Travel Diaries

The Santa Barbara Diaries

It’s been a while, dear readers! I’ve had some time to acclimate into the fast paced life on the Chicago pavement for about a month (post about life laterz) and I’ve been meaning to share lots of pictures from my 8 week adventure that I had this summer.

As y’all know, it was not all rainbows and sunshine at the program I did this summer. However, I’m pretty sure I lived in paradise for the summer. The entire city of Santa Barbara is like one huge beach resort, full of bright colored skies, flowers, and architecture. Everything from the cobblestone streets to the always beautiful 70 degree weather seemed to sparkle and vibrate with a gorgeous kind of energy that I’ve never felt anywhere else.

I’ve been to California two other times, but this time was so different because it was truly my own experience and time there. I explored coffee shops, the pier, and the downtown area on my own and found new discoveries of bravery and love in myself in Santa Barbara.


I stayed on the Westmont College campus for the summer. While it seemed like EVERY walk I took was UPHILL, no matter the direction, the campus itself was so beautiful and made every morning, afternoon, and sometimes late night hike home after rehearsals so absolutely worth it.

 

Whimsical bridges led to dirt paths next to lily pad ponds that housed a family of turtles (that would eat out of your hands). The entire campus seemed like something out of a fairytale. My absolute most favorite space was this little prayer chapel.

It was nestled in the heart of the campus and was surrounded by roses and the most precious little white picket fence.

The second campus I was on was the Music Academy campus. Which was also so beautiful, colorful, and effervescent.

And I got to sing in places like Hahn Recital Hall, which looked like a literal dream.

 

I also got to explore the Granada Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara this summer, which was just *torture*.

No matter where I was, a beach was always within reach. Butterfly Beach was right down the street from Music Academy and I spent some time laying out there, reading, score studying, and watching dogs run around. Which was all good for the heart. Waves, sand, and sunshine are just good for your soul.

I was constantly surrounded by wine and beautiful views.

I went on lots of boats over the summer, too.

And I got invited to go WHALE WATCHING, which was a literal DREAM. My face got sunburnt/wind burnt, but it didn’t matter. I saw a whale breach and tons of dolphins and jellyfish and sea lions and my heart still kind of flutters when I think about it.

I realized this summer just how much I love the ocean. Being on a boat riding around, or just walking on a beach made my heart settle in a way that it only has when I’ve gone hiking.

Santa Barbara bursts with color and life and I fell in love with it. I definitely want to go back in the future, because there were so many things I didn’t get to see! The Old Mission, Lotusland, and different parts of the downtown area were all places I missed this past trip. For now, I’ll hold all of these colors and that ever blowing slight Santa Barbara breeze in my heart for a little while. When I was struggling this summer, this city picked me up. How can you not feel grateful and in awe when you’re in the middle of a city like this?!

Always remember to breathe and lean into your surroundings in times of panic, stress, or doubt. You’ll always find the sunshine. You’ll find the blooms in the concrete. You’ll grow tall.

Light & Love & Sunflowers,

Emma

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