Is It Always So Beautiful In Santa Barbara?

Milkshake, like most East Coasters, had just about enough of the wind, rain and snow of what seemed like a never-ending winter. So needless to say, we were looking forward to performing in California, as we have for the past few Aprils. This time, it was a concert at University of California at Santa Barbara for the Family Series UCSB hosts each year.

We had a 9:50 AM flight on our usual Southwest Airlines, and all seemed fine until Cord and Brian were stuck in a slow-moving security line and missed the plane. Luckily, they caught the next available nonstop and would meet us in Santa Barbara some hours later, in time for a late dinner at Enterprise Fish Company. When we arrived at our hotel, we were pleasantly reminded of our time in Ixtapa, Mexico years ago, when Milkshake played a Club Med. No, this Best Western wasn’t nearly as fancy, but the gardens were beautiful and we ogled the palm trees, cacti and flowers. And did I mention it was warm? Coats came off at the airport! It was lovely, with blue skies and sunshine. We walked to Trader Joes, got some kumatos, mushrooms, tapenade and other munchies and sat by the pool. Life was good.

Tom & Shepp enjoying the sunshine.

Tom & Shepp enjoying the sunshine.

The next morning, Mikel and I drove to the beach, which was only minutes away. Cactus flowers decorated the shore.

Flowers on the beach.

We walked along the beach, just taking it all in. Paddle boarders, seabirds, even a beach bar. Walking up the shoreline, we marveled at an incredible group of buildings which jutted out to the edge of a rocky shore. We soon discovered that was UCSB. Gosh, why didn’t I become a marine biologist and come here instead of Hunter College?! It was gorgeous. On our way back to the car, I came upon the absolutely prettiest shell I’ve found in years.

My pretty shell.

We fetched the guys a few hours later and headed to, yes…the beach bar. Oysters for everyone, including Shepp’s mom and sister, who live out there.

Milkshake on the beach

Milkshake on the beach

Then we headed to Campbell Hall. The folks there were great, and the hall beautiful. The show was SO MUCH fun and the kids were fantastic.

In concert at Campbell Hall

In concert at Campbell Hall

And just when we thought the weekend couldn’t get any better, we were invited to the home of a sponsor of our show, Thomas Kenny and his family, for a party in our honor. We were welcomed into their beautiful home and met some families who had attended our concert earlier. At one point, a group of mostly girls gathered around, wondering where my tutu was. After I explained it was fragile and I only wore it in concert, conversation moved to favorite movies and we all broke into a rousing version of “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen. The girls knew all the words!

Getting ready to sing "Let It Go"

Getting ready to sing “Let It Go”

Then we moved over to a beautiful grand piano, Mikel brought out his acoustic guitar and we did a mini concert featuring “Go Wild!” and “Bottle of Sunshine,” complete with Tom on “table” drums. Shepp’s sister Valerie took a home movie of our performance. Here’s “Go Wild”: 

It was time well spent, and I could’ve stayed chatting with everyone forever, really. But the sun was setting and we had to head to LA that night. I will never forget the intense beauty, kindness and good times of that weekend in Santa Barbara. Special thanks to everyone at UCSB’s Campbell Hall and the Kenny family.

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