Santa Barbara County Adventures – A day of many photos

Today I spent the entire day in Santa Barbara County. I was in Santa Maria all morning and for part of the early afternoon for an Adult First Aid/CPR/AED training. The main reason for doing this is because most, if not all, gyms require that Zumba instructors are trained in CPR/AED in case there is an emergency during a Zumba class. After my training, I’d say I am pretty confident and comfortable with the material we learned. It brought me back to a lot of what I learned in my 9th grade health class (30 compressions, 2 rescue breaths, etc.). It was also great because one of my former club soccer teammates was also getting her certification along with her sister. I hadn’t seen her in approximately 4 to 5 years, so it was so nice briefly catching up!

I ate breakfast before heading to Santa Maria, and lunch during our break at the training. My breakfast was basically the same as Wednesday’s, with the only exception of a small banana in addition to the blueberries (and a few less blueberries today!). My lunch consisted of quinoa, bean & corn salad, turkey on the side, avocado slices, another 180 nut cluster pack, and two whole pieces of fruit (nectarine and a plum). Today, especially, I was supposed to be loading up on good carbohydrates and proteins because it’s sort of common knowledge that the food you eat two days before any big workout (a race, soccer game, etc.) is what becomes the fuel for you during that intense activity. You’ll see that I ate many times today and my excuse for that is that I’m “supposed” to in order to have enough energy for my half-marathon. Haha.
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Once my training was over, my mom and I had intentions of spending the rest of the afternoon in Solvang, as it is such a cute little town and one of our favorite places to visit. However, on our way, we thought to take a pit stop in Los Alamos (another small town that we have driven past MANY MANY times, but never actually took the time to explore. What a cute place! We walked along the main street and stopped in a couple of the shops. We first went inside Global Gardens, which is not only a shop but also has an olive oil tasting bar and a Caliterranean Cafe (California and Mediterrenean, get it?!). Can’t really get much better than Caliterranean food, if you ask me! My mom and I really wanted to do the olive oil tasting, but thought we should get a mid-afternoon snack first. We ordered a cold ginger soup and a veggie slider to share. OMG it was delicious! The soup had olive oil drizzled on top and you could taste the herbs in the soup. The ginger was not overpowering at all, it tasted great!! The slider was also fantastic. It had gouda cheese, tomato, basil, grilled on focaccia bread. Another reason why we were drawn to Global Gardens in the first place was because there was a sign outside that had the words “Ice cream” on it. I’m sure I’ve said this before but I truly believe that ice cream is my all time favorite dessert (besides fruit, if I’m going for the natural sugars). Now this wasn’t just any ice cream, it was olive oil ice cream! I don’t know about you, but this was the first time I have heard of such a thing. I was so intrigued and very excited. My mom and I decided to sample a flavor first (we chose chocolate chip cookie dough). We both loved it. Instead of the ice cream having raw chocolate chip cookie dough, the ice cream had pieces of soft cookie but that still had doughiness to it. I was so happy. Then we actually got an order of ice cream and shared it! Then it was olive oil tasting time. I believe my mom and I tried about 10 different olive oils and about 8 balsamic vinegars. We even tried a walnut oil that had a wonderful flavor. Everything was amazing. I would buy the entire store if I could! The two women working there today were so kind! Anita, a recent high school graduate who is spending the summer at home before heading to college, is the current chef. She did such a wonderful job! Nancy was the one who led us through the olive oil/balsamic vinegar tasting. She was so sweet and my mom and I had a wonderful time with her. Nancy gave us so many great recipe ideas that I began craving food again even though I was already full! I can’t wait to go back to Global Gardens and try something new on the menu (or maybe just order the same thing haha) and also bring friends there!! 🙂
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We also stopped at the Union Hotel, which is located right next to Global Gardens. This hotel was first built in 1880, only a couple years after the town of Los Alamos was established in 1876. Los Alamos used to be the pit stop for people traveling from San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara. They would stop either to party, spend the night or just take a break before continuing on their journey. In those days, a trip from San Luis obispo to Santa Barbara took 5 days. Today it only takes 1.5 hours! How times/technology have changed! Estevan, who worked at the hotel, gave my mom and I a tour of the building. The rooms were so cute! The first one he showed us was one that was used in the music video Say, Say, Say by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney! I thought I took a photo, but it’s not on my phone. Now though, I can watch the music video and recognize the suite. Pretty cool! We also got to see a couple of other rooms, including the Presidential Suite and the Governer Suite. I’d love to come stay here sometime. My mom was hinting that a stay at the hotel would be a great anniversary present. I guess I now know what to get her!! Haha.

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After leaving the hotel we stopped by a couple of other really great shops and met some more wonderful, kind individuals. Before we knew it, we had spent our entire afternoon in Los Alamos and it was time to head to Lompoc for a Zumba masterclass with the one and only Meli. Today was her last class on the Central Coast before she moves to the Bay Area. She says she will still make her way back to San Luis Obispo and the surrounding areas, but I will likely be in Boston when she makes her trips back! I am going to miss her! She totally worked me in class today. It was a 90 minute master class and boy it was intense!! I loved it though. We (and some of Meli’s other close Zumba friends) went out for dinner at a sushi restaurant after class. Since my mom and I both don’t love sushi, we had asked my dad to prepare us fish and black rice, and avocado for a “second” dinner if you will. At the restaurant we ordered these vegetarian rolls and a chicken skewer and shared both appetizers. Delicious, but I was definitely hungry afterwards that I was happy to come home to more food.
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Tomorrow is my REST day! I’ve got a big day coming up on Sunday! 🙂

Good night!

~ Alessa

 

 

 

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