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You know it’s Christmas when the tree of lights goes up in front of the Arlington Theater. It means that The Nutcracker will be shown regularly at the theater, the Salvation Army will have bells and buckets all around town, and State Street will get busy with shoppers looking for the perfect gift. If look closer into those shop windows, you will see more than just a few decorations. State Street is littered with a collection of local businesses and chain stores. Many of the local business owners stay close to their stores and restaurants. If you go inside for a visit, it isn’t difficult to find them and on slower moments, get to hear a little bit of their story.
If you step into the Agave Inn, on upper State Street, you will hear a story of lifelong friends. It’s a story of a meeting long ago and a friendship that has endured triumphs and defeats. It is also a story that sees the world as a place lit with beautiful Christmas lights all year long. You will get to see this as you walk into the doors of the Agave. They will greet you with a smile and you may even leave the place with some good friends in Santa Barbara.
Be sure, when you come to visit, look into some of the stores, restaurants, and inns, because some of the beauty of Santa Barbara also comes from the people – people who are eager to meet you and welcome you in.
There really are not very many places like Santa Barbara, CA. Although, I am biased, since Santa Barbara was where I grew up. I would go to the beach one day and hike in the mountains the next. During the busy, summer months, Santa Barbara was flooded with people from everywhere around the world. State Street, our main downtown street, would be so packed, you could barely see the ground. The summers are always great and full, but my favorite time of year in Santa Barbara is the fall, and into our winter as well.
Fall and winter are misnomers for this town, because it doesn’t really go below 69 degrees (maybe just at night), so it’s not a frost or snowy season that makes this time so great. It’s also not the changing colors of leaves in trees, although there are some. It also isn’t the rain, although that’s not so bad. What makes this season so great, are the sunsets. The reason the sunsets are so great has to do with the clouds that make a regular appearance in the sky. When the sun starts to touch the horizon, the colors shoot out and change the landscape of the sky. Pinks, purples, oranges, yellows, and blues create this performance right before your very eyes. Then, you look down, if you’re at Butterfly Beach right across from the Biltmore Hotel, and you’re greeted by this metallic sea of greens and blues. Or, if you’re up on the Riviera, you look away from the ocean and get to see the warmth of it all being absorbed into the hills.
It’s a great scene and one that should be stored in your heart.