Did you watch the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day? We did as always. We lived only four blocks from the parade the year we were married in Pasadena. It is a happy time for us. This year we made it even better by getting away from household chores, cooking, cleaning and any other trying activities. We went to Santa Barbara, California. We took short trips there in the early years of our marriage. Those warm memories and a special hotel deal took us back. Along the way, we stopped in Pasadena to visit our old haunts. It was the day after the Rose Parade. This is what Colorado Boulevard looked like as workers started to disassemble the grandstands.
|Pasadena after the Parade|
It was exhilarating to see the mighty Pacific Ocean again. It was a deep blue that we don’t see in the summer. The weather was in the 60s during the warm part of the day.
Our hotel was new to us and across the street from the main beach. We had a special rate there as winter offers good promotions along the coast. Our room did not have a view but was lovely none the less. It has been remodeled nicely from an older place. The location was prime, within walking distance of the major touristy spots. We were tourists once again.
After a good sleep the first night, we ventured out after a bountiful breakfast (included with our room) to visit the Santa Barbara Zoo. This is another attraction we had visited many years ago and we had good memories. It is a rather small zoo, only 30 acres, but packs a lot of good sights within its boundaries. There are two cafes on the grounds. We enjoyed nachos on a patio at the top of the hillside grounds before visiting our last creature, the lion. Here are the other wonderful birds and wildlife that we visited.
Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center in downtown was another stop. There are great shops here, mostly chain stores but with local restaurants. Other shops and restaurants line State Street. We had a late lunch at a Japanese restaurant where the food was excellent.
Now that we are retired, we have learned to rest up after such an excursion. Although we were excited for all the great things that awaited us, we managed to rest a while at our hotel. We also researched restaurants nearby to read the menus and decide our next venture. We chose a restaurant next door to the Maritime Museum. The museum was lovely and took less than an hour to go through completely. Then we went on to dinner at the best restaurant on the planet, Brophy Brothers. We used to have breakfast there in the old days but now the hotels include breakfast so we have to enjoy their fabulous dinner. I had Scampi and DH had Fish and Chips. I also had a cup of Clam Chowder first to see how well they did it. I could have sworn I was back in Boston when I tasted it, it was that good. Of course all the other food was perfect. There is a reason this restaurant fills up by 6 pm for dinner on a weeknight. Thank goodness we walked there and back. We needed to work off that marvelous meal.
Our last morning after another breakfast buffet laden with fruit, eggs, bagels, meat and cheese, baked goods, cereals and breads ( I didn’t eat all of that!) we drove onto Stearns Wharf, an historic landmark. Since it was before 10 am, it was quiet as most of the shops were closed. There are restaurants there too, one of which was open. A Sea Life Center went onto our list of things to do on our next visit. Now that we know a great way to celebrate our wedding anniversary, we will definitely return to Santa Barbara again.