Spontaneous Road Trip: Day 1

For a few months, Kat and I were talking about exploring and traveling for a few days. We thought about setting time aside to go to the airport and buy the cheapest flight. Somehow that didn’t work out. We then decided on Antelope Canyon in Arizona. That didn’t work out either. Then, finally we decided to go somewhere a little more local, Santa Barbara. The day before our adventure began, we met up to figure out our plans. We looked at hotels, motels, Couch Surfing, and activities in Santa Barbara. Our research wasn’t very successful since it was all last minute. We decided that we would just figure out then and there by downloading traveling apps on our phone. All we knew was that we were going to first stop at State Street because it has seven miles of stores and restaurants to check out!

Next day, we met up at 9AM, picked up some snacks, and were off to Santa Barbara!

It took us about 2.5 hours to get there which wasn’t too bad. The drive there was so scenic and beautiful especially because of the ocean!

Once we found a parking spot on State Street, we were off to the beginning of our seven mile shopping journey.

We first grabbed some food at Savoy Cafe & Deli which had positive reviews on Yelp. It showed 4 stars with 162 reviews. There was so much on the menu and on top of that, there was a salad bar!

I decided to get their popular Turkey Fritter that has been on TV before thanks to Guy Fieri from Food Network.

Kat and I both got the same thing, the turkey Fritter.

It reminded me of the savory Korean pancakes called buchimgae or neon. The fritter had a homey taste to it with the fried batter mixed with turkey and vegetables.

When I’m traveling, I tend to my lose my appetite easily for some odd reasons. So this fritter filled me up perfectly!

Afterwards, we walked over to The French Press to get some coffee for a tiny boost of energy. This coffee shop is pretty small but has a nice feel to it because of the hospitable customer service.

So I got a small Iced Vanilla Latte for $4 or $5. It was a little expensive for me but when you go to a hipster coffee shop like this, lattes are a little more expensive than your normal Starbucks.

We sat outside and relaxed a little bit before actually beginning our shopping excursion.

Actually, we found a historical courthouse nearby that we went to check out. It was so beautiful because of the architecture and the paintings all over. Though it may seem like a museum because the artwork and the many tourists inside, it’s still an actual courthouse!

Can you tell what the picture below is?

It’s a spiraling staircase! I’m in the middle of the spiral where it’s just hallow and took a picture looking up! Pretty cool, huh?

We found a courtroom that is more used as a display for historical reasons. There was a window that was perfect for a dramatic scene in a Korean drama. So Kat graciously took a picture of me in a pensive state as if I’m looking out the window to find the love of my life.

This window was awesome because it had natural sunlight just beaming into the dark courtroom. It was almost breathtaking to see such powerful rays coming into the room.

The courthouse is two or three stories high. On our way to the top, we found this tiled seating area that perfectly matched Kat’s outfit!

We got to the top and was able to see a good view of Santa Barbara.

While we were hanging out at the top floor, we wanted to take a picture. I asked a fellow stranger to take a picture of me and Kat. He respectfully responded with a yes. I thanked him and decided to start up a conversation with him since I enjoy meeting new people! So I asked where he’s from. He said South Korea and I excitedly responded, “I’m Korean!” With a little confused look, he said “Really?” I said yes and said hi to him in Korean. Still in disbelief that I was Korean, he continued to speak in his broken English to me and Kat. I don’t think he believed that I was Korean at all. Oh well but thank you stranger for taking a picture of us!

Afterwards, we finally went shopping. We both got something from Gap because they were having a 40% off sale! On State Street, there’s a lot of stores you’ll recognize from your usual malls but there’s also mom and pop shops where they sell little trinkets and such.

We were pretty tired from walking around for several hours. We sat down for a little bit and tried to figure out the rest of our plans for the day. By this time it was around 5PM and we still didn’t know where we were going to spend the night. I suggested to Kat that we should go to NorCal since we were only 4 hours away. My friend, Aaron, actually suggested it to me before I went on the road trip. He advised that I should maximize my time while I’m traveling since Santa Barbara is pretty close to San Jose and San Francisco. So I brought it up to Kat and she was down to go up north!

I started calling all of my friends (Stacy, Yesie, JennJi, Michelle, P.Sam) in the San Jose area and no one picked up! I told Kat, “Ok, we should just drive up even though no one picked up. Someone is bound to call us by the time we start driving.” So we got to our car and then miraculously Stacy called me back! We asked if we could stay at her place and she said yes without hesitating! We told her that we would see her in 4 or 5 hours.

We went to a Mexican restaurant to grab dinner but noticed it was too expensive so we walked across the street and went to a small burger joint called Chubbies Hamburgers. Cute name, huh? It was pretty cheap and good. I wasn’t expecting anything too fancy. My cheeseburger filled me up and I was content with that!

Once we had our Chubbies cheeseburger, we were off to a San Jose. We only made one stop because we had to take pictures of the open field.

Of course, we took a selfie by the 101 sign before getting back on the road!

We got to San Jose close to midnight! Praise God that the whole drive up north was a safe one and we were able to keep each other awake!

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