Earlier this month, Alex and I had the pleasure of taking a Mini Moon after our wedding! Since we traveled for our wedding, we didn’t feel like it was a good idea to take many more days off of work … plus planning a wedding and a honeymoon at the same time!? How do you guys do it??? … so we decided on a smaller “mini honeymoon” trip from Sunday through Wednesday, and then we’ll start thinking about a larger trip to Europe in a year or two!
For our Mini Moon, we decided to take a quick road trip up to Santa Barbara…it’s only two hours from where we live, and that seemed totally doable after a morning of flights from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles!
This trip was kind of a big deal to us, because not only was it our Mini Moon, but it was also our very first vacation together just the two of us, aside from our road trip out to LA in 2011! We go on lots of adventures together, but we’re always so lucky as to have friends come along with us 🙂
That being the case, we thought it would be a good idea to keep things pretty low key, since wedding planning is so regimented…we went ahead and planned one little thing per day, but other than that, we took suggestions from friends and Uber drivers (really)! Here are some details about our trip:
Where We Stayed:
We booked three nights in an airstream a mile away from the center of town through Autocamp. For those of you not familiar with this company, they have two locations – an urban setting in Santa Barbara and a woodsy location up north along The Russian River near Sonoma County (I hope to visit that location someday!) This company bought a ton of old airstreams…those giant silver “trailers” you used to see…and they’ve renovated them to house visitors with luxury bedding and bath supplies, small kitchens, and little decks. Some would call it “glamping.” Anyway, these airstreams come with two bikes each to make it fun and easy to explore the area, coffee from a local coffee shop, and even a grill outside on the patio! We enjoyed our stay in our little airstream, but we both agreed that as two pretty big people, we probably couldn’t make the jump into the tiny-living trend that is going on right now! 😉 A popular thing happening in LA currently is that people are renovating these airstreams and hooking them up in their yards to rent out as Air BnB’s, which I think it just an awesome idea!
Where We Went:
Like I mentioned before, we booked only a few things – like a nice dinner one night, massages at a fancy resort, and a glass blowing class – but other than that, we just explored on our own time! And slept in…we lived for sleeping in 😉
Stearn’s Wharf – We spent a good amount of time walking around the Wharf and taking in the scenery of the Waterfront. For those of you not familiar with SB, it’s a gorgeous little beach town, and it’s very accessible to walk, bike, drive, or uber! One of our favorite ways to explore a new place is just by walking around a little aimlessly 😉
Oldtown & Downtown – I think downtown (particularly State Street) may have been my favorite spot! It’s filled with lots of cute shops and restaurants. We stopped for coffee at Santa Barbara Roasting Co., as well as The French Press, we did a chocolate tasting at the Chocolate Maya candy store, and we got ice cream at McConnells! Our first breakfast we had at Dawn Patrol, before walking around the Wharf, was soooo good! And it had really nice outdoor seating too. On Monday night, after having a nice dinner, we drove into Downtown and had a couple of drinks at The Red Piano while a live band played on and off with a pianist…it was awesome. Even on a Monday night, the place was packed and we had So. Much. Fun. If we ever go back, we’re definitely hitting up The Red Piano again.
Hendry’s Boathouse – For our “fancy dinner night,” we went to Hendry’s Boathouse, which is a steak and seafood restaurant right on the water. It gets extra points, in my opinion, because it has a beautiful lookout point AND it’s right on a dog beach! We went early and sat at the bar to watch the Pens game, and then we sat outside to catch the sunset and watch all of the pups play.
Santa Barbara Art Glass – Lucky for me, I have the coolest husband ever, and he went ahead and booked us a private glass blowing class on Tuesday afternoon! We met with Saul – who is such an incredible artist – and he led us through the entire process! Normally with these things, you don’t get to make your piece completely on your own from start to finish because the different ovens are upward of 2,000 degrees, but Saul had us do everything on our own, and in the end we left with a glass blown bowl by Alex and a vase by me! Saul even gave us his demonstration piece, which is pretty amazing considering he’s the guy who makes all of those gorgeous blue and gold lamps you see in Tiffany’s stores. Saul and his wife were both very personable and fun, and I’d love to take some friends here in the future…the whole process was really unbelievable and the sense of pride you feel when you hold your finished piece is pretty unreal.
The Funk Zone – The Funk Zone is an area of downtown comprised of urban wineries, breweries, art galleries, and restaurants. And the best part is that you can walk the entire time 😉 We stumbled our way through a couple different wineries (two of my favorites being Pali Wine Co. and Municipal Winemakers), stopped into a small art gallery where, crazy enough, a young artist from Lititz, PA was being featured (!!), and finished with dinner at The Lark – a farm to table restaurant with shared plates. This was definitely the best food of the entire trip, and although it’s pricey, I would 1,000% recommend it. If you can’t wait for a table to open up, you can sit at The Community Table like we did!
The County Courthouse – On Wednesday morning, after stopping for coffee at The French Press, we stopped and explored the beautiful Santa Barbara County Courthouse. It was built in 1929, and is filled with beautiful mural walls inside, and lots and lots of hand painted Spanish tile throughout. I was dying, it was so gorgeous and filled with color, and definitely my scene. We marched up the steps until we got to the top of the Clock Tower (which is really cool to watch the inner-workings of a large clock like that), where we got the best views of the whole city. If you visit SB, I would definitely not miss this.
Bacara Resort & Spa – We knew that we wanted one day to pamper ourselves before heading back to reality, so we booked fancy massages at The Bacara Resort & Spa, which was about a fifteen minute drive from where we were staying. I haven’t had many massages in my lifetime, but this entire experience was definitely the best. We got big fluffy robes, there was a eucalyptus steam room, a sauna, hot tubs, showers, and lots of lounges with tea and coffee and other treats. We got a Couples Massage, and then afterwards they brought us champagne and we sat up on the rooftop and looked out at the ocean. It was pretty surreal, and the best possible way to end our Mini Moon before we left to head back home!
Alex and I both felt so fortunate to be able to take a couple of days off together after our wedding to soak up all of the love we felt on that Friday prior. I think my favorite memory of the entire trip was sitting in bed on Sunday night in our little airstream, with a bottle of champagne, while we opened all of the cards we received at the wedding. It was so nice to read everyone’s beautiful messages together as husband and wife, and to reflect on how extremely lucky we both are. Here we are, almost a month later, and we’re still talking about what a perfect day it was almost daily.
If you’re thinking about booking a trip to Santa Barbara, and have any further questions about some of the things we did, shoot me an email! I’d love to hear from you!