Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Santa Barbara Travel

State St, the embodiment of Santa Barbara’s eclectic culture, is the epicenter for all this small beach town has to offer. Meandering the downtown area one will encounter varied personalities from tourists snapping rapid fire cameras, to model like figures out to find the perfect dress at Sax Fifth Ave, to schizophrenic bums hassling passersby for spare change.
While diversity is brought by the people, establishments such as Starbucks and Juicy Couture have gentrified a once unique beach street to a tourist tinsel town. Wandering a mere block from the stroller filled and skater cruisin’ State St, an afternoon of bustling bistros, pastoral picnics, and shimmering shops can be found.

Running through this downtown main street is Figueroa St. Home to one of the last surviving neighborhood barber shops in the area, Figueroa is the prime example of the quainter side of Santa Barbara. Speciality stores, such as the Knit and Pearl Boutique and the Santa Barbara Cigar shop, play devils advocate to the Macy's and Nordstrom of the downtown area, making Figueroa the non-corporate treasure of the tourist mecca.

The true color is offered by cafe windows. Each restaurant, furnished with cultural decor, acts as a threshold to far away countries.

Cantwells, the popular neighborhood deli, is a place

where everyone knows your name...and your order

Like stepping into a family Italian kitchen Gino's Pizzeria

offers homey aesthetics and atmosphere.

Coming to the end of the Figueroa excursion stop by Jeannine's cafe, serving the best lattes in Santa Barbara, and enjoy the grassy knolls and Spanish architectural display of the Santa Barbara courthouse.

While the sunny beaches and bike surries of the Santa Barbara tourism offer plenty of fun in the sun, the Figeroa boondocks put an afternoon adventure one block from the road far more traveled.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Youngster Travel

Summer came shinning through the grey drudgery of Seattle's winters like a child's face at Christmas time. Slipping from our bulky layers, as neighborhood youngsters, we frolicked across the blacktop coldesacs and made retreats to the pine canopies.

During those lazy days sunlight filtered through the branches setting the forest aglow with a fairytale twinkle. This magical setting formed the backdrop of our many summer adventures.

Under the glowing hollows we hid from responsibility and let our imaginations run free. School, parents television, the puzzle pieces of life as we knew it, broke apart and crumbled away just beyond the tree line.

Rotting stumps became our new castles and vines our transportation. Suburban culture murmured in the background of our childhood boondocks.

Years later and miles away from my romping territory I search for the same uninhibited adventures of my past. Where society's grasp on the moment holds no significance. Gliding across the open road, sneaking off the pages of a guide book to find hidden treasures. Whether it be a funky psychedelic cafe on a side street of Santa Barbara or a hidden wilderness far from highway 1, adventures in the boondocks.