Day 1 (March 31, 2017 – Santa Barbara, California): “As Last Minute As It Gets”
It wasn’t until about 6pm when we left the house. I had taken the day off work to try to get caught up on the web migration project while also making kefir and other things. In the back of my mind, I had hoped that we could spend this weekend going to Santa Barbara given that it had received quite a bit of rain during the Winter months and it would be a shame to let an opportunity pass by where we could make amends from a disappointing (from a waterfalling standpoint) visit back in 2015.
Julie had a pretty busy day, but I think the more she thought about the prospect of going back to Santa Barbara for the weekend, she started looking around to see how much it would hurt financially to make this happen. Well, it turned out that for the Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara, they only wanted 15k points. Upon further research, Julie saw that had we paid for this last minute room, it would have costed us over $400 per night! So that kind of sealed the deal for us as Julie immediately made the bookings and so the trip was in motion.
When we left home, I was fretting about facing the traffic, but with nothing planned for this day, I figured we could check in late and it wouldn’t be a problem. Perhaps the thing that was weighing on my mind more was that I somehow accidentally deleted files on our WordPress host. I immediately got in touch with technical support and they said that they could restore the files though it would take a while given the sheer size of our website. If they could pull it off, that would be a huge relief, but until that happened, I was still in worry mode that 1.5 years of work could go down the drain…
Anyways, the traffic going west along the 91 was surprisingly light. Even when we went north on the 405, the traffic went by relatively smoothly. It wasn’t until we got towards the top of the Sepulveda Pass did we start running into serious traffic, and most of that traffic was for people trying to get onto the 101 freeway in both directions!
While we were waiting in traffic, Julie was looking for a Whole Foods to eat dinner at while also doing some groceries for this trip. This was a test to see if we could pull off a trip where Julie wouldn’t have a kitchen. We had to see if longer trips that we were used to taking (our Spring Break trip was coming up first) was feasible given Julie’s health condition.
So it wasn’t until about 7:30pm when we arrived at the Whole Foods in Thousand Oaks. All of us were pretty hungry so we first got the naked rotisserie chicken and some steamed veggies, which we took our time eating. Then, Julie and Tahia did some grocery shopping while I was back in the car getting the GPS set up (somehow our Nuvi 265W started working again after going dead on us in Colorado Springs). I was also listening to sports talk radio where apparently Mississippi State ended UConn’s 111-game winning streak in the Women’s Final Four.
I wasn’t sure if that was an omen or something, but I guess I’ll be hearing a lot more about this outcome over this weekend.
It wouldn’t be until about 9:30pm when we finally left the Whole Foods in Thousand Oaks. We wound up spending nearly 90 minutes eating and another 30 minutes grocery shopping. So for sure, we’d be checking in late.
Well, at least the traffic was pretty light as we continued driving along the 101 Freeway. Finally at about 10:20pm, we checked into the Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara, where we didn’t have to valet on this night though Julie told me they charged $28 per night for parking. So I guess this stay wasn’t entirely free. Still, they provided Julie a microwave in the room as requested, and Tahia got her little rollaway bed. So everyone was able to get settled in, get cleaned up, and then crash for the night.
We couldn’t help that there were a lot of people in either prom attire or bachelorette party attire or something, but the lobby was full of young women all dressed up. It kind of made us wonder if we had gotten lucky even getting a room in the first place on this weekend.
So far, Julie hadn’t gotten any breakouts from this evening’s dinner, but I guess the true test would be tomorrow and Sunday, when she’ll have less access to controlling her own diet. We did bring an active cooling or heating cooler so perhaps that might help with preserving her food since the mini fridge wouldn’t be big enough to store other foodstuffs.