Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Santa Barbara, LA, and some exciting news, finally!

At the end of January, L. and I couldn't handle the blizzards, the sub-zero temperatures, and the fact that our ceilings were leaking and about to collapse over here in good old Williamstown, Massachusetts. So we escaped to Santa Barbara for a week!

How much more beautiful can it get?

We had lunches on State St., took walks, L. played golf with his dad, we had some amazing dinners including The Palace Grill which is one of my new all-time favorite restaurants (their jambalaya was to.die.for!), and basically just had a wonderful relaxing time.

One night, we had dinner at the Boathouse.

This was our view.

Can I go back? Please?

One day while L. and his dad played golf, L.'s mom and I took their Standard Poodle, Obi, on a long walk along the coast. We stopped to be nosy/creepy and took some pictures of this (amazing) famous house. Can you guess whose it is?

If you guessed that it is the approx. $22 million 14,000 sq. foot Montecito, Calif. home owned by Beanie Babies creator Ty Warner then yes, you are correct! I wish I had come up with the idea to understuff stuffed animals and make a fortune off unwitting children. Sigh.

But perhaps the best part of our trip was the Wednesday that L. and I took the car and drove down into LA so that L. could interview for a job. I won't say where, but let's just say that it's for a research position at a prestigious university at which he hopes to attend medical school in two years.

Oh, and...HE GOT THE OFFER! Which means, ladies and possible gentleman who may read this blog, we are officially moving to Los Angeles in June!! YAY! You have no idea how relieved I am about this, because for the last three months I've been having anxiety that L. would end up in San Francisco and I would end up in LA, and there's no way I could do that long distance relationship for two years. And then if we couldn't make med school/grad school plans match, we would have waited those two years for nothing. So I am so, so, so happy to be able to say that we're going no matter what. Of course, I don't actually have a job yet, but I've decided that I'm going no matter what. I'm not following a boy across the country, although having a built-in roommate who I really, really love definitely helps; it's just nice to have at least one huge factor of life after college (location) nailed down, and a lot of companies won't take candidates seriously until they live in-state, anyway.

SO, this all means I am even MORE excited to share photos of our wonderful day trip to LA with you!

I had so much fun navigating our future home. Of course, when we went we didn't really know it was going to be our future home, but I was determined to make it happen one way or another. I just get this great feeling from LA. I know it's not a lot of people's (anyone's? so many nay-sayers!) thing, but to me it's amazing--sunny, expansive, relatively easy to navigate, and it doesn't have that run-down look of these old New England towns that have been around since the Revolution in which I've been living the last twelve years of my life.

We had my trusty GPS, a british fellow named Daniel, who was more than helpful. It was especially funny to listen to the strange way he pronounced the streets (Wheel-Shire Boo-lay-vaard).

I had our day all planned out. Thanks to the lovely Mara's help, we decided on Joan's on Third for lunch.

I had absolutely the most delicious sandwich I've ever eaten in my life; fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato and olive oil on a crusty rustic roll. I'm drooling just thinking about it. I need to go back. I'm already fantasizing about doing some of our grocery shopping at Joan's' (weird, making a possessive a possessive) marketplace and making amazing paninis for lunch on the weekends at home...mmmm....

I strategically planned lunch so that right afterward, we could walk across the street and enjoy a scrumptious dessert at Magnolia Bakery. I have to say, I had really high hopes and had heard amazing things about their cupcakes.

The verdict? They were okay. The frosting was really fluffy and just tasted a little strange to me. They were certainly pretty, but in terms of sheer deliciousness, I have to say the cupcakes we had at WhoDidily on State St. were the absolute best. We split the Lolligager, a chocolate cupcake with lime-colored buttercream frosting and a hunk of cookie dough baked into the center. YUM.

One of my favorite parts of the day was when I dropped L. off at his interview and drove over to The Grove for some shopping. I resisted the urge to buy anything, but it was difficult, especially since it was a gorgeous 80-degree day and I was wearing a long black cardigan! Blech!

Before we went home the following Monday, we took a trip down over the weekend to Newport Beach to visit with L.'s grandparents. It is so beautiful down there (plus, there's like three Ikeas on the way!). Being sandwiched between Newport on the one hand and Santa Barbara on the other isn't such a bad place to be...

I am so looking forward to doing some more cupcake-tasting when we get back to LA, as well as trying out all the restaurants I had wanted to hit on our last trip: Ketchup, Don Antonio's, La Brea Bakery, Toast, Diddy Riese, The Foundry and soo many more! I'm also really enjoying beginning our (tentative) apartment search. If you guys know of any great affordable complexes or anyone who is subletting in West LA, let me know!! And now I'm crossing my fingers that one of the job interviews I have lined up in March when I fly back out works out...


  1. That all sounds so exciting! I just moved out to LA from Boston last month, and I'm already in love with it. I feel like there's cupcakes everywhere out here, but when you come back you should definitely try Sprinkles or Crumbs in Beverly Hills and Yummy Cupcakes in Santa Monica, they're the best I've had so far!

  2. oh my gosh!!!! I am so excited for you Michelle!!! (and maybe a little jealous too!)
    You're moving so soon! Congrats to your boy for landing a job while being out of state, that's really impressive to me. Did the company pay to fly him down for the interview, or did he tell them how motivated he was and that he was willing to travel to meet with them?
    LA looks incredible! I've never been, but I like what I see from your photos!

  3. @Nikki: A fellow transplant! Super excited to check out your blog and read all about it. Thanks for the cupcake suggestions!

    @Kinsey: AHH thank you! It's so surreal. He actually just emailed up one of the doctors and asked if he needed a research assistant. The guy said yes, so L. and I flew out, stayed with his parents in SB, and drove in for the interview. They didn't pay but it was so worth it! I'll be spending a LOT of time in SD when I move too since all my brothers live there...too bad they all hate LA =(.

  4. Yayyy, so excited for L. You officially know where you're going to move. Those restaurants and cupcakes look delicious. Sometimes the pretty cupcakes aren't as good as the sloppier ones. That's what I tell myself whenever I make really ugly but tasty cupcakes. ;-)

  5. Congrats on L getting the offer! I know you'll get something soon too, you still have plenty of time! Your pictures have me so jealous, I am dying for a warm vacation right about now.

  6. Yayyyy! This is awesome, awesome news and I bet it feels like so much relief!

  7. amazing pictures! I lived in LA for one year while I was in college (from Hawaii) and I loved it! I miss it so much :(

    I'm a new follower, stop by..

  8. Looks like a fabulous trip and what great news!!!! :) Congrats on it all!