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Santa Barbara 2008.

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Katie and I recently returned from our first trip to Santa Barbara. Our first...of many more to come. Santa Barbara quickly took place in our hearts as our favorite city in the United States, and we're going to make this a regular escape for us. It is that perfect blend of mountains, ocean, and town. It is commonly referred to as "The American Rivera" and is amazingly European. With a population of 89,000 in Santa Barbara, it is a small town, but a very nice one, no doubt. Next to Santa Barbara, you'll discover Montecito, which is where Katie almost clipped John Stamos in our grossly embarrassing gangster car rental (Chrysler 300). We had a great time of just hanging around, walking, sipping coffee, and dining. We did see a movie, which is rare for the two of us, but we watched it in The Arlington Theatre, which is absolutely amazing. Click the link and look at their banner to see a picture of the inside - it looks like you're in an outdoor theatre. It is actually very believable. The best dinner we had was our last night at Bouchon Santa Barbara, an excellent French inspired restuarant that was a Giada pick and is famous for their wine, listed as a top restaurant in the country by Wine Spectator. The food was absolutely splendid, the highest of excellence. It was a great way to end what was a perfect week.

Door of the Episcopal Church, right by our house.

Katie & I eating at The Boathouse. Excellent breakfast. We ate there twice, in fact.

The Mission. Later in the week, we saw a wedding held here.

View of the Mission from the gardens in front of the house I wanted to buy. It already sold.

The house is furthest to the right. Notice the park with rose gardens.

This is State Street. It's perfect.

View from atop Town Hall.

And another.

And another...with us.

Inside Town Hall.

Still Town Hall, this time with Katie.

If you live in Santa Barbara, I think you need a boat. A nice one is preferable.

Katie by Lake Cachuma, on our way to the wine country in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Luckily, we happened to also catch Danish Days in Solvang.

A Viking, circa AD 2008 California.

Solvang is a Danish town.

On our way back into Santa Barbara, we stopped of at Cold Spring Tavern to eat with bikers.

Though it looks cloudy, it has only rained once in Santa Barbara this year. The weather forecast is always the same: Perfect.

I'm contemplating the Pacific Ocean.

Below, you can make out The Boathouse, restaurant of choice. A Giada pick.

Beauty with a backdrop of beauty.

I guess this picture was to show that you can park at The Boathouse. Who knows.

The house we stayed in was very cute. It is owned by an artist and an architect, so you know...

The main room opens up to a courtyard...

...where we were often joined by Bootsie.

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