March Travels Part One

March turned out to be a busy month. We ended up traveling twice: once to California for a family wedding, and once to Baltimore for a work conference.

We had been planning the Baltimore trip for a while, but the California trip was a somewhat last minute decision. We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to spend the time, energy, and money for a short trip across the country but finally decided to take the plunge. As it turned out, we were very glad we did.

The wedding was in Goleta near Santa Barbara. Certainly, there are places in Santa Barbara where we could have stayed, but I have a friend who once lived in nearby Carpinteria. Since we knew that area, we decided to stay in Carpinteria and were glad we did. After Holly and I moved east and my friend left Carpinteria, I figured we would never have a reason to go back there.

The wedding was on a Saturday in the middle of the month. We flew out early on Friday and arrived in Los Angeles mid-day. We rented a car and drove the two hours to Carpinteria.

Although we were excited to be back in Carpinteria and knew of some good restaurants, we opted to try a new to us place for dinner on Friday: Corktree Cellars.

After a long day of traveling, we were more than ready to relax and have some wine and were happy to have ended up in a place with a nice selection of California and international wines.

As if often our habit, we ordered a few things to share. We started with some Crispy Calamari Rings, followed by Jessy’s Salad which had mixed greens, goat cheese, dried figs, dried cranberry, pistachios, crisp red apple & honey balsamic vinaigrette. We ended by sharing Steak Frittes. All the food was excellent and paced such that we had the right wine with the right dish.

First Wine of the California Trip!

Crispy Calamari Rings

Jessy’s Salad

Steak Frites

We were tired from our long day and the time change so ended up calling it an early night.

Saturday was the day of the wedding, but we had time earlier in the day to ourselves. We had breakfast at Jack’s Bistro which we had been to and enjoyed on prior visits to Carpinteria. The weather that weekend was fabulous and better than usual for March which gave us the opportunity to have breakfast outside. I had Jack’s Sausage Hash with an everything bagel. Holly had Huevos Rancheros.

Jack’s Sausage Hash

Huevos Rancheros

We spent some time down at the beach and walking around. Downtown Carpinteria is fairly small and is very walkable except for some side streets we found that didn’t have sidewalks.

Shortly before our trip, I had purchased a new lens for my camera (Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens). I was glad the timing worked out that I had it for this trip. I had a lot of fun walking around and taking pictures. The new lens takes much better photos than the one that came with my camera.

We still had time before we needed to leave for the late afternoon wedding so we went to another favorite place from prior visits: Island Brewing Company. It’s a small brewery tucked away in what looks to be an old garage. They had doubled their space since our last visit 5 or so years ago, but it’s still intimate. We sat inside but the garage doors were open so we had a nice view and plenty of fresh air.

We relaxed and enjoyed a couple of beers before needing to get ready for the wedding.

Island Brewing Company

Holly’s brother, who lives a couple of hours away, also stayed in Carpinteria on Saturday and was able to pick us up. We drove to a hotel in Santa Barbara to board a bus to take us to the wedding which was at a greenhouse near the beach in Goleta.

As with the rest of the weekend, the weather was delightful. All the wedding guests walked down closer to the beach where the ceremony took place. I was in a good position to get some really nice photos.

After the ceremony, the guests walked back up to the greenhouse for a cocktail hour before the reception proper started. The food was provided by the Border Grill Taco truck which was pleasantly unique and tasty. There were three choices for dinner, and Holly and I both got the tacos (carnitas & rajas), shrimp & grits, and salad.

Greenhouse Wedding

Border Grill Taco

Dinner from Border Grill Taco

It was a lovely night, and we were so thankful that we took the trip and got to see Holly’s family.

We had a nice first couple days in California, but there were more good times ahead!

You can see more pictures from our trip in Holly’s Flickr album and in mine.