Thursday, February 21, 2008

Santa Barbara Trip

For us, 2007 was a great year as far as travel goes and we ended the year with another good trip. With our regular travel companions Sundar & family, we went down to Santa Barbara for a relaxing 3-day trip right after Christmas.

As on our trip to Solvang in 2006, we drove to Santa Barabara on Highway 1. This time we stopped at Point Lobos State park. Like most of the parks along 1, this one too offers spectacular views of the ocean with the waves crashing against the rocks. We took the short Bird Island hike that gave us a good view of Bird Island that true to its name, served as the resting place for a large number of birds. We also took the stairs down to China Cove, a beautiful small beach that we had all to ourselves. We drove straight to Santa Barbara from there.

Since the next day was rather cloudy, we started the day with a trip to the Mission. This Mission, established in 1786, was even older than Mission Santa Ines, which we visited last year. But otherwise, it was pretty similar to the other mission in terms of its history and old artifacts. We then went to the Botanical gardens, which was a few minutes away. It was a pretty large garden with a large variety of plants and a number of walking paths but since it was winter, it was pretty green all around with barely a flower in sight. So it turned out to be a good walk but not much more than that. After lunch, we went to downtown Santa Barbara, where we visited the Courthouse and spent some time walking around.

The next day was bright and sunny. In other words, perfect beach weather. So we went to the wharf after a quick stop at a play area right by the sea. We took a cute little half-hour long pirate cruise that gave us looks at a group of sea otters and a much larger group of pelicans. The kids were even more thrilled by the fact that they got to be ship captains and pilot the ship! After lunch at an Indian restaurant, we headed back. We stayed the night at Pismo Beach, the place that stole our heart after our stop there last year, at a beachside hotel that had a gorgeous view of the ocean from the room's deck.

The next morning we walked down to the beach and spent the whole morning there, letting the kids play in the sand while we enjoyed the sun and the view. After checking out of the hotel, we headed back home.

A few photos from the trip can be seen here.

4 Comments:

At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Prin said...

Sound nice.

Btw, it's been bugging me for quite a while,

Balaji, did you write for Indolink before and the same applies to sandya - is she Sandya Krishna? :S

 
At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Oh wow, ennai paththi kooda yaarO gnabagam vechindu ketkaara!!!.. :-)

Thanks Prin.. Yes, it is me, Sandya Krishna. I used to write in Tamil Thirai Valai back between 1997 and 2000, which was part of Indolink.

Actually, I don't remember Balaji ever writing in TTV, not even guest reviews or anything else.. Is that right, Balaji?..

 
At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Vijay said...

Balaji, for a one-time visitor to SFO, is Alcatraz worth it? Assuming the schedule is tight and one has to visit Alcatraz only if it is a must-see. Also how long do you think it takes for a quick tour overall?

 
At 6:31 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

prin, no i haven't written for indolink :)

sandya, no I didn't for TTV. but there was 1 review where somebody else submitted it as theirs and you guys changed the contributor's name after I emailed you about the copied review :)

vijay, personally, alcatraz wouldn't figure on my must-see list, esp. if schedule is tight. I'd say set aside about half day for it :)

 

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