Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Santa Barbara Sites

Santa Barbara Courthouse
Several years ago, a copy of a beautiful coffee table book on Santa Barbara showed up on my desk. The writing was done by Barnaby Conrad; the photo-graphy was the art of Marc Muench. I knew neither of the men, but their collaborative effort sparked a desire in me to travel to Santa Barbara and take in all the beautiful sites I could.

State Street in Old Town
Santa Barbara Mission
Naturally, I was eager to see Santa Barbara's Pacific coastline and its heralded harbor — home of hundreds of large boats and yachts. I looked forward to walking down historic State Street and strolling in and out of the small boutiques and restaurants. I couldn't wait to see the red tile roofs of the homes and public buildings, especially the really old ones — built two and three centuries ago.

I had seen pictures of the Santa Barbara Mission, for example, and knew it dated back to 1786. Seeing it (inside and out) was high on my list of priority stops. So too was the Santa Barbara Courthouse — considered by many to be the most beautiful courthouse in America. I could imagine the interiors of both — original Spanish tile work! I could imagine praying in the mission and showing up for jury duty at the courthouse.

Today's agenda was perfect. It permitted me to see all these sites and more. It permitted me to enjoy a most beautiful and memorable city! It gave me lots of great experiences to share with the readers of Houston Woman Magazine later on, when it's time to pen the story I came here to write.

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