During a recent trip to Santa Barbara, I stayed just outside the city at Bacara Resort and Spa. The hotel has long been on my To Stay list, and since they were a sponsor for the event I was attending, I was grateful to procure a reduced rate. Really, really grateful.I’m moving there forever, because this is what locals call rush hour:
Mountains to the right, beach to the left, unless you’re driving north to south of course.
My flight was scheduled to arrive in Santa Barbara at 10:50 in the morning (it’s a fairly quick 5 hour trip for me), but due to an airline pilot sick-out it felt like I had lost the whole day with a diversion to Dallas, a missed connection and an unexpected 90 mile drive up from L.A.
This was my ride:
No. It wasn’t.This was:
It was surprisingly agile and got great gas mileage. Props go to Ford. Way to Focus, guys. It was a $14.00 a day Budget Rental steal.
True story: As I pulled up in the Motor Court in my little red rental, I had a momentary pang of automobile inadequacy. I asked the valet what the fancy schmancy car was, and he replied that all the guys were debating that question, but didn’t know the answer. He said their best guess was that is was Italian. Having not seen the car in person before, I asked if I could go take a photo of it. He said sure. I walked around it to check out the beautiful lines, and reported back to him that it was the electric Bad Fisker Karma from Finland. It never occurred to them to just go look. Boys.
Admission: I knew enough about the car to one-up a gaggle of valets, but my knowledge about the particulars was sparse. I called my son to find out where the gear shift was, because I couldn’t find it, I figured he would know and I missed him. Two birds. Turns out, it doesn’t have a gear shift, but–I’m paraphrasing here, a button-switchy kind of thing. Boys!
Anywho, I was frustrated about losing the time I had planned to use exploring the area. Between flight delays, a quick run to In-N-Out and L.A.’s afternoon traffic, I didn’t get to the hotel until around 6:00 that evening. As soon as I walked in the door, I felt all my frustrations melt away.
To be honest, it varies, depending on where my head is at. On this trip, the use of pattern and repetition caught my eye everywhere I went, especially at the resort.
Repeating Juliet balconies, above, and arched openings, below, are hallmarks of architect Robert Glazier’s design. (Mr. Glazier, do you want to collaborate on my new imaginary house?)
The furniture plan alternates repeating layouts on opposite sides of the room. The archways create conversation nooks with a quiet elegance. There is sense of order that is visually and physically comforting. It’s…cozy. Yep. Cozy. That’s the word I was looking for.
When I got to my room, this was happening in the courtyard:
I didn’t turn on the TV the whole time I was there. I sat outside every night, and slept with the doors open and the fireplace cranked up, because that’s how I roll. Indoor/outdoor camping is magic.
So are these doors. I rant about mosquitos here on a regular basis, so you know I need these beauties in my life:
With its stepped back layout, it was actually more secluded than the photo implies. Oh, how I love creamy white stucco and a clay tile roof!
After I stowed my baggage–the rolling kind; the other seems to go wherever I do, damn it!–I headed down to the beach to catch the sunset.
As I passed the spa, I took notice of how the repetition of the arbor’s columns creates the same sense of enclosure as the arched doorways in the lobby:
On some stairways, the use of a single tile pattern on the risers puts the focus on the curves:
While on the straight runs, alternating patterns keeps things interesting:
I had to traverse a few terraced levels to get to the beach trail. No problem:
It’s a beautiful walk.
The shapes are repeated and mirrored in the design of the saline pools. The path to the ocean leads through here:
Aye, aye, aye!
There was only one thing on this adventure that wasn’t repeated. I went down to the beach every evening to check, but it turned out that my first night there was a one off. I think I was meant to arrive at the resort when I did–I probably would’ve been walking around town people watching, or else I would’ve missed it.
Here, in real time, about 90 unedited shots in order, is the best part of my journey:
Like I said, I’m moving. Who’s coming with?