Wednesday, September 12

california - day three

los olivos - santa barbara - santa monica - hollywood
today's recap will actually take us from thursday night into friday. this first segment was just too long to include yesterday.
as C and i were driving the 101/154 from san fran to santa barbara, we found the most amazing little town nestled in the mountains. when we drove past los olivos, we were immediately in love. it had the charm of the small towns we grew up in, yet the stunning views of the mountains and proximity to the beach. #swoon
after totally gushing for about five miles, C decided to google it to get a bit more information [aka real estate and job opportunities]. he was reading the wikipedia excerpt when he suddenly came to a stop. 
"ash. we just passed neverland ranch. as in michael jackson. as in we need to turn around now." 
deep in the santa ynez mountains, we found MJ's little piece of land [3000 acres no less]. 
it was creepy and peaceful and so cool all at the same time. especially because it appeared as though no one had given it a thought [other than a few adoring fans/lucky passerby such as ourselves] since the day he passed. 
the gates of neverland ranch
i took a picture of this because i could just imagine MJ's driver coming up the keypad as they entered.
 absolutely gorgeous surroundings in a totally obsolete area
love, A&C
after coming down from that little high, we navigated the curves into santa barbara. for the second time in approximately one hour, we fell in love.
this city could not be more beautiful. 
the culture, the food, the location. perfection.
because there were so many great places to choose from, we stole anne and marcie's brilliance in having an appetizer/drink at one place, main course at another, and end-of-the-night drink at yet another. 
between san fransico, los olivos, neverland, and santa barbara, we called it a fabulous day and got some rest before finishing our drive in santa monica.
friday morning we finally got to meet up with chris's parents to explore a little bit of southern california. 
we had lunch on the santa monica pier, caught up, laughed, took in the views, and shooed pigeons. anne and i were less than impressed with our bird friends.
the afternoon ended with shopping and pink berry [the original frozen yogurt].
a perfect start to a perfect end of the vacation.
after an embassy suites happy hour [brilliant! thank you tyson!], we headed back out on the town.
the night took us to sunset boulevard in hollywood.
we landed at the most bizarre little place that happened to be just perfect.
the saddle ranch chop house managed to round up every little amenity of dining into a one stop shop.
there were pancakes. and blts. and prime rib. and make your own smores.
there was a mechanical bull.
and a non-spanish mariachi band.
they served three feet tall cotton candy at the end of the meal. for free. 
it was weird and wonderful at the same time.
our night ended with me and anne pleading to drive down rodeo.
now this is what i imagined hollywood/beverly hills to be.
every single designer you can imagine.
pristine streets. 
we were kinda in an oh-i-wish-i-could heaven.
another highly successful day in the golden state!
which brings us to day four. nebraska vs. ucla. 
check in tomorrow for the depressing details.

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