Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 1 In Santa Barbara – Hotel Room and the Pier

So after we got the whole hotel fiasco taken care of we settled into our trip nicely. As soon as we walked into the Fess Parker Double Tree I felt so much more at ease and ready for my mini vacation. The girl at the counter was so sweet (her name was Heather…how could she not be) and really made our arrival pleasant. We told her about our horrible ordeal at the other hotel (see previous post) and that we were celebrating our ten year anniversary. She kept apologizing for our troubles at the other hotel and in order to make our anniversary stay at this hotel better she upgraded us to a garden view room!! She even felt bad that she didn’t have an ocean view room for us, but you could actually see the ocean from our room anyways. After she got us all checked in and gave us our warm chocolate chip cookies she asked that we hold on for one moment as she had something for our dogs. I assumed that it might be something to clean up their “business” but when she came back it was a little gift bag!! It was so cute, there was a magazine on the best dog friendly hotels, a tennis ball (score for Aspen) and dog treats (score for Gracie, Aspen too but mostly my little chub, chub).

Dog treats courtesy of the Fess Parker:

Once check in was complete, cookies were ate and gift bacg was in hand we got back in the car to drive to our room. Yes I said drive; this was a resort so it was all spread out so we weren’t being lazy. It actually wasn’t too far away but too far to lug the dogs and all of our luggage.

This was the view walking up to our room:

Our room was just to the right on the second floor and just after the palms trees at, the end, was the ocean; it is just a little hard to see because it was a cloudy day.

As soon as we opened the door to our room I was sooo excited. Our room was beautiful and HUGE!! We had two beds, tons of space, a balcony and it was CLEAN!! I loved it!! I couldn’t stop smiling I was so excited over the room!!

After we were done checking out the room and unpacking we decided to take a walk to get something to eat as we were both starving. It was a long drive there and we were running on nothing but chocolate chip cookies!! We walked straight out the path in the above picture and headed to the right towards the pier and State Street.

I quickly discovered something I didn’t know about Santa Barbara…they have a huge homeless population. As Danny put it, “They need Rudy Giuliani”!! This was both unsettling and sad to me. I always feel for people and wonder how they got there. I wish I could help them all get out, I am sure that once you are homeless it is close to impossible to change that. Most people aren’t willing to help someone that doesn’t have an address to provide. At the same time I have to admit it makes me nervous…I don’t know if that is wrong to say but it is how I feel. I like to feel comfortable in my surroundings.

The other thing we discovered about Santa Barbara during this first walk is that they aren’t what I would call dog friendly…in fact I would openly call many of them dog haters!! I know…what kind of person hates dogs? I thought the exact same thing so you and I are on the same page.

Still looking for something to eat we headed out the pier. We stopped at the first restaurant we came to where I went in and asked the hostess if we could eat on the patio with our dogs. She was very nice and said, “Sure. You just have to head up the back stairs and grab a table in the back so you don’t walk through the whole patio.” Please remember this information for a post yet to be written (thank you in advance). Our lunch was great!! To start off we got some garlic bred and shared a wedge salad (I freakin love wedge salads). For our meals Danny had some tri-tip kind of sandwich and I had a cheeseburger (I was in heaven). We shared with the dogs, I know you shouldn’t give people food to dogs…blah, blah, blah…but they were on vacation too!! Hehehe. Our server was nice and was great with the dogs. All in all a nice meal and it was pretty cheap for what we got.

I swear I had more pictures from the restaurant but I can’t find them…so sad. I had major camera issues getting the SB pictures off the card and on to my computer.

However this is my favorite picture of the day:

Aren’t they sweet!! I don’t think you can get any cuter!! Although you wouldn’t be able to tell this was while we were sitting at the restaurant.

Since we ate everything under the sun for lunch with decided to walk the rest of the pier…we needed the exercise. HOWEVER not even 20 feet from the restaurant we came to a candy store and anyone who knows Danny knows that he can’t resist candy…he is like a crack addict on skid row!! He went in and loaded up!! I waited outside. Once Danny made his careful selections, which was pretty much the whole store he came out to see if I wanted anything, I said no. Danny, said, “Are you sure? They have cotton candy!’ I joined him on skid row…I can’t turn down cotton candy…I know I am weak.

As we each snacked, each on our own addictions, Danny’s anything with the word candy in it, mine cotton candy; we headed towards the end of the pier. Once you get all the way to the end it is kind of freaky because there is no railing or anything to stop you from slipping right off, it just drops down to the water!! S-C-A-R-Y!! In a testament to how much I love my dogs I told Danny if one of them fell in I would jump in after them and safely swim with them to shore (which was FAR). This is saying a ton coming from me because I am terrified of deep water. Danny said he wouldn’t. He doesn’t fool me, I know he would.

Here is a picture of me and the dogs at the end, notice the tight grip I have on them. I said I WOULD jump in after them but that doesn’t mean I wanted to (I know I look like need to tell me...we had been driving for several hours).

After our brush with the extreme pier, we thought it was a good time to head back to the hotel. Once we got back to the hotel Danny jumped on his computer to check a few work things. I snapped this picture of him, I know it is dark but that is what makes me like it!!

Flash adjusted I took this picture of him and the dogs. My little family. Aspen always feels the need to give kisses, he thinks every occasion calls for them. Gracie just wants to feel loved.

After handing out in the room for a little while Danny and I decided to head out and get something to eat.

We put the dogs to bed and headed out!


webformatique said...

I am so pleased you managed to find a decent hotel. I cant believe that anybody could be a dog hater. I think hotels need to give there customers more information about there premises a informative website and room booking software is not that expensive and will keep customers coming back for more.

Mel said...

Sadness I thought I would be the first to post on your blog. :(

Anyway, I was going to say that I wanted to see the beautiful hotel room,but I did get a quick glimpse of it when you had the dogs on the bed. I like the extra effort the hotel made for the dogs. So sweet.

Speaking of sweets, didn't you have a picture of Danny in the candy store. Now that would be funny. I too am a sucker for cotton candy. I love the stuff. yummy.

Homeless: I was unaware that Santa Barbara had a bad homeless population, but then I haven't really been to Santa Barbara all that much. A few times in my college days, and then for my friend Melissa's wedding. It was gorgeous!!

I want to see more pictures.

Stephen said...

Isn't Santa Barbra the murder capital of the world? JK JK JK

Looks like a very nice and relaxing time. Good for you guys.

It also looks very beautiful there. I hope to get out cali again someday.

Tasterspoon said...

Hey Heather - great to meet you this weekend. You were both such a fun addition. I'd been up since 3 in the morning but you guys were so interesting you kept me from passing out until at least 11:00, which was largely due to the champagne in a can.

Psyche said...

Good post.