Home from Santa Barbara

June 7th, 2008

We arrived home last night from a wonderful trip up the coast to Santa Barbara – one of our all-time favorite vacation destinations.  On this trip we saw parrots, ostriches, emus, miniature horses, squirrels, dolphins, turtles and lots and lots of dogs!  And we never even made it over to the zoo!

We left home Tuesday morning and stayed three nights at the fabulous Cheshire Cat B&B.  This was our 5th or 6th time staying at the Cheshire Cat and our first opportunity to meet the gracious owners Jack and Christine.  I can’t recommend this B&B highly enough.  Whether you’re an avid B&B fan or have never given one a try, you’ll love the Cheshire Cat if you have a chance to stay there!  This trip we chose the Tweedledee room and I think it might just be my favorite yet.

On our way to SB we like to stop in Summerland for lunch at the Summerland Beach Cafe (and lucky us –   it was Burger Madness Tuesday!) and at The Menagerie (parrot store and sanctuary).  There are so many birds being cared for at The Menagerie and they do such a teriffic job.  One particular bird captured our hearts this time – a Moluccan Cockatoo named Doodles.  Doodles had been plucking his feathers to the point of mutilating his own chest (Cockatoos are known for doing this).  He was abandoned at the SB Zoo with a note on his cage that said “Please help me.  Doodles”  The staff at the Menagerie keeps him in a little kevlar lined t-shirt (peach to match his feathers) so he cannot continue to hurt himself and he is doing well.  We asked to take him out and hold him and we even went back on our way home to cuddle him some more. He’s such a sweetie!  You can see that he has torn holes in the t-shirt and is needing a new one, but he can’t get through the kevlar to his chest.  (click on any thumbnail below to see it larger.)


Somehow our intention of going wine tasting on Wednesday ended up being more of a zoological adventure – LOL – starting with Ostrich Land where we fed ostriches and emus.

sb1-ostriches-medium.jpg                            sb2-emus-medium.jpg

They tell you to hold the feeding pan with both hands so the ostriches don’t take it away from you.  Ummm…yeah…those huge birds are kinda scary!  Oh and it was super windy too…I felt like I was getting beat up by the wind at that point.  From there we went to the miniature horse ranch.  We had been there before – such a beautiful place and so fun to see the amazing little horses.  There were LOTS of babies (foals?) this time.  Here’s one who was a little unhappy because they took his momma to be groomed, so Curt was trying to comfort her. 


We stopped along the highway at a Vista Point to take a few pictures of the coastline and we were very fortunate to see some dolphins frolicking.  Unfortunately I only had my small camera with me so we weren’t able to get any good pics of them.  It’s funny, although I’ve never really been a *beach person* I cannot imagine living anywhere where I didn’t have access to the coastline.  There’s just something so soothing about it….something comforting in the fact that I can get to the *edge* and look out.



The next day we had lunch right on the pier at The Harbor Restaurant.  I was brave and tried a Lobster Monte Cristo.  Oh my heavens was that ever yummy!  It was so wonderful to sit a table right by a window and look out at the ocean and the marina.


I also wanted to get up to the beautiful rose gardens situated right across the street from the old Santa Barbara Mission.

sb6-mission-custom.jpg  sb8-rose-garden.jpg


We packed a lot of stuff in this trip and believe it or not we actually spent a fair amount of time just relaxing with books and magazines too.  Although the Cheshire Cat does have free wi-fi, there was some unknown glitch and for most of the trip we had no internet connection or e-mail despite traveling with two laptops.  Honestly it was a blessing to be *unplugged* for awhile.  It may take me a couple of days to get back in the swing of things.


Thanks for stopping by!


9 Responses to “Home from Santa Barbara”

  1. Debra Says:

    What a wonderful trip! I am so glad you were able to get away.

  2. waterpixie Says:

    Looks like such a nice and relaxing trip!

    Thanks for all the links, I think my boys would really enjoy a trip like this.

    Owen still talks to me about your birds. He’ll ask about certain birds and if they can be a pet “like Jami’s” 🙂

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  4. Bev J. Says:

    Enjoyed the trip along with you. Thanks for the wonderful photos-the rose garden was lovely! Glad you had a good time. tfs

    Bev J.

  5. Sue H. Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing the great pictures of your trip. We lived in Lompoc, just 50 miles north of Santa Barabara, for almost ten years before moving back to Washington state four year ago to be near family. We made that trip up and down the coast so many times to enjoy some of the great things you spoke of…(we loved lunch on the balcony over looking the harbor at Broetje’s(sp?) Fish and Chips– mmmm so good. We watch the movie “Sideways” just to see some of the same places we ejoyed when we were there. OOOH how much we miss it there…always something interesting to see and do. Maybe someday we will move back there, but in the mean time thanks again for the chance to reminisce.

  6. Carol Scheevel Says:

    Somehow I missed this blog entry a few days ago, and just noticed it! Greg and I stayed at the Cheshire Cat for our “one year” anniversary MANY years ago. So quaint and relaxing. Can’t remember the name of our room, but I remember it had a big huge hot tub in the room. Thanks for the fun pictures. I love taking my kids to Solvang, so we’ll have to look for the ostrich’s next time! 🙂

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