Monday, March 22, 2010

Santa Barbara's {Finest}

Pin It Yesterday we took a stroll up the coast to Santa Barbara for Wes's 25th birthday. He needed some time away and I knew it was the perfect opportunity to surprise him with a little R&R! We found the cutest overnight called The Orchid Inn Bed & Breakfast. We stayed in room no. 8, it was spectacular! We felt so secluded and "secret," the perfect vacation away from the hustle & bustle of our everyday lives.

 We took a drive up to the Museum of Natural History, a place Wes had made many deliveries to, but never actually stepped past the lobby. Sunday was a free entrance day and thank goodness because the exhibits were not what I remembered. The dinosaur exhibit was gone, replaced by an ocean exhibit (not very interesting for two people raised by the sea) and the Blue Whale skeleton was missing everything but the skull.... which we found rather odd. All in all, we were able to take a walk by the creek and enjoy our time alone. I think we both really enjoyed the experience. Afterwords, we cruised the nearby neighborhoods, admiring architecture from years past.

 After complimentary wine & cheese service at the Inn, we made our way down to State street to do some walking before our dinner reservation. Stopping in at The Marquee, a chic little lounge with some intriguing signature martini's, we were able to taste a cucumber & thyme mixture as well as their more exotic signature namesake, The Marquee: a combination of citrus and Serrano chili, very good indeed! My personal favorite, odd as it may seem, was the restroom.... decorated with black and white images of movie stars gone by... harking back to my intrigue of history and a certain roaring generation.

A short walk up the street and we were at Bouchon, a delightful restaurant serving French fare using only locally grown ingredients. Wes's smile made it all worth while. We were welcomed immediately by John, the Manager and Sommelier,  who congratulated Wes on his birthday and walked us graciously to a romantic little table in the corner -- specifically picked for the two of us. To my delight, John had taken the opportunity to sprinkle the table with rose petals in honor of our romantic birthday celebration... the perfect touch. I ordered a bottle of Cabernet (which to my surprise, Wes absolutely loved) and

we started off with a root salad and the French onion soup... both extraordinary. The meal that followed was incendiary and something that can only be explained by visiting Bouchon and sampling the menu for yourself; however, nothing, not even amazing food, compared to the love and closeness we felt spending that much needed time together. After seeing my husband a total of 8 days a month for the last three months, this was the best two days of my life (and I think it's possible he felt the same way).

We slept in the next morning, enjoyed breakfast, another walk and turned in that magical key to room no. 8 before making our way back down the coast to our normal lives. After putting away our clothes and emptying our bag, Wes went with Nick to hit balls at the park while I gardened in the backyard.... it is as if we've been married a hundred years... but every year is truly better than the last.

Despite what happens in our lives, the daily hustle & bustle, the bills, the appointments, the stress of going, going, going.... this weekend showed me how important it is to get away and remember what life is all about. Wes is the most important thing in my life and as difficult as it was for us to spend money at this point (me getting laid off and Wes getting his cut) it was the best thing we ever did. We needed to take a breath, raise our heads above water and realize that this is just (again) the first quarter.... and curve ball or not, my baby hits 'em out of the park. Pin It

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