 23, 2012

Santa Barbara Bliss

I'm pretty sure companies are going to stop sending me free stuff to review and give away because it takes me an eternity to actually DO IT.  I admit, I am  terrible at these things.  A procrastinator to the power of 10.  I'd rather write about my awesome runs and fun in the sun.  But I promise, more giveaways and reviews coming soon!

This past weekend, Angela and I had a 3 day weekend getaway to picturesque Santa Barbara.  It was our first time there, and immediately upon our arrival we felt like we just entered a storybook.  It is pristine.  Picture perfect.  Not one scrap of trash on the sidewalk or a McDonald's anywhere in sight. Charming store fronts and cafes line the streets.  Bike lanes hug the roads, which of course, sold Angela on Santa Barbara.  She is a hard core bike commuter at heart.

We had plans of wine tasting but we ditched that idea as soon as we saw the beaches.  When faced with the option of sitting in 105 degree heat sipping wine as my butt sweats OR paddling around in the ocean for hours getting a tan, feeling refreshed, spotting sea lions and burning some extra calories all at once, we picked the ladder.  Obviously.  I hate a sweaty butt.

run happy.

We ate some great food in SB and were super stoked at all of the fresh, plant based options the city had to offer.  We ate at The Natural Cafe, SilverGreens, Adama Vegan Comfort Food, and enjoyed the best vegetable salad and Sangria at Carlitos Cafe & Cantina.  The restaurants/cafes did not disappoint.  Despite the heat wave, we got in a 10 mile run before Stand-Up Paddle Boarding on Sunday.  We hoped to do some trail running but prefered not to die in the heat, so we stuck to the coast.  There was a delicious breeze the entire way and great scenery. The miles just ticked away.

The best gluten-free vegan chocolate cake...ever. 

Adama Vegan Comfort Food

We saw some adorable sea lions while SUPing it up in the ocean.  I managed to get a crazy sunburn and am suffering from it still.  My face is flaking off left and right.  Does anyone else enjoy peeling skin?  I know it's gross, but so addicting!

One of the things we were most excited about was trying some local coffee shops.  With a quick google search, we found Handlebar Coffee Roasters and it was superb.  One of my dreams as a kid was to open up a coffee shop/used bookstore as an adult.  It will probably never happen, but a girl can dream.  The owners of Handlebar had a similar dream, and they actually did it.  They are a married former-pro cyclist couple that left the cycling world to move to Santa Barbara and open up a coffee shop.  Not just any coffee shop, they also roast their own beans, which is less common than one might think.  They cater to cyclists and active individuals so Ang and I felt right at home.  They are still fairly new, so the couple opens and closes the shop every. single. day.  No staff.  Just them.  They are both incredibly down to earth people and easy to chat with.  We visited them a few times and basically never wanted to leave.  We're kind of obsessed.

the lovely couple of "Handlebar Coffee Roasters"

Our bag to-go
My Angela.  Where she would spend 75% of her time if we lived in Santa Barbara.

As we were driving away from SB on Monday morning, Ang looked over at me and said, "So, can we figure out a way to move here?"  The truth is, no, we could never afford a place like Santa Barbara.  And in reality, it's not that different from San Diego.  But something about being on vacation and being a visitor makes a place so damn appealing.  We started discussing our next move, which will probably be in 4 years.  Who knows where the road will take us...  but I'm excited to find out!


  1. I'm pretty sure that Martha Stewart just taught me how to make designs in my hot chocolate (I'm behind in my issues, so I'm still reading cold weather advice). I love it!

    That chocolate cake also looks amazing.

    So true that anything that's not home seems automatically more relaxing. I think we get into an enjoy-yourself mindset away from home that spills over into all the places we visit.

  2. I love SB! It's one of my favorite places to jet off to. Did you get to sneak over to any vineyards up that way? Some of my favorites are within an hour of there.

  3. ahhh this makes me miss sb so much! natural cafe was one of my favorite restaurants there. glad you had a great weekend!

  4. This looks very yummy! Almost impossible to find for a vegan in Germany. I love your blog, btw!

  5. 10 mile run and THEN paddleboarding? You are my hero, woman. And that food looks RIDIC... both the cake and the comfort food!!!!!!! YUM!!! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to stuff my face.

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