This past weekend, I went to Santa Barbara for the first time to reunite with one of my rugby teammates, Katie. We hadn’t seen each other in over two years yet have managed to keep in touch via thesis length text messages randomly. She’s actually one of my my rugby “littles” (we call them “newbies”) so I feel an extra sense of protection and pride over her.

There’s something unbeatable about both catching up with someone you love with all the time in the world and exploring a brand new city. Rather than cutting short stories, we let them unravel and take us to new depths. I can’t remember the number of times I said: “It’s a long story but…. we have time!”. That’s a damn good sign of a fantastic trip 🙂

On Saturday when I picked her up from the very small Santa Barbara airport, we immediately went to explore the beach. We walked along the shoreline marveling at dogs and listening intently as we each spoke of our lives in the last two years. This continued onward to dinner and into the night after we got back from watching the sunset.

Sunday we woke up early (somehow) and headed to Inspiration Point to see a beautiful view of the city. We started the day off at The French Press, which is a coffee shop that was rated in the top 20 in the US by Thrillist. Needless to say, I think I went there 5 times just in the couple of days I spent in Santa Barbara.

The night before, we found a deck of “table topic” cards at the airbnb. We each chose 5 questions from the deck and throughout Sunday we’d sporadically weave them into conversation. This was great fun as I both love questions and stories. It was neat to know that thanks to the questions on the cards we were able to broach topics we might not have otherwise gotten to.

After the hike, we explored the Courthouse building which had a great view along with some neat information about Santa Barbara. We made our way down to the pier afterwards where I stocked up on postcards to send (if you’re on my list – get ready!).

We had dinner that night at a fantastic vegetarian restaurant that I would literally drive back to Santa Barbara just to eat there again. The meal was incredible (see pictures below) and the staff was so kind. As we were getting ready to leave, they brought us out dessert on the house! It was incredible and we were so thankful.

To close out the day, we watched the sunset at the beach once more. We sat mere feet away from the ocean as the waves creeped closer and closer. We talked openly and sat back enjoying the gorgeous scenery Santa Barbara offered us. It was a truly spectacular way to end the day.

Running throughout the entire weekend was a wonderful sense of sacredness – I knew our time was limited together yet I was so thankful to have it. More and more in my life, I am having incredibly clear moments of “this is how I want to spend my time and my life”. This weekend was most definitely one of those. We can never have too much time with those we love.

Thank you, Katie, for doing life with me and for being such a force for good. As I mentioned as we parted ways, let’s not wait two years to see each other again 🙂

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