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Divine Times in Santa Barbara & Los Angeles

No matter where I go and how often I travel to different places across the country (on average 4 - 5 times a year), something always periodically pulls me back (on average every 1 - 2 years) to Southern California, specifically Los Angeles - a place I used to live, yet always feels like home every time I come back to visit.

This time, a combination of random signs from the universe pulled at my heart strings - at the beginning of the year, I saw the movie La La Land; a few months later, one of my favorite bands Cold War Kids came out with a new album paying homage to...well, you get the idea. I also noticed that the band had an upcoming concert in Santa Barbara. Fast forward to August 2017...

After landing at LAX and taking a shuttle bus to Union Station, I boarded Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner train headed northbound towards the picturesque shoreline city known as the American Riviera. The last 30 miles of the journey, it's a postcard-perfect view of the beach and the ocean.

After arriving in Santa Barbara and checking in to the Bath Street Inn (where they had a 5:30 pm wine & cheese reception with homemade baked goods, by the way), I explored the shopping along the main thoroughfare State Street and watched the sunset at the pier.

The next day, I didn't have any set plans for the morning & afternoon - I just set out on foot and ended up having a great time at some of the city's historic landmarks, including the courthouse (which has a beautiful Spanish style architecture), the Old Mission, and the El Presidio. That evening, I had a great time at the concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl, an outdoor amphitheater perched in the foothills of the city.

"City of Stars..."
The next day, I took the train back to L.A., and after checking in to my hotel in Pasadena, I continued the Metro / shuttle bus hopping to the Griffith Observatory. I had been to the observatory once a few years ago during the daytime, but this time, I purposely came in the early evening to watch the sunset and to attend their open-to-the-public 'Star Party' where the staff bring out telescopes to look up at the night sky. I already love astronomy, so getting to look at Jupiter through the lens was cool enough...but exploring the grounds of the observatory as the sun disappeared into the twilight? Divine. There's an amazing view of the James Dean statue against the backdrop of the Hollywood Sign, but the even more truly awe-inspiring site is the night-time panoramic view of the twinkling city lights of downtown L.A. It's a view I will never forget.

Posted by rachwells 19:11

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Glad you had such a good time...and that you feel so at home here. Next time, come see us too.

by langione

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