Friday, October 22, 2010

My vacation

I guess going on vacation messed up my usual planning and organizing because I didn’t have this blog day marked on my calendar. So, since I don’t have a fascinating and pertinent topic to blog about, I will have to bore you with stories and pictures from said recent vacation.

We went to Santa Barbara, California, which is just about my favourite place on Earth. I haven’t seen the whole Earth, but I’ve been to a few places and although there might be places I’d like better, I haven’t seen them yet. My husband attended school in Santa Barbara at the Brooks Institute of Photography many (many!) years ago and they were having an anniversary celebration and reunion which he wanted to attend.

I also made this a “business” trip as I was doing extensive research for my books. Seriously. Walking on the beach and studying the gorgeous oceanside homes is research. Driving into the Santa Ynez Valley and visiting a winery is research. Sitting on an outdoor deck overlooking the harbor with the mountains in the distance and drinking wine is research. I was researching setting of course, as most of my books are set in Santa Barbara.

I did “real” research, too, by visiting the Historical Museum and the library. I’ve started a historical romance set in Santa Barbara — don’t know if I can actually finish it, but hey, I’ve started it! — and I wanted more details on a few things I couldn’t find on the Internet or in books here. They had many books on the history of Santa Barbara in the library and I was able to get some of the information I wanted. Unfortunately, the library at the museum was closed that week (the one week I’m there they close!) but I did make some notes on some of the exhibits and bought a book that should be helpful.

It was a wonderful trip with lots of time for relaxing by the pool, long walks on the beach looking for special rocks, shopping in Paseo Nuevo, trying new restaurants as well as our old favourites (Taffy’s! Derf’s!), whale (and dolphin) watching on the Condor Express, seeing old friends and meeting some new friends and filling my head with images and descriptions and ideas for stories.

Here are a few pictures taken by the hubs:

Taken from Stearns Wharf

One night it got really foggy - the palm trees looked so cool!

Taken from the harbor - this is Castle Rock, for which Castillo Street is named, as I now know from my research!

Stearns Wharf

Looking back at the city from the wharf

The teenage boy looking out over Santa Ynez Valley

Olive trees hundreds of years old


Meg Benjamin said...

Oh my, how lovely! I wonder if I could get the IRS to accept a trip to Tuscany as "research"?

Kelly Jamieson said...

Absolutely! Tuscany would be a wonderful setting for a romance! Much research needed! Disclaimer - I am not an accountant and have no knowledge of tax law whatsoever.

Nara Malone said...

I was thinking Tuscany would be a great setting for a romance. Rent a cottage, write for a month. That must be deductible.

Great Trip Kelly. Makes me miss CA.

Juniper Bell said...

Lucky us that you forgot to write up a post! I love these pictures. It looks like such a wonderful vacation. Do those hundred year old olive trees still produce olives? I love their twisty branches.

Debra St. John said...

Awesome pics! What a great way to combine business and pleasure. Sounds like you had a very productive trip!

Kelly Jamieson said...

Yes it was great Nara!

Juniper, from my "research" I understand that olive trees must be old to produce olives (see my next EC release for more details *g*) (Yes even olives can be sexy)

Thanks Debra (though I'll pass on your comment to my husband the photographer!).

PG Forte said...

Yeah, anywhere along the Central Coast is just about my favorite place in the world as well.

Sounds like you had a great time, Kelly. Research is always fun. ;)

Kelly Jamieson said...

THanks PG - I just wish the Central Coast was a LITTLE closer to where you are so we could maybe have met up!