My favorite little California beach town was our home this past weekend. We were celebrating Father's Day and the end of the school year with a family four-day weekend. I headed up with Nadia in the Odyssey Friday morning, and Chris and The Bigs came up on the train in time for dinner.
Despite arriving on the doorstep of the beach house without my key after driving for four hours with a particularly grumpy girlie, we had a great weekend. Collected lots of shells and rocks in a bucket and the kids collected lots of sand in their swimsuits while surfing on their boogie boards. We had a fun dinner with Uncle Chuck and Aunt Leslie at their sweet little love shack in Santa Barbara on Saturday night and got the Grand Tour of their killer little garden, alive with tomatoes, squash, strawberries, grean beans, eggplants, ladybugs, and a baby avocado tree. Then for Father's Day we had a pretty laid-back day and wrapped things up with a sushi dinner in town and an ice cream from the local creamery.
While everyone was napping on Sunday afternoon, I sneaked out for a walk around town and photographed some of my favorite spots:
Well, this one is actually a new favorite spot, full of antiques, off-the-wall collectables and gifts, and vintage clothing, including a pristine pair of Farragamos that if my feet weren't the size of bread boxes I'd consider buying. What caught my eye about this place was this lady:
I loved the strategically placed flowers and the ruffly skirt thingy.
This is the place I always head to first. And the coolest news about this place is now there are two Whimsy stores in town. Full of antiques and collectibles (old cameras and signage, quilts and repurposed old stuff are my favorites) and other fun things, this store takes an hour to look through. At least. And the guy running the shop on this day doesn't own a computer nor does he have a cell phone. I love that he works in an antique store.
Another must-see is Hollyhock Cottage. Quaint, charming and oh-so-cute, this boutique features so many great handmade and one-of-a-kind things, including a cute little baby room in the back full of the delightful but really over-priced things that you just can't live without. The owners are really sweet and the place is always immaculate and perfectly landscaped. I dream of living in a house just like this one in the hills near Cambria.
And although Carpinteria itself isn't known for its killer waves, a California coastal town wouldn't be the same without a surf shop. The outside of this one is so colorful and fun, and inside houses what must be the largest collection of flipflops on the West Coast.
This "spot" is the main dining attraction during the day and has been for years. It's an awesome little burger joint with a cult-like following, and it's fun to see the line forming on the sidewalk at lunchtime, sometimes 20 people deep in summertime. This place is as good as fast food gets in this sleepy, quaint little town.
And here is my sweet Uncle and his honey in front of their darling house in Santa Barbara. These two were sweethearts in college (I have seen photos of her and me from the wee early 1970's) and met again a few years ago after they both found themselves in the middle of divorces. They are so cute together.
And, in honor of Father's Day, I profess to the world my love for my husband, the amazing father of our children, the man who does dishes and laundry and keeps the beds made, makes pancakes on weekends and bakes the best breads and cookies this side of Martha Stewart. You are more than I ever dreamed a husband and father would be. You have my heart, always and forever.
To my own daddy, up in Heaven. I miss you still, I'll love you for always.
And to Tim, the greatest step-dad there ever was. Thanks for loving us as your own, and for loving my mother so well.