Tuesday, August 14 , 2018, 9:27 am | Overcast 69º


She Said, Z Said: Santa Barbara Staycation Gives Locals a Different Look

You can check in and out any time you like, but you can never leave

Z: Decadent and price friendly? Best anniversary ever.

She: I told you it would be fun to stay at a hotel in Santa Barbara.

Z: Staying at a hotel in your own town always sounds kind of lame to me, but it somehow ends up being a lot more fun than I would guess.

She: This isn’t the first time we’ve done that.

Z: Slow learner.

She: The Hotel Santa Barbara was the big surprise for me. From the outside, it looks like one of those old buildings downtown where you’re not really sure what’s going on inside.

Z: Growing up here, my picture of a nice hotel is very much rooted in beachfront property. Tall buildings have always been suspect.

She: So it was a very pleasant surprise to find a bright, sunny, charming room.

Z: It was really nice.

She: And I’m not just saying that because Seasons Magazine was so prominently displayed. The old-school elevator was my favorite thing. I kept waiting for the elevator operator from Pretty Woman to hold out his hand for me.

Z: Hey, I opened that little gate for you a half-dozen times, and you didn’t tip me once.

She: I think when you say, “Tip for a trip, ol’ Pip,” every time, it loses its charm.

Z: I also like that we won the hotel night at a raffle, and that transportation costs were close to nil.

She: You’re so romantic.

Z: Of course, our dinner costs pretty much blew all our savings out the door.

She: I loved Seagrass. Not only was the food yummy and adventurous, but the service was awesome.

Z: Sure, but I’ll be working there washing dishes for the next month.

She: I’m worth it. Plus I love eating stuff I can’t recognize.

Z: Maybe if you tipped me more in the elevator, I would have been able to pay for it.

She: It was our anniversary! I don’t think No. 17 is the year of the cheapskate.

Z: Let me check. First year is paper, 50 is gold, and — yep — 17 is cheapskate.

She: Then we had a yummy breakfast at Tupelo Junction Café. I can never get you to go out to breakfast normally. Wasn’t it tasty?

Z: It was. But when did we become all civic boostery?

She: I think it was fun to stay downtown, and be able to stroll around like we were tourists. There’s nothing wrong with sharing that.

Z: I don’t know. I feel like we should be shaking down some of these hotels and restaurants for the good word.

She: Or we could write about it just because it was good and we enjoyed it.

Z: I’m not sure what we get out of that.

She: A column.

Z: There’s that. But it always makes me a little nervous to brag about Santa Barbara.

She: Why?

Z: My dad always told me not to, because then other people would want to come here, and then it would get too crowded.

She: But didn’t he have a store here that was a little dependent on tourism?

Z: I didn’t say it was great advice.

She: The curse of the local. We love our town and want it all to ourselves, but we need the tourists.

Z: And then as soon as one of those tourists moves here and becomes a local, they don’t want anyone else to move in.

She: They should post that on City Hall, as the Santa Barbara motto.

Z: We could make them a little plaque, in honor of our anniversary.

She: That better not be your idea of a gift. The 17th anniversary tradition is furniture and I need ...

Z: ... seats at The Granada?

She: Yes, as a matter fact, while we’re being all civic boostery.

Z: Yes, dear.

— Share your favorite staycation ideas at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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