Category: Local Adventures

Our family has fallen in love with the Santa Barbara Zoo.  Olive has been twice in the last two weeks and we just got a membership to ensure we can enjoy it year-round!  The SB Zoo is a smaller zoo but is the perfect size for little ones.  The grounds are lush and park-like, and absolutely beautiful.  You can tell the property is well-maintained and in fact, it is a pretty popular venue for weddings!

They have a great variety of animals on display including giraffes, lions, gorillas, elephants and Olive’s favorite: penguins!  I love the cheery pink flamingos and the otters.  🙂  They also have a charming little train (which, granted, is pretty expensive for a ride around the property) that is worth checking out.

Here are some photos from our two recent trips (the first with me, and the second with Erik and his parents — Olive’s grandparents).  The photos are mixed together, hence the two different outfits.

Serene and lovely grounds

Matilija poppies are some of my favorite native Californian flowers.  They look like big sunny-side-up eggs!

This photo cracks me up, considering we are creationists.  Just couldn’t resist her expression here!

In line to feed the giraffe, Michael!

Love this pic of Olive with her Grandma Del (Erik’s mom!).  Picture perfect!


Fancy flamingos

Next to the train that Olive kept calling Thomas 🙂

Leading the way!

Tip: A sweet friend let me in on the fabulous reciprocal zoo membership program.  There are lots of zoos nationwide that offer reciprocal entry to their facilities when you hold membership with one of them.  The SB Zoo has a family membership of $90/annually (great price) but I found that the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero has an equivalent membership of $60/annually, and it has the SB Zoo on its list of reciprocal facilities!  Yay for saving $30!  I actually haven’t been to the Charles Paddock Zoo yet, but I look forward to checking it out.  For my southern Californians, the Santa Ana Zoo is on the list (free) and the LA Zoo is 50% off.

Hope you all are having a great Monday!  I’m recharging after a fabulous wedding weekend (congrats J&C!!!) and am preparing for the next beautiful event around the corner.  Today I was in Paso Robles for a site visit and the gorgeous drive through wine country really rejuvenated me.  I am so blessed to live here and do what I do.  Grateful.  🙂

Amidst a very busy week, my sweetie took a half day from work to take us to Cambria and Cayucos: two of my favorite towns on the California coast.  We usually go to Cambria on Mother’s Day but our plans were foiled on Sunday with Olive’s late nap.  So, this outing served as a belated Mother’s Day adventure.  🙂  Everything closes around 5p in Cambria so we got there at 3p, with just enough time to peek into my favorite antique and garden shops and grab an olallieberry lemonade at Linn’s.  I usually can’t get out of there without having some pie but the 90+ degree temps just didn’t seem pie-compatible.

Olive’s dress is from dot dot smile and my dress is from LuLaRoe!  We’re twins in our twirly skirts.

From Cambria we made a quick detour in Cayucos to get — what else? — some bites of heaven at the Brown Butter Cookie Company.  Did you guys know they just opened up shop in Paso Robles, too??  These little shortbread-style cookies are melt-in-your-mouth incredible and they come in a variety of scrumptious flavors.  My faves are coconut lime, citrus (with cayenne!) and the original.  They will be savored one at a time this week to make them last.  😉  If you aren’t local, you can order online!  You’re welcome in advance.

With the heart of wedding season just around the corner, I am grateful for little escapes like this one with my family.  We are so blessed to live here on the coast of California, in close proximity to so many charming towns and local getaways.  We tell people we live where most people go on vacation.  It’s the best!!

When we got home, we realized my restaurant of choice was closed on Tuesdays (random, I know) so part 3 of my Mother’s Day celebration will take place on Saturday night.  How’s that for making the most out of the holiday??  Thanks Erik!

Hope you all are having a wonderful week!  I’m busy prepping for two packed days of meetings with some clients (Hi P&S!) to take me into the weekend.  See you all again soon!

This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of checking out the brand new Santa Barbara Public Market for their Friends & Family Preview Day.  It has been a long time coming so I was excited to finally see the plans come to fruition.  I have always loved Public Markets… a cross between a farmer’s market and a gourmet food court.  From Oxbow in Napa to Granville Island in Vancouver to Quincy Market in Boston, I have visited quite a few of them.  I love the stacks of stunning produce, the exotic scents, the stalls with unique food purveyors and the energy!  A public market also reminds me a lot of depachika in Japan: the basement of a department store, lined with stalls offering bento lunchboxes, fresh fish, delicate mochi and more…

The beautiful new SB Public Market is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, just a block off of busy State Street.  The beautiful white building seems quiet and calm until you push through the doors into the bright and bustling activity inside. Natural light streams in through the windows, the ceilings are tall with exposed pipes for a modern industrial feel, and reclaimed wood is used prominently throughout the design of individual shops.

My invitation to visit the SBPM was courtesy of my dear friends Amber and Kevin of Enjoy Cupcakes.  They are one of the shop owners at the SBPM and I am so excited for them!!  Clearly, my first stop was at their stall to pick up a strawberry basil chardonnay cuppie and give my congratulations.  If you ever wanted to try Enjoy Cupcakes but haven’t had the occasion to drive out to Los Olivos, I hope you make sure to visit them in SB.

I also sampled some incredible pistachio ice cream from Rori’s (a Montecito favorite), cold pressed juice from JuiceWell and organic olive oils from Il Fustino.  I could have roamed around all day, just taking in the sights and tastes.  I can’t wait to return later today to pick out some special gourmet gifts for the foodies in my life, as well as local treats for Santa Barbara wedding welcome bags!

If you find yourself in SB, make sure to swing by and visit; they officially opened on Monday!

Enjoy your evening and see you all again soon!