One post wasn’t quite enough to contain all the images I wanted to share from our recent trip to Santa Barbara. So, with a nod to our friends, Al and Elizabeth, for inviting us to the wedding of their daughter Nicole, here’s another quick look at some of the sights of this California beach town.
We could have eaten at any of a dozen restaurants that caught our eye. Fortunately, we noticed Arigato Sushi, where a Portland friend had just eaten recently and proclaimed it “sushi to die for.” We got two seats at the end of the sushi bar and had a marvelous meal.
Unquestionably, Santa Barbara is a magnet for the arts. Walking toward downtown the first night, we saw posters promoting upcoming shows by Hall and Oates and the Tedeschi Trucks Band, among others. Once we got to the main drag, we saw a theater marquee on one side of the street advertising a talk that evening by cartoonists Lynda Barry and Matt Groening (creator of “The Simpsons). On the other side, another marquee for Tony Bennett.
We were also charmed by the presence of a dozen or more brightly colored pianos on both sides of State Street. “Pianos on State” is an annual happening sponsored by several local organizations that brings together amateur and professional musicians for impromptu or scheduled performances. The event also gives a boost to donation drives held to collect instruments for Santa Barbara youth.
No visit would be complete with walking in the sand, dipping your toes in the water and taking in the panoramic view of the Pacific. We had only enough time for about 90 minutes at the Santa Barbara Harbor.
It was great seeing Al Rodriguez — my lifelong best friend and best man at our wedding — and his wife Elizabeth Lee in the role of parents of the bride. I guessed we might see a sibling or two on the Rodriguez side, given that there are four boys and five girls in the family. At the wedding reception, we were seated for dinner with brothers Alex and Ernie and sisters Alice and Cynthia.
I hadn’t seen them since we were all teenagers in Fremont, California. All four of them still live in the Golden State. It was great catching up and having them meet Lori.
Photograph of Pianos on State via Facebook.