Monday, August 6, 2012


When I think of Santa Barbara, I think of palm trees, tile roofs, cool seaside weather, and beautiful flowers.

My daughter invited me to drive down to Santa Barbara with her this week and is treating me to an entire week of relaxation in a beautiful room with views up to the mountains.

Today, we started our day with coffee and I finished mine out on the patio.

The grounds of the motel are gorgeous with topiary and palm.

Imagine sitting by the pool with not one other person around! This is what my morning was like.

No one else around but just the reflections of umbrellas and palms! This is heaven! Tropical heaven!

Later in the morning I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood. I love to see what is around me and especially when visiting a new town so far away (over an 8 hour drive from home). It always gives me a great feeling to see all the beauty around me. is good practice using my camera.

I love the vignettes that I find along the way. There is such art in planting flowers and displaying them in such a way that appeals to the eye. Not everyone has this ability. It is definitely an art form.

Santa Barbara is loaded with succulents. Being on the coast, it doesn't get really hot in the summer nor does it get really cold in the winter. It is ideal for succulents and I found so many varieties along my walk today.

Mama plant 

and baby.

This beautiful example of some sort of cactus (I think) looked really round and barrel-like. It reminded me of the way that a cabbage grows.

I wish that you could smell the air here! There are sweet roses in bloom around every corner.

And the sweet smell of citrus in the air. Everywhere I walk I am smelling beautiful fragrances. How blessed I am to be walking this morning.

I decided, after talking to a UC Santa Barbara student along the way, to venture down a road that has a creek habitat and lots of birds. I walked along for the longest time completely alone and eventually came out into a beautiful neighborhood.

I met a beautiful woman who was walking her two dogs. We talked and shared bits of our lives with each other and she offered to put one of her dogs away and walk around the neighborhood with me. She showed me some paths that I'm sure I would not have even noticed had I not been with her. We discovered that we both have twins. She is a widow and has a lust for life. Her husband worked for General Motors before he passed away. They had moved here from Wisconsin in 1972. She is in her 80's and so vital and interesting.

She made these tiles and placed them in her yard. Isn't life interesting? Taking time to talk with a stranger and being invited to walk in her neighborhood alongside her was a real treat for me. It always make me feel excited about life when I meet someone new. I always wonder what life had planned for me when I meet a stranger. I know there is always a plan. 

We introduced ourselves to each other. Her name is Bonnie. She was walking her 13-1/2 year-old Yorkie. She will always hold a special memory for me now. It is a moment in time spent in Santa Barbara where a person took a bit of time out of their day to visit with a stranger, take a walk with a stranger, and connect. Life is such a miracle waiting to happen. 

I'm sure there are many more photos and stories waiting for me on the week-long trip. I can't wait to see what each day holds.


  1. Mom, it sounds like you are having just what you needed....time to relax, enjoy time by yourself, and do what you want when you want. Savor every moment, as I'm sure you will! Love you and can't wait to see you and April when you get home.

  2. This sounds so perfect! Enjoy yourself!

  3. This sounds and looks like a fantastic week and very relaxing getaway! What fun, to meet someone who shares their life with you while on a walk. I have to say, those yellow roses with the light coming through them are stunning! Gorgeous photo. Have a great week!

    I look forward to seeing what unfolds through this experience.

  4. wow you were surrounded by good times and beauty...def sounds like fun and on you that you get to do this...smiles...

  5. Beautiful photos. Glad you are having such a nice time.

  6. What a gift for you and well deserved too. I have never been to Santa Barbara, but this makes me want to visit.
    Enjoy the peace and quiet and the friendly atmosphere. Meeting people and getting to know them is a joy... little dogs too.
    What is that plant in you header? I don't think I've ever seen anything like it.