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Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California: The progress on our move has tilted to full-on-we-are-outta-here mode. We have hired movers. Painters to touch-up. It’s really happening, guys!

No matter the situation in the above paragraph, months ago we told Lenny we would watch the kids while he and Lisa flew to Colorado to attend a family wedding. But, instead of hanging-around in Los Angeles with Leo and Lucy, we thought it would be fun to visit Santa Barbara over the Labor Day weekend. Dave and I have only visited this area briefly, years ago, while camping on the beach in Ventura. The area is so pretty – shores lined with palm trees – we were anxious to explore more.

We flew to Los Angeles yesterday afternoon. This was the first time to visit Lisa and Lenny’s new house after the remodel. (They sold their house, bought a fixer-upper, moved into an apartment while it was remodeled, and only moved-in to the new place a few weeks ago.) Not exactly everything is finished… but one can live without a vent hood over the stove for a few weeks.

I’m not one to brag (ha ha ha) but Lisa and Lenny have created the most beautiful home. There is so much light streaming through all the windows. The colors! The garden!


DT, enjoying a glass of wine with his daughter after our arrival. See the white building behind the family room? This is their guest house. Once a garage, it now has a living room, bedroom, kitchen, dinette, bath, laundry and walk-in closet. Just a perfect place for guests, family and friends.

I just love the combo of the kitchen cabinet color and the matte-white appliances. More photos will be shared when the house is unpacked and organized, but until then, congrats to Lisa and Lenny on an awesome job.

The ‘rents flew to Denver really early this morning. Lisa had the kids packed, but there was no reason to hurry to Santa Barbara, as we could not check-in to our hotel until after 3p. We organized ourselves and went to Tomato Pie for a slice of pizza before pointing Lisa’s Prius (car-seat-laden) to the beach.

Tomato Pie (BBQ chicken pizza)

The drive to Santa Barbara should have been less than two hours, but since there was no school in LA today, apparently everyone decided to spend the long weekend at the beach. The drive took us just over two hours and Lucy had a good nap along the way. After checking-in to our room, the kids had a great time exploring the grounds of the hotel and running around on the lawn.

Honey, someone shrunk our grandkids!

It’s a rough life here in SoCal.

After recreating, the kids dressed for dinner:

They are very stylish. Leo is still rocking the pleather jacket and Ray-Bans from his birthday a few weeks ago. Because you need a jacket in Santa Barbara in August?

I chose Toma Restaurant in Santa Barbara for one reason only: I saw this photo of ahi sashimi stuffed into sesame-seed cones on their website:

As soon as I saw this amazing concoction, I knew Leo would be all-in. He was.

Actually, we were all so very happy with our little raw tuna cones. What a clever idea –  especially for an Italian restaurant. Leo (cheese pizza) and Lucy (buttered noodles) dined from the kiddie menu. They were also (each) presented with a basket of colored pencils, drawing pads, puzzles and wiki sticks to keep them amused. Our grandchildren were perfectly behaved this evening – and a little ice cream sundae came with their meals.

Dave had a fancy Caprese salad with pine nuts:

I had an interesting grilled romaine salad, resting on a puree of house-smoked tomatoes (!), with cannellini beans:

After dinner, Leo proposed a photo shoot. Then he proposed the photos be in black and white.

My only comment? It’s Labor Day weekend, and you can still find a hotel room in Santa Barbara.

Until my next update, I remain, your long-weekending correspondent.


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