Today I have decided that it's a full beach day just to relax and not run around like a tourist. Rather unfortunately when I wake up it's very cloudy. Outside my room Krista has left a pot of coffee (what a great host) and a note detailing all the best beaches in the area and good places to eat (hum how did she know about my love of food?) there was also a reassurance that at this time of the year all mornings start off overcast and by midday the sun should be out.
I went to visit the picture perfect Santa Barbara Courthouse and went up its tower which afforded 360 degree views of the beautiful city and surrounding area. Even though the city is laid out in a simple grid pattern this helped me to get my bearings and in the distance I could see The Mission which is where I headed next.
The Mission is one of the top tourist attractions in Santa Barbara, built back in late 1700s by Franciscan Friars, the settlement was the beginning of civilized life in the area. I took an escorted tour which was informative and interesting and we toured the grounds, church, living quarters and mausoleum. By the time I had finished the sun was starting to come out, perfect, I headed to Redbetter Beach which had a cafe on the sand and I had a fantastic ahi tuna sandwich and sweet potato fries (another recommendation from the fantastic Krista). Next was a long siesta on the beach.
When it started to get cooler (around 6ish) I went on what turned out to be an hours hunt for a cupcake, the place I had walked past a couple of times "Crush Cupcakes" had rather unfortunately sold out, but with the aid of Yelp (thank god for Yelp) I quickly located another bakery near by. It turned out that Enjoy Cupcakes was located in the new (opened 3 months ago) Public Market building. On entering this building I was straight away transported back to the Mercardo San Miguel in Madrid, which is one of my all time favorite food markets, and as it turns out from talking to the guy on the cupcake stall that was exactly what the architect intended, she had modeled the venue on Madrid's most famous food market along with Chelsea market in NY and Borough in London! I wandered around the different food stands, nearly stopping for some champagne and oysters (but thought of my budget, lol) and left with just my two perfect little cupcakes.
When I got back to the house the family were having dinner in their garden so they invited me to join them for a glass of wine which I did and we spent some time chatting about out lives, it was a lovely end to the day.