Friday, July 22, 2016

Free Summer FUN in Santa Barbara

It has been a fun summer so far.
My family traveled for 10 days to Vancouver, Canada,
and we had a fantastic time!
We have also had a great time spending time around our hometown of Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara is a not only stunning, but it is also a great community with a ton of fun (and FREE) activities.

Outdoor Movies at the Courthouse

Founded right after a huge population surge California had following the 1849 Gold Rush, the current courthouse was rebuilt in 1929.  It is a beautiful building.  Visitors from around the world come to see the architecture and art (including the famous mural room).

In the summertime, the UCSB Arts & Lectures Department holds a Summer Film Series in the sunken gardens.  This summer, the series has a Bogart and Bacall theme.  We went and saw Casablanca.  What a treasure!  The audience cheered and clapped for many of the famous lines - which just added to the ambience of the evening.  Most people arrive at noon with their blankets and low-back beach chairs to stake out a great spot.  Then, everyone returns at sunset with delicious picnics to enjoy as the stars come out.
My family and I had a great time at Casablanca and we plan to return for several other films this summer.
(Find the calendar of events online.)

Free Concerts in the Park

On Thursday nights in July, there are free concerts at Chase Palm Park - a pretty, a palm-tree lined park right next to the beach in Santa Barbara.  Over 5,000 people bring their picnic and enjoy the music, dancing, and ambience.
There are some real characters in Santa Barbara and the summer concert series is one of the best places for some hilarious people-watching!

Sunset at Goleta Beach

While many tourists tend to go to the beach near Santa Barbara's harbor, a real treasure is Goleta Beach right next to the University of California, Santa Barbara.
The beach has a great pier, small waves, and a fantastic view of UCSB's Campus Point.
In the summer, I love to pack a picnic dinner and enjoy the sunset at the beach.  My teenagers bring their lacrosse sticks and toss the ball around.  We enjoy watching the pelicans, sandpipers, and pods of dolphins that frequently swim by.  It is a great little jewel in the Santa Barbara area.

Whenever I get out and enjoy special things offered in my community, I feel a sense of gratitude for being able to live in such a remarkable place.  I attended UCSB for my undergraduate studies 25 years ago.  When I left to pursue a career, I always dreamed of returning.  Four years ago, my dream came true - and I am so happy it did!

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