santa barbara & sara’s wedding

I’m back and better than ever!  It’s Kelsey’s dad with a blog about our recent trip to Santa Barbara for my niece’s wedding.  None of the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

FRIDAY

Unlike the trip that Kelsey and I made out to San Pedro for my brother’s birthday a couple years ago, we left plenty early to drive to Hartsfield airport.  While on the way, I serenaded Kelsey and Phillip with a few powerful renditions of “Phillip The Man”.  Fantastic if I do say so myself.  Anyway.  We got to the airport and parked in extended parking row 63 (in tribute to 1963, the year that John F. Kennedy was shot).  Kelsey, Phillip, Kyle, Kari, and I all flew out together – a train wreck just waiting to happen.  We got to the gate and I began to chat it up with a lady sitting near us.  The lady loved my Chinese proverb “Humor is the passport to success.”  What can I say?  The flight itself was long and bumpy, but four and a half hours later we landed at LAX.  Victoria and Clark picked us up and we were on our way to Santa Barbara.

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Clark did a terrific job driving and also helped put together a specially requested “SoCal” playlist, a playlist only with songs about California or songs by artists from California.  We hit massive traffic going up Highway 1/PCH.  But eventually the traffic broke loose and we stopped at Neptune’s Net.  Neptune’s Net is a classic beach-front dive and we enjoyed their food and beer.  Some would say the highlight of Neptune’s Net were the two seagulls who were “doing the wild thing.”  Some would say this “doing the wild thing” was disgusting.  Anyway, just nature.

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We finally got to Santa Barbara where, guilty as charged, it was sunny and 72.  We found our hotel, The Inn at East Beach.  Only stay there if you DO NOT want air conditioning and DO NOT want an elevator.  Otherwise, it was okay.  Lucky for us that the Swedish girls’ volleyball team was staying there also.  😉

We rested and then were on our way to Dargan’s for a reception-type activity for those who were from out of town for Sara and Christian’s wedding.  Needless to say, the “Alabama Rednecks” traveled the furthest.  Anyway, Dargan’s was a huge hit.  All the Rednecks wore Hawaiian shirts, and I thought they looked great.

OMG.  While leaving Dargan’s, Victoria mentioned she was hungry.  Great idea and, even better, there is an In-N-Out in Santa Barbara!!!  Clark did another terrific job driving and got us there safely.  I ordered a double-double, animal-style for both the burger and the fries.  Heaven!!!

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salt lake city – night 1

okay, everyone.  if you know me at all, you know it’s hard for me to stay put in one place for too long, and 2015 is proving to be no exception to that trend.  last weekend was greensboro and this weekend i’m taking it cross-country with my big brother kyle to explore sale lake city, utah.  the entire trip actually was prompted by a band who is touring here on concert (more on that later – i don’t want to spoil it!), and i somehow managed to rope a few folks into joining me.  billy and hope are meeting us tomorrow, but kyle and i got a head start on the fun by flying out here late tonight.  we’ve literally just arrived, and i’m typing to you from the hotel business center!

kyle had been in new jersey for work the past couple weeks, and with me traveling as well, i hadn’t seen him in what felt like forever.  there was plenty of catching up to do, as you can imagine, so we listened and laughed while scarfing down gyro wraps and chick-fil-a waffle fries.

our delta b767-300 took off promptly at 8:42 p.m. est, taking us up into the night sky.  it was about a three and a half hour flight, just enough time for our plane to disappear into the light of the full moon.  i kid, i kid!  it was a smooth and uneventful ride, things i like every flight to be.

about an hour in, somewhere over mississippi probably, the drink and snack cart rolled our way.  the week hadn’t really been stressful for either of us, but an adult beverage sounded like a relaxing idea.  kyle went with his standard tennessee honey whiskey with coke while i was more in the mood for wine.

things of varying heights!

things of varying heights!

they were only serving a single red and a single white, so my choice was pretty simple.  “red, please,” i asked of the flight attendant.  she handed me the bottle and i nearly chuckled out loud.  do you see what i see?  it’s simply a red wine, ha!  what silly things life brings us.  i’m no sommelier by any stretch, so we’ll say this one was a custom blend brought to me exclusively by wente.

real winners drink red wine.

real winners drink red wine.

now, no in-flight experience is complete without a tasty snack alongside your drink.  by the looks of it, kyle and i seemed to be stockpiling for a much longer trip; she wouldn’t stop giving us those little bags!  i mean, i’m definitely not complaining.  it’s never a bad thing to have extra pouches of lightly salted peanuts lying around, am i right?

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i spent the last couple hours of our journey building my own playlist and drifting in and out as i got lost in the music.  it wasn’t too long before we touched down with a smooth landing, so we grabbed our luggage and then a cab that took us speeding towards the city.  i could just make out the snowy mountainsides in the glow of the moonbeams, and i can hardly wait to see them in the morning from our penthouse haven.  until then, sleep tight and goodnight!