Loving Santa Barbara

June 7, 2009

Today marks 2 weeks since we began our summertime adventure here in beautiful Santa Barbara, and already I know that a piece of my heart will always stay right here!

We live in a cute little bungalow right off the main street of a quiet suburb called Montecito, with tree-lined sidewalks with cute boutique shops and amazing restaurants, not to mention our favorite Gelato store!  Each weekend morning we enjoy a walk to our “happy place” – Jeannine’s cafe – we sit outside and enjoy our banana french toast and blueberry pancakes beneath warm space heaters.  In fact we do a lot of walking here — last night it was to Lucky’s, where we introduced our boys to an evening of fine dining and the best steaks they’ve ever had.   And our favorite walk is to Butterfly Beach, which only takes about 7 minutes to get to – well 3 if you’re a boy with a kite that needs flying!  

It’s a little chilly here for the first half of every day.  In June, it takes until about 2:00 before the sun has a chance to burn through the overcast skies brought in by the ocean.  Once the sun shines, it’s like a beautiful Spring Day back home – upper 70s and not a trace of humidity.  It takes about a millisecond to get used to summer air without humidity!!!  We actually keep the windows open all day and enjoy the fresh air – very bazzar to a southern family! 

I described Montecito as a ‘suburb’ – actually, all of Santa Barbara is a suburb – there’s no “downtown” other than a beautiful shopping district with restaurants galore.  State Street is lined with beautiful old trees, American Flags, any store you’d ever need, and old-time theaters.  The other day the boys and I went to see the movie “Up” in Arlington Theater, and were blown away – the entire interior of the theater made you feel like you were outside in a Spanish-style square – it was lined with faux buildings complete with Spanish Tile roofs, and windows that glowed from within.  Even stars twinkling in the sky!  It had to seat almost 1000 people in red-velvet chairs.  And here we thought we were going into a normal movie theater — it was such a fun surprise!!!

Grant and Cole have made many snail friends found in the rose bushes all around the house – in the mornings, they like to go hunting to see who they can find!  Cracks me up because girls would be smelling and collecting roses, and our boys are out there collecting the snails!!  Ha!!

Grant Cole and Snails 1

Grant Cole and Snails 2

But what Mommy’s heart doesn’t melt with a face like this?  Gotta love boys!! 


And in fact, they actually do pick flowers and give them to me, which always makes my heart skip a beat.  There are flowers in bloom everywhere you look out here, and Cole finds some to give me randomly each day.  Grant is also a flower-giver, and more often than not it’s something unusual – today he found the tiniest of all the roses out there — he’s a miniature nut, and always amazes me with the tiny things he finds.


Everything is an adventure out here.  On our first visit to Butterfly Beach we came across this teepee that some local kids built the day before out of palm branches!  The boys had a blast!! 

Daddy Cole Teepee

Jack Grant Teepee

Cole w Big Stick

The other morning I took the boys to a Marine Museum – a place that turns every kid into a Marine Scientist!  They had petting aquariums filled with creatures found locally off the coast of Santa Barbara – we ended up staying 3 hours and the boys had a blast touching everything in sight – even a baby shark -

Boys touching shark

Cole Touching Starfish

Cole loved the Starfish, and Grant was all about the Decorator Crabs – cool creatures that stick stuff they find around them onto their backs so they can blend in – this one had seaweed all over him -

Grant holding crab

While we were there, we met a great family, also with 3 boys!  So we invited them over for a fun afternoon on the beach.  The boys had a great time running around and making new friends.  Here’s a fun shot of their oldest, flying a kite -

Jack Luckhurst and kite

And Grant and Adam were tickled digging for jumping Sand Fleas – Boys!!

Grant and Adam

What’s funny is that this family used to live in Atlanta – their dad actually used to play for the Falcons!!  The highlight of their day was playing football on the beach!!!  How cool is that?!?

Football 1

Good catch, Jack!!  :)

Football 2

The Big Boys played football, and the little one just played in the sand.

Cole sitting in Sand

sea birds

And of course I had to include a shot taken from my Jack (future photographer?) – my tuckered out little pumpkin who never could wake up to enjoy our ice-cream break!   

Cole sleeping on Mommy

We have many more weeks to enjoy here, and I can’t wait to share more of our adventures!!  We miss all of our friends back home and hope everyone is enjoying a safe and happy summer!  

:)  Kristin.  

One Response to “Loving Santa Barbara”

  1. All of the images are stunning, Kristin! I really enjoyed reading about your adventures, and I’m so happy that you are enjoying your time there. We spent our honeymoon in Santa Barbara and it is one of my favorite places anywhere! I hope your weeks ahead are full of laughter and new, wonderful discoveries and blessings! We miss you here in Atlanta, too!

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