Continuing on our tour of California, Eric and I visited my cousin, Carrie, in Santa Barbara, a city I absolutely fell in love with. Still maintaining the Southern California feel with the beaches, Spanish architecture, and beautiful weather, Santa Barbara is a much smaller city than San Diego, with lots to explore in the surrounding areas. It was only within the first few hours of our visit when I made the declaration that I could live here, should we ever decide to move back to America.
With Carrie, we explored the many options Santa Barbara and the surrounding area offers in terms of local businesses and products. I had the best burger of my life, washed down with some homemade moonshine at American Ale. We found a charming lavender farm where I bought some culinary lavender buds and some lavender oil. We spent some time with a new-born miniature pony, bought fresh berries on the side of the road, and roamed around an old Dutch town. We walked the beaches looking for sea glass, watched pelicans steal fish on the wharf, and, of course, drank local wine. Everything about Santa Barbara was quaint and special, it was humble and small, but in the best of ways with so many local businesses offering the best of California to its residents. I could easily imagine myself living just beyond the hills to the east of the city with a cabin and a garden sitting on a few acres.
But the very best part of Santa Barbara was the time spent with Carrie, a friend and a cousin who I've always been able to laugh with, to share with, and to play euchre, the game of all Hoosiers, with. The only thing more I wanted was more time.