New Years - How are you celebrating?

My New Year’s plans are based entirely on my state of mind. I am in need of relaxation, a change of pace from the demands of home life, and breathtaking landscapes that remind me of the jewels of nature. I am lucky enough to be able to curate a little respite to meet my criteria just a stretch from home. Throw in good food, great company and fair weather and the holiday is ready to begin. Santa Barbara meets my needs in more ways than one.

Pick up volleyball games are a weekend standard on East Beach in Santa Barbara.

Pick up volleyball games are a weekend standard on East Beach in Santa Barbara.

I don’t play volleyball, in fact, I’m kinda afraid of the ball, but watching others dive and tumble to get that sphere over the net brings me great joy.

Waiting for a table is low-stress here at the Honor Bar in Montecito.

Waiting for a table is low-stress here at the Honor Bar in Montecito.

Part of the Hillstone family of restaurants, the Honor Bar in Montecito, CA offers both indoor and outdoor seating, gourmet bar food from Thai steak salad to a crispy chicken sandwiches layered with finely chopped coleslaw, to icy beverages in frosted martini glasses (did I mention their fries are thinly cut and served in a paper cones)? They don’t take reservations so no need to worry if you’re there on time - a cocktail by the outdoor fireplace will keep you comfortable while you wait.

A great spot to gather your thoughts.

A great spot to gather your thoughts.

A quiet spot looking at the wonders of nature and powers greater than man, helps me contemplate what lies ahead. Boring as I may sound, this is a perfect New Years celebration for me. Oops, did I forget the bubbly?

Champagne dresses up! Cheers

Champagne dresses up! Cheers

mary van hielTravel, love, Love