My home is in one of the most beautiful cities in California. We are located directly by the beach. We are only twenty five miles from San Diego which makes this a perfect place to live. I wanted to start a blog because I just took an awesome road trip to Santa Barbara which is about 200 miles away. I met up with my good friend Cassandra Vetchworth who is also a writer. I was so excited to see her as I haven’t seen her since school. We were literally inseparable all doing school. Being able to see her for the first time in such a long time was so awesome.
I probably overly prepared for my trip. I sat down and made a list, because I love making lists. I packed three of everything on that list. I know that’s a little over the top, but who knows what kind of crazy adventures two girls who haven’t seen each other in a while can go on? My trip was a lot of fun. As quickly as I wanted to get there I also wanted to take in all the views along the way. I saw so much beautiful countryside that I was definitely inspired to stop and write down some thoughts. I like to keep a journal of all my thoughts so when I have terrible writer’s block I can look at those thoughts and build a story from them. It has been highly effective in curing my writer’s block every time.
When I arrived in Santa Barbara I was so excited. I could barely hold all my excitement in. When I pulled up to Cassandra’s home it was absolutely stunning. I could definitely tell by how beautiful it was that she has definitely become a very successful writer. She was so excited to show me to her room and tell me everything that she had planned for us. She told me that she had schedule a tour with Grapeline Tours so we could get a little tipsy. I found that funny because we always used to go to wine tastings and it was kind of like our hobby. She showed me to my room and it was so beautiful. She had a full California king bed that I knew I wasn’t going to want to leave when it was time to go home.
When I woke up the next day Cassandra was excited and helped me pick out a nice outfit to wear on our wine tour. We went with the company Grapeline Tours and it was very professional and fun. Our tour guide Christopher was very nice and one of the most knowledgeable tour guides that I have ever met. We visited four wineries and everyone seemed better than the next. Our favorite by far was Bridlewood. It was so peaceful and the wine had such a great taste that I bought way too many bottles to bring home with me. I decided to use the excuse of giving them as gifts to my friends, but really I am going to keep “most” of them for myself. We also were able to visit a place to sample olive oils. I really love infused olive oils so this was just an exceptional added bonus for me.
After our wine tour was over we went to Opal Restaurant and Bar. I think we were a little excited because we ordered three appetizers, the black-pepper crusted ahi tuna that was seared rare and served with an amazing salad, fresh crab cakes that were absolutely delicious and came with mango salsa, and a lovely butter lettuce with Gorgonzola. Those appetizers were so amazing that I couldn’t even imagine how wonderful the main course would be. I got the homemade tomato linguine with shrimp. I loved it. However, the appetizers were definitely my favorite.
When we got home we opened a bottle of wine and shared stories of our writing struggles and successes. We played a game of Scrabble just like we did in our school days and talked excitedly about the activities we could do the next day. Cassandra decided that I should visit Lotusland. She said there had been many times in her life when she was struggling to meet deadlines that she would visit Lotusland and feel completely relaxed and free. I told her I could definitely enjoy a place like that so we decided that we would visit and then just roam around Santa Barbara and have a good time.
Lotusland ended up being one of the most amazing places I have ever visited in my entire life. I loved the story of how the grounds were cultivated by a lady by the named of Madame Ganna Walska. She spent over forty years cultivating a garden of exotic plants that today people like us can enjoy. She was a brilliant writer and they said she wrote that she was an enemy of the average. I love that phrase. Many writers have to be an enemy of the average to get ahead in life. I saw some of the most amazing cacti, bromeliads, water lillies, and ferns that I have ever seen. It definitely was something that I could think of when writing.
We spent the rest of our time visiting the city and Cassandra showing me all her favorite books shops. She took me to a very unique book store called the Book Den. I purchased several unique books there that I will definitely treasure after this visit. We finished our visit with a wonderful meal at bouchon. I had venison medallions that were beyond exquisite. She had wagyu which I tasted and think I will be ordering in the future. I was sad to leave, we still got on just like old times of course. I do wish we lived closer to each other. However, I think after she comes to visit me that I am going to go right back to visit her. There is so much more of Santa Barbara to explore.
I found out later that Cassandra had termites just before I arrived but she had them dealt with pretty quick by her local friend. Can’t wait to go back to Santa Barbara.