a little jaunt up to santa barbara

Last weekend Ashley, George and I went up to Santa Barbara for a couple of days in celebration of Ashley's Birthday. We had a very nice time, and barring a little sleeping situation debacle, the trip went off without a hitch. Most of the pictures were taken on the train... Oh yeah, we took the train up there.

Taking the train seemed like a good idea, as it would allow me to avoid some of things I hate the most (traffic, being stuck in it, being stuck in it with George wailing) while fully immersing me in the things I love the most (Ashley, George).

What's more, Santa Barbara Car Free gives you a 20% discount on your train tickets up to Santa Barbara. It worked out perfectly. It allowed us to fully enjoy the scenery all the way up there while simultaneously enjoying George and keeping him entertained. Here's a few highlights from the trip:

Ashley and George in Union Station. Union Station is a really cool building, sort of feels like a relic from a bygone era despite its heavy use. Great decor and layout.

Ashley 'n George = close up with Union Station

If you can believe it, I insisted that we were there early. We waited in the Courtyard and George desperately tried to spill my diet coke on me while I gave him sips of water from a Dasani cap

George's feet are magical. I can't resist.

Cute picture of George, slightly ruined by an Eminem doppleganger photobomb in the background

That's better

Ashley daydreaming (about new moon)

I realize that my artistic expression is greatly hampered by taking pictures with my iPhone - but it's just so handy! It's always there. If the iPhone had a camera with a sick sports photographer lens I swear I could create some killer shots. I was going for the whole, "look at George's reflection" concept = limited results

Dr. Jekyll

Mr. Hyde

Everyone was friendly in Santa Barbara! As we were wandering around the first night with empty bellies, this man pulled up on a bicycle and sensed our "lost" state. We told him of our predicament. As luck would have it, we were right across the street from a great eaterie. We dined outside, 40 yards from the beach, great hamburgers and a delicious piece of red velvet cake. Added bonus = the fountain kept George entertained the majority of our dinner.

This is George's "bed." Ashley insisted I ask for a pack n play, but I doubted they would have one, and even if they did I was sure George would get some sort of communicable disease from it, so we improvised. I used my belt to lash the seats together and we stuffed our extra pillows in the side so he couldn't squirm out. George is really mobile in bed these days and our "creation" worked rather well. Eat your heart out MacGruber.

George keeps it on the DL when in SB

Happy Ashley and George on the way home

Lessons learned. Train = totally worth it. Maybe bring car seat on a car-free vacation in case you are faced with taking a taxi. We walked about five miles in 10 hours of mobility and we were a little ragged afterwards.

We parked downtown at Union Station which was nice, $6 a day in a secure garage. That's nice, as it'd be kind of sketchy to leave your car unattended in that part of town otherwise.

If you travel with a party of three or more, you get the best seats (four seats, facing each other, separated by a table). Nearly everyone on the train was riding alone, so all of the window seats get taken first, and who wants to sit next to some stranger, especially when you are traveling with a child. While technically, George doesn't require a seat, we felt absolutely no hesitation taking the "this section is reserved for parties of 3 or more." I was totally ready for someone to call us on it saying something to the effect of, "you guys aren't a party of three!" And then I'd get all riled up and yell, "so, you think my child isn't a person eh!!! You baby hating monster!!!"

Fortunately, it didn't come to that, but I was ready.

Hope to see you again soon Santa Barbara, it was real.


david said...

that's the last time i do a travel piece, apparently.

nuts to you guys.

Mary Jean said...

What an adorable boy. I loved his feet and wanted to chew on those toes! Ashley, he looks so much like you. You are looking beautiful these days. Being a mom is definitely your forte, right? What a fun trip on the train. We love Santa Barbara and when we'd go up to Ventura to see my sons we'd always stop there on the beach for some lunch. You guys look very happy and it does my heart good to see your precious family. Love, Mary Jean and Dale
Elder and Sister Mark (again)