Could there be a better gift for a mum of four than some time away? I think not, especially to such a beautiful place as this. I tagged along with Ben LAST YEAR on his business trip to Santa Barbara. He worked. I lounged. I read. I ate great food. I shopped. I sat on the beach. I vowed to return.

This year for Christmas, my parents gave us money for time away and offered up babysitting to go with it. Seriously. I. Love. Them!!! So we bought my plane ticket for part deux, this time along with the baby. Knowing what was coming I had been counting down the days. I love, love living in the Northwest but we all admittedly get cranky and up our caffeine intake from January to February. I was so looking forward to time with Ben and time to lavish my attention on my baby and time to relax. Oma and Opa held down the fort admirably and we got updates each night of all the fun and games that were going on.

Unbeknownst to us when we planned the dates, but Monday was President's Day so Ben had the day off. What a treat! We were so thrilled to have a whole day to spend together.

We started it off with yummy egg and mushroom sandwiches and mochas and sat on the patio. My heart was glad. Oh, yes, it was.

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The hotel we were at was right off State Street so we wandered around. I warned Ben that it would be a day of pictures. He was game.

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Then off to the Santa Barbara mission. The roses were getting ready to bloom but we were content to just sit in the sun.

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We found a little side area out of the direct sun.

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Theo went for his first horsie ride. He was a tiny bit concerned and grabbed onto Ben's hair tight. He wasn't going to fall, no sir!

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There is beautiful warm light along the front of the mission.

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Then off to the botanical gardens. It was gorgeous.

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During the week we were there, we celebrated our ninth anniversary. We are truly old married folks now.

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I have always been a restless sleeper. I am the type that sprawls out, flips and flops, and ends up with bedcovers pulled up and over. I remember when I got married, I was a bit concerned about someone getting in my way. I liked my space. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I did like having Ben there and being able to cuddle up was so comforting. I really liked it when he would roll over and let me wrap my arm around him as I curled up behind him. If he was facing my way, I would give him a poke and say, "All right, Bacon. Roll over." He would smile and good naturedly roll over, commenting that he could never call me "Bacon" and get away with it. True.

What I have noticed in the last year or two, is even if he is dead asleep and I come to bed, he automatically rolls over. He knows I prefer to sleep that way. I like that. The familiarity of married love after these years is pretty sweet.

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That night we walked along to the beach. How I love this little munchy face.

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He's the one for me.

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Then at Enterprise Fish Co. we had the most divine experience! Lobster bisque baked with puff pastry. If it would have been offered in a spa treatment, I would have happily hopped in a tub of it. Creamy, salty, wonderful fresh lobster. Hello!

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During the next few days, while Ben was working, I walked around and thoroughly enjoyed the city. Being in such a beautiful place which is very different than the beautiful place I live in, along with having time to enjoy the ride was such a pleasure.

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My shopping buddy was game for anything that I was up for.

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He even obligingly wore the hat I bought for him. Ben shook his head when I showed it to him.

You can see in the window my ever present cup of iced coffee. Yes, I was a happy girl.

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I love all the beautiful tile work around the city. Even steps frequently have designs.

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Funky details.

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We met up with friends, Anne and Marc, for lunch and they pointed me in the direction of the courthouse which I had not seen before. It was stunning.


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How beautiful all the detail work is!

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There were even magnolia trees coming into bloom.

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Happy. Relaxed. I loved it and then at the end, found my heart turning to home and being together with all of our littles.

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There was only one lady who had a grin bigger than the one I had plastered all over my face all week. Isn't she cute?

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