Like a kid anticipates Christmas, we anxiously awaited the hour of our departure. Going over lists to make sure we were fully prepared. It is a funny feeling when all the planning and anticipation collide with right now ..it was time to drive! As I mentioned we made the most of our days off by planning around the holidays which meant it was a sort of false start to our honeymoon. We headed west to California to our first stop,Tim’s parent’s house, to spend the Thanksgiving Holiday before really setting off.
In my mind this portion of our journey is remembered as a totally separate trip. It was great -full of family and friends who were so excited to celebrate with us.
Then...Suddenly the moment had finally come to say goodbye to the family and head out on our own - Santa had delivered! We posed for the obligatory leaving on our honeymoon photo in the driveway (minus any just married paint on Condor neither Tim nor I would let that happen). Waiving our final goodbye's as we pulled away, we looked at each other as if to silently say “here we go”.
No shortcuts - we backtracked a few miles to hit the start of Pacific Coast Highway. Windows were rolled down and music turned up the second we left the freeway. We happily cruised and just enjoyed the scenery of this crowded portion of PCH reminiscing of places and memories along the way.
Eventually we hit the first stretch of coast that was not completely built up, near Malibu. We were really patting ourselves on the back for our choice to take Condor. Driving on the picturesque road felt like being in a scene from an epic movie (or maybe an episode of Rockford), the windows down, the rolling stones blasting on the radio, and the fresh sea breeze wrapped around us. Something that we did not expect was how condor made us enjoy cruising slowly - 65 mph was our top speed of choice. I expected with a sports car we would want to speed around, but we both found that we really just preferred cruising.
At about Ventura we decided to pull up our trusty suggestion map and see what was nearby for food. We had about three suggestions within 5 miles, each with a description from a friend (the map was a great idea!) we ended up at a cool little place with an overwhelming selection of beers where we enjoyed a sampling of anything that sounded interesting. We then hopped back in our trusty little steed and putted to our final destination for that evening in Santa Barbara. In fact the next two nights would be spent here and were the only ones “planned”, a gift from Tim’s parents.
Before we headed to out hotel for the night I wanted to show my new husband one of my favorite walking beaches (it is also half a dog beach which is a bonus) and yes I do like long walks on the beach, so we stopped and walked for a bit loving our relaxed pace.
We eventually decided we should aim ourselves up the hill towards the hotel as it was now late afternoon. This hotel was nestled in the hills of Santa Barbara and let me tell you we enjoyed the roads up to it almost as much as the views once we arrived. All small winding residential streets that led to the hotel, which you would be hard pressed to pick out from the houses around it. We pulled in, not quite ready for how formal this place was and with my feet still covered in sand, and far from ready to exit the car, the valet opened the door for me...I proceeded to dig my shoes out and gather everything while Tim reluctantly (VERY reluctantly), handed over the keys. Despite the unexpectedly speedy exit from the car, this place was beautiful! We had seen pictures and knew it was going to be amazing but MAN was it pretty. A view of the ocean and Santa Barbara below.
We were led to our room where some chocolate covered strawberries and wine awaited us. I tried to act nonplussed while the bellman showed us around and told us a bit of the history. Once he left I checked our room out, yelling from the bathroom “Woah! They have heated floors in here!" It really was an okay room I guess...
On our way to the room the bellman had showed us the negative edge heated saltwater pool that looked out over the city and ocean. It was November but the twelve year old in me was not going to miss swimming in that pool! So before dinner and after enjoying my chocolate covered strawberries we headed for the pool. It was everything I dreamed of and the other much more demure attendees of the pool seemed slightly less excited by it all...and I think they were all glad that I quickly found myself very chilly and wishing there was a hot tub, so on went my fancy hotel robe (I had to find an excuse to use it) and we sopped our way back to the room to enjoy the heated floors! We had dinner on the patio of the hotel that night, and felt like royalty (for the record I do not ever want to be royal)
The next day we decided due to our recent overindulgence in food during thanksgiving and the fact that we didn’t want to pay the valet nor have him drive precious Condor we would walk down to explore Santa Barbara instead of drive (I am just glad I found someone as psychotic as me). So we walked down the steep route along State Street, to the peer, and eventually we found ourselves (again through the suggestion of a friend) at a local brewery. Sitting in the sun and enjoying the company of a friendly golden retriever, we laughed at how pathetic we were that we would rather walk nine miles than have someone drive our car and pay for it. Overall the walking was what made it more memorable to me and it was only as we trudged back up the steep slope that I questioned our plan.
The idea had been to find some food to take back to the hotel on our way back but it was a Sunday and not much was open so we decided we could google what was open once we got back to the room and have something delivered...Pizza was about all there was so just like royalty we ordered pizza because, again we did not want to head out with the car and besides we were wiped from those nine miles and all day in the sun. I am pretty sure no one had ever had pizza delivered to the hotel before because I got about three phone calls making sure it was OK to let a delivery kid through to our room.
We enjoyed our time in Santa Barbara but now It was time to move on, time to initiate the no plan plan and we were stoked! I will admit we sneakily bypassed the valet, in the morning plowing our way through the storage area to find where Condor was in the parking garage. We threw all our luggage in ourselves (I am not ashamed to say I am cheap and there were WAY too many people to tip at this place!) After that we decided no more valet for Condor, he was not allowed to be driven by anyone else for the rest of the trip/his life.