I took a trip to Santa Barbara because I wanted somewhere to relax and it was also on the way to San Francisco, which would be my one of my last US stops before heading to Australia. Santa Barbara is about three hours by Greyhound from LA, but it feels about 30 hours if you're hung over. Not that I was hung over. I'm just saying you know, hypothetically. If one was to be hung over, a Greyhound isn't the best place to be. In fact, it's one of the worst places you could possibly be. According to someone I know. Not me.
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So, what's it like? Well, it's pretty small (you can walk across it in about 20 mins) with one main street of shops and restaurants, a beautiful beach, a generally laid-back air and gorgeous Spanish-style buildings standing between steep hills and the Pacific. You feel like there is a little more there in the way of historical significance and culture than other places in the US, but that said, I wouldn't go as far as to say it's interesting. Pleasant is a better word. Everything about it is just pleasant.
Check out the slide show for an idea of what Santa Barbara has to offer - and although it looks gloomy on the photos, it was actually a really lovely, sunny day, on which I saw dolphins in the ocean!
A friend and I also visited the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, which is super to look at and explore as it's full of gorgeous colours, textures and shapes. There is restoration work going on at the moment - apologies for that in the photos!
Finally, here are some pictures of a rather unusual vehicle parked at the beach. I've Googled it to see if the uber-hippy owner is well-known or if it's some kind of famous feature... and it looks like his name is Brother One Feather. Basically, he has decorated his VW Camper Van - in which he also lives - with tens of thousands of trinkets, toys, stickers, figurines, murals and general junk (a bit like the TV show Hoarders, but on wheels). But every millimetre of the van is covered. And it's all so... neat and tidy. I don't know how he's done it but it's truly fascinating; you can stare at each section for ages, spotting different sayings, characters and little bits and bobs.
And yes, that is Scooby Doo in the driver's seat.