Our last two stops before heading home were Santa Barbara and Marina Del Rey - polar opposites!! Santa Barbara was beautiful. We could walk from our inn to the beach and beyond to the pier. The buildings were low-rise, adobe-style, with palm trees everywhere. No one had built on the beach side of the road, so there were beautiful views of the sea, a sense of open, uncluttered space, and a certain tranquility that comes from harmonious city planning. Thank you St. Barbara!!
We could also walk from the pier right up to the shops on the main street, which were very festive. The only flaw was the interstate highway that might have cut the town off from the beach, had someone not built an underpass. Somehow, no one had considered keeping the old road as it was - a two lane passageway and building the annoying freeway somewhere less annoying - alas!!
Still with all the beauty around - flowers, flowers and more flowers, trees, sunshine and architecture, that blends into the scene, rather than "screams" to be noticed, Santa Barbara is a jewel of a city. Its mission is one of the larger ones in the area and a beauty as well. The grounds are gorgeous with, quiet cloisters, cobbled work areas and a garden path that is edged by the stations of the cross - harmony in nature creating harmony in the soul.
On the other hand, Marina Del Rey is basically a series of marinas flanked by high rises and edged by asphalt. We set out to walk to the pier only to lose our way in a wasteland of parking lots, storage areas and weedy fields. It was typical of the LA area, though - poor planning, car dominant, and not a sidewalk in sight - so sad. There was no need to leave our hotel. There was no place to go. Fortunately we were flying home the next day!!
The picture above? The best of Marina Del Rey - sail boats, shakers of old salts and a sunset.
Have a great day