The coastal highway took us straight into Santa Barbara and, since we had some time to kill before we had to return the rental car, we decided to park by the pier and stretch our legs while checking out the downtown area. I’m so glad we did because the rest of the week, we were at the Fess Parker and really busy with the conference schedule so this was the perfect chance to liesurely adventure.
Everything about Santa Barbara was adorable. Literally. Even the mailboxes were cute. There seemed to be lots of city codes keeping everything within a beautiful guidelines of Spanish architecture (or else everyone living and doing business there just has great style). Stucco reflects light so beautifully and it made the whole city burst with life.
The United conference was at The Fess Parker along the beach and, after dropping off our car at the airport and taking the resort shuttle to The Fess, we found out our room wasn’t ready yet. They kindly upgraded us to an oceanfront room at no extra charge, which meant our room was about 30 feet from the main lobby and 30 feet from the pool…and obviously, right inside from the ocean. It was really an ideal situation, especially after we found out how large the resort is and how far some people had to walk to get to their rooms. (Not because we’re lazy, but because it meant we could run back to our room to use the bathroom instead of waiting in lines, or grab our cameras quickly instead of carrying them around all day.)
This shot was grabbed so quickly that I didn’t even notice the clouds draping over the mountains in the background. I was literally running back to the main lobby for a shoot and it wasn’t until I got home that I saw this entire image. And I adore it.
A few miscellaneous adventures not to forget:
- Our late-night group of risk-takers using a step ladder to climb the fence to the pool so that we could sneak into the hot tub. I literally was only knee-deep stepping into the tub when the security guard came and made us leave. Thankfully, he let us out through the gate and didn’t make us use our ladder to climb back over the fence.
- Two afternoons where, in a state of being overwhelmed (though in a good way), I skipped a few classes in lieu of lying by the pool with my notebook, catching up my thoughts and taking some time to rejuvenate. The days were long and I knew I needed some me time in order to make it through the whole week without a) getting sick or b) getting medically anxious from so much to think about. This turned out to be one of the best things I could do for myself because it meant that I was 100% present for the sessions I was attending and for the late evenings when I would normally have been too tired to do anything.
- Getting fresh sunflowers and a really sweet card from my roommates to wish me a happy birthday on our last full day there. I was missing spending the day with my husband, but I so many birthday wishes from all my new friends there!
- The outtakes from Rachel’s run-through-the-birds…my abs hurt from so much laughing.
- The 5-Minute Fuel on Monday night. So many tears, so many laughs…and then ending it all out with the epic lip-sync-off from the guys.
- Our theme song for the week: “Happy”. Every time I hear it now, I feel like I’m in California again.