Why I'm Going to Santa Barbara on Vacation (Little Did You Know)
One thing you’ll learn about me, if we’re not already close (and all my friends definitely DO know), is that I’m a strategist.
I’m not just a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants gal most of the time (I can be & like to be sometimes). But typically, there’s a reason why I “do” what I do. A method to my madness, if you will.
That doesn’t mean I plan everything to a “t”, although for a large vacation this size, I definitely HAD to. Instead, being a strategist means that there’s PURPOSE to almost every single thing I do. I would say to at least 95% of every single thing I do, there’s a strategy and meaning given to it.
Choosing my vacation spot was no exception, but no one actually knows why I chose Santa Barbara.
I’m about to tell you.
Several years ago, before my parents were divorced, they went on a trip to California in an 18-wheeler he was driving at the time.
While I don’t know exactly what went down, I DO know that she had a horrible time and horrible memories from that trip.
She hated Cali as a result, and also hated Santa Barbara.
I love my Mother and miss her dearly - she had 2 very difficult marriages.
A few years ago, I was planning this same vacation to the Bacara Resort & Spa, now owned and operated by The Ritz-Carlton.
I texted my Mom & invited her and thus, this is how I found out that she not only hated California, but hated Santa Barbara too. I was shocked - how in the world could ANYONE hate this place? I knew there was a reason, so I asked her.
I was a little upset & disappointed at what I heard - I didn’t want to go alone on such a lavish trip, but I had compassion for her - I definitely didn’t want to take her somewhere she would have bad memories, of which, I still don’t quite know what those were (she didn’t divulge details).
I didn’t want to force her to go and, in fact, she told me she wasn’t interested because of it. :-( Like that was one of the quickest “no’s” I ever got from my Mom.
So, instead of taking her with me or even going alone, I cancelled the trip altogether. I never went, and I figured I’d just “go someday”.
That’s the backstory.
I chose Santa Barbara this year for my vacation for a few reasons.
#1 is that I am simply IN LOVE with the place, and I’ve not even landed in California yet. The pictures are just stunning - I want to experience it all.
#2 is my Mom. In a way, I guess I’m going to California to redeem her bad memories. I want her to be with me and have a different experience. To see beauty where she experienced pain. I believe she’s in a better place - it’s not about that. It’s the principle. I guess on some spiritual level, I want to redeem the space and turn it into something really beautiful - for us both.
#3 is my blog. I will be shooting 4 cohesive Spring style looks on location with photographer Shannon Jayne. She’s a published photographer who I look forward to working with and connected with in Santa Barbara. She’s been extremely enthusiastic about our shoot, and was even called on to shoot a wedding last-minute RIGHT after our shoot on Saturday at the exact same location when a bride’s photographer backed out! How’s THAT for serendipity?! I can’t wait to share my Spring Lookbook with you all. I can promise you STUNNING photography and style like I’ve not done before. I’m consistently raising my game.
#4 is that I never got time off when my Mom died back in September. I work contract most of the time, which meant I couldn’t just take off an entire week to grieve. And I’m telling you - I needed that time. I never got it. So I’m finally getting the time.
I hope you will follow me on Instagram stories (public), and on Facebook if we’re connected.
Here’s my itinerary:
Thursday, February 14th: I fly out. I sight-see around the property for a couple of hours & take tons of pictures; scope out photo spots for our shoot. I go to my spa appointment. I eat dinner. I spend the evening writing, maybe working out, & meditating.
Friday, February 15th: 6-hour wine tour & tasting, including lunch with a group. Lots of pictures & videos to follow!
Saturday, February 16th: Early morning horseback ride on the beach. This has been on my bucket list since I was a little girl. I can’t believe I get to do it. Lunch. Blog shoot - 2 hours of creativity & hard work. Dinner.
Sunday, February 17th: Morning workout & meditation. Flight leaves afternoon.
I can’t wait to get back & share photos in a blog post & hopefully a review of all my experiences as well.
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and weekend, friends.
PS - all photos are not my own and are from the Ritz Carlton website. I will be sharing my own photos after my stay and in my review.