I think people usually go to Santa Barbara for a relaxing weekend, or perhaps a romantic mini-vacay with their significant other. It’s only 2 hours or so (let’s not talk about traffic) from Los Angeles, but less crowded, slower paced, less pollution. My best friend and I planned a weekend combining the best of both worlds, meaning we pretended to be a couple for our Air BnB owner (she doesn’t want to rent to pairs of friends in the high season?), but out of her watchful eye, my best friend turned into my greatest wingman, which she always is, because she is a serial monogamist and has been in serious relationships since forever.
Maybe I should back up and talk about the last time I was in Santa Barbara. Well, technically I was there when I was like 13, but the last time I was in the SB area. Last time I was there was in college, to go to UC Santa Barbara’s famed Halloween celebrations (which is technically in Isla Vista). UCSB at Halloween is like… how to explain it? It’s like a frat party on steroids and cocaine and MDMA and whatever other drugs make people act super crazy. I heard that they have to bring in ~10,000 cops for crowd control, although I have no idea if that’s true. All I know is that everyone is drunk, quite a few people are walking around on Sunday at noon without any pants (trouser pants, not underwear pants), and people start playing beer pong at 9 a.m.
It was amidst all this debauchery that I went on a date, like a proper date, where a guy picks you up in his car and takes you to a nice restaurant and such. (This did not happen to me in college. Except this one time, of course.) It was very weird to go on a very calm and romantic date when everyone else is off getting as shit-faced as possible. But it was everything that was charming and romantic, and I never saw the guy again, which kinda makes it even more perfect, because I’m a romantic, in the Lizzie Bennet sense of the word or like that girl Victoria on How I Met Your Mother.
But anyway, this trip wasn’t supposed to be about boys. The trip started around the Cold War Kids/Young the Giant concert on Friday, but we decided make a weekend of it and do some wine tasting, see the beach, visit the UCSB campus (my best friend is a college counselor). But somehow boys creep in–the lead singer from Young the Giant who has some killer dance moves, the cute sommeliers at the wine tasting rooms, the driver of the wine tasting tour who likes lindy hop and Jane the Virgin.
Maybe Santa Barbara is just a place where magic is liable to happen. Our Air Bnb host, a self-proclaimed clairvoyant, said she hoped her guests would have some spiritual experiences in Santa Barbara. Maybe this is not her idea of magic, but it sure is mine.