Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Santa Barbara's Old Town & more, California

Today was a busy day...........

First, we checked out Oprah's (yes, Oprah's) digs in the outskirts of Santa Barbara. She has a $50 million estate, and of course all you can see from the road is the gate (pictured). Not surprisingly, we weren't invited in. This is the most "paparazzi-esque" we've been - literally a drive by as we took pictures.

Back to the Old Town of Santa Barbara - we meandered the streets and checked out the many shops - some unique to the area, others chain stores. There were a ton of restaurants, many with outdoor seating on the sidewalks, and a lot from which to choose. From a recommendation, we went to Uncle Rocco's Famous New York Pizza - it was good if you're in the mood for pizza.

One very interesting building in Santa Barbara is the County Courthouse which is a National Historic Landmark, based on it's history and architecture. Free tours are given everyday except Sundays at 2pm - meet on the 2nd floor in the Mural Room. We took the tour, which lasted about an hour, and it was very informative - we learned more of the history of California and the history of Santa Barbara, as well as the building of the courthouse. The very top of the courthouse is the best view in the city (well, Oprah may have a better view) - it's a 360-degree view of the ocean, hills, and Santa Barbara. We were lucky enough to be there on a sunny, clear day. This is a definite place to go when in Santa Barbara

We also spent a bit of time at the Karpeles Manuscript Library, which showed some original, some copied, manuscripts ranging from music to literature to history. This was very interesting, and again, free. If you have a few minutes, stop by.

Finally, we had to get the oil changed in the truck, and this is where we met Jon - the owner of MeinekeEcono Lube Car Care Center in Santa Barbara. The reason we mention this - because this was the nicest group of guys (Jon and his mechanics) that you could meet - and they did a great job with the oil change and didn't try all of that upselling that is popular with places like this. In fact, Jon is who gave us our lunch recommendation today, as well as list of other restaurants we look forward to trying. Keep Jon's place in mind if you need an oil change (or anything else) while in Santa Barbara.


Anonymous said...

I don't know... this "Jon" guy sounds a little far away to get my oil changed.

Suzanne and Brad said...

Ahhh...but then you could get yourself a good pizza after..... :-)

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