|Santa Barbara Pier|
Back in the hotel we checked out, leaving our bags in reception to come back and pick up later with the hire car.
We strolled across town to the hotel where housed the hire car location. On the way I realised that I was actually quite nervous at the prospect of driving in America. A strange car in a strange country. (Driving only three or four times a year I've realised I find driving a more and more alien experience these days.)
My nerves meant that I'd carefully plotted our route onto the Pacific Coast Highway that we'd take all the way up to Santa Barbara and we were quickly onto Route 1 and heading through Malibu and out of the city.
The coast road was definitely more scenic, if slower, than taking the in land motorway. Around Oxnard we passed huge fields growing strawberries. Must be back breaking work to pick those huge fields of fruit!
|The lobster roll from the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company|
We arrived in Santa Barbara in mid afternoon, parked the car and went to explore. With the sun slowly sinking in the sky we walked out onto the pier taking a look in a couple of the tourist shops and watched people fishing at the end of the pier for a while.
I was in need of some lunch so we decided to stop at the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company who have a small shack towards the end of the pier. We wrote our names on the list outside the door and luckily didn't have to wait too long before we were shown to a table outside, result!
I ordered the lobster roll. It was on my wish list to have a lobster roll while we were in America and sitting by the sea seemed like a good moment. The lobster roll was excellent. It had lots of lobster, wasn't overwhelmed with mayonnaise and nicely seasoned with chopped cornichons. I definitely could have eaten a second.
|Fried calamari and scallops|
After lunch we went for a walk along the beach and sat on the sand for a while to take in the views. We'd noticed on the drive up that there seemed to be a lot of small oil rigs quite close to shore along the coast and we could see a few more for the beach.
With the sun setting and our parking we'd paid for about to expire we headed back to the car and drove inland to our next overnight stay in Solvang.
|Sunset in Santa Barbara|