On Sunday I officially turned 26. It’s strange, because so many people always think I’m a lot younger than I really am. I always joke with people and say, “The older I get, the better it sounds.” Although our youth is often chaotic and uncertain, it is something to be cherished and to enjoy as much as possible. The older I get, the more responsibilities seem to be weighing down on me, and although I think I’m having a lot more fun now, I don’t feel as carefree as I once was. I know this is normal and just a part of growing up, so I am not bitter about it. I am enjoying life and adventuring as much as possible. I also love myself more now at 26, then when I was 17 or 23.
When I went to Disneyland on Friday with my sister, one of the baristas at Starbucks asked how old I was when he saw my Disneyland birthday badge. When I told him my age he couldn’t believe it. He thought I was joking. When another lady carded me for a drink a few weeks ago, she said I still looked nineteen. Well these are all nice compliments, and although I still feel young at heart, my soul feels a little older now. Life has taught me many valuable lessons. There have been many times when I just wanted to give up. My life felt devoid of meaning and the world seemed very dark. I am happy to say that I have not felt this way for quite some time.
My boyfriend, Rafael, surprised me with one of my birthday gifts a day early. I am in love with this new bag from Jump From Paper. They make unique 3D purses, handbags, and even backpacks and wallets. I first heard about them on Instagram a while back. Well it’s nice to finally hold one and see one up close and personal. Very cute and well designed. The Product packaging is also awesome. I officially feel spoiled. My boyfriend even wrapped it in a lovely black and white polka dot gift bag with pink and white polka dot tissue paper. I am impressed with his gift wrapping skills.
He even got me a cute little Mr. Stay Puft figurine because I still own a plush Stay Puft Marshmellow Man from when I was a kid. I thought this gift was very thoughtful and cute. I love that this one is burnt.
On my official birthday we decided to take a day trip to Santa Barbara. I had so much fun posing with my new Jump From Paper bag! It was a perfect day to be in Santa Barbara. The weather was beautiful and my birthday happened to land on the Santa Barbara State Street National car show. It was a pleasant surprise to see so many nice vintage cars. I even got a photo with what I believe is a 1920’s/1930’s Ford, but I also don’t know a lot about cars. I just know some guy walked buy and said, “Bonnie and Clyde!” as Rafael was taking this photo. So perhaps this is a 1930’s model after all.
Our first stop in Santa Barbara was Antique Alley on State Street. I used to go to another antique store on State Street years ago with my parents when I was a kid, but it eventually closed down. I can’t even remember the name. Luckily Antique Alley is alive and well, and still filled with so many awesome antiques! Antique store visits are actually one of my favorite past times. I don’t get to do it a lot, but I would definitely rate this one of my top favorite antique stores.
This photo was shot in the back of the store. Rafael and I actually found an authentic WWII jacket and various WWII hats. There was even a backpack that looked like it had been to hell and back with the right leather strap torn. We realized then that it was time to start getting Dapper Day ideas again. I looked at the jacket and wondered how it had come to be in this store, and what man owned it and whether he had lived to old age or sadly passed away in the war. The jacket still looked in mint condition so hopefully this man had a happy ending. We left without purchasing anything, but hopefully next time we’ll really find something worth our money. There’s just too much to choose from whenever I go to antique stores.
For a late lunch we ate at Hoffman Brat Haus. The food was amazing! While we were viewing all the old car models on State Street, this restaurant by the mall caught my eye earlier in the day. We decided to come back once I was finally feeling hungry. Wow. I am very happy I decided to try something new. I have been wanting to try German beer and sausage together for a while now. I ordered their Belgian fries with Rosemary Aioli and their signature sweet and spicy dipping sauce, and the traditional Thuringer Bratwurst with cooked Sauerkraut and sweet peppers. Just thinking about it now makes me feel hungry for more. To drink I ordered their Erdinger Weissbier Dunkel. I’ve never tried this before but I got lucky because this tastes great. It’s not too bitter or sour.
This restaurant not only serves sausage but they also have Belgium waffles! From lunch to breakfast or dessert, everything on this menu sounds amazing. My boyfriend and I are already planning to come back next month. Their Happy Hour menu sounds so good too.
I got so many photos with this bag yesterday! This hand bag is perfect for a night out and even a day trip. It’s not extremely roomy inside for those that like big purses, but it’s great to fit your phone, keys, lipstick, mirror, and your ID and credit card. I was even able to fit my phone charger.
One of the last shops we visited on State Street was the record store, Just Play Music. This has always been a pretty good place for used albums or CD’s, and new music. Sadly, there are not a lot of record/cd stores that exist anymore. I couldn’t just walk by without visiting this place again. Luckily, after looking around the store for what felt like at least 20 minutes, we found some used CD’s for the car ride home. We were in a 90’s kind of mood.
On our way to State Street we found some awesome graffiti art. Of course the Mickey Mouse was my favorite.
Before leaving we stopped to walk on the beach for a bit and take a few more photos.
It started to cool down and I was craving something warm. We stopped at Hot Spots Espresso for a cup of coffee. I forgot what blend I got, but I think it was their Santa Barbara blend, or perhaps Sumatra, but either way it was pretty good. They also serve sandwiches and pastries.
On our way home we decided to take a detour and stop at another beach as the sun was starting to set. This beach was a lot more secluded.
The link below takes you to the Alice bag. I have the Martini, but as of now they are currently sold out.
Before my birthday I randomly asked my sister if she wanted to go to Disneyland on Friday. I haven’t been since March and I really wanted to go again. Considering how many times I’ve been to Disneyland, I think this was my first time going for my birthday, or at least around my birthday. Little did I know that day was also Grad night. Oh boy, was it packed, and a bit hot out, but I have no regrets. The only bad thing that happened is that I had minor heat stroke while waiting in line for Indiana Jones. The wait was about an hour. Later in the day it changed to 85 minutes. Yikes.
Less than 15 minutes waiting in line, I started to feel funny. I’ve felt this way before years ago after running in the sun for my P.E. class in 7th grade, and was prepared for the worst. Well, what felt like the worst happened about ten seconds later and I think I temporarily blacked out for like three or four seconds. These really nice ladies in front of me gave me their water and one of them even started fanning me with my straw hat I was wearing that day. I was extremely embarrassed, but it really could have been a lot worse. At least no paramedics were involved.
We had park hoppers and also went to California Adventure. We only rode on Cars Land and went there to eat. It was my first time on the ride, and considering how long the line always is, the ride is extremely short! It was fun, but I think I’ll get a fast pass next time.
To end my birthday weekend I went on a bike ride with Rafael today. It only started to heat up towards the end of our ride, and although I was pretty tired from the previous days, it was nice to get more exercise and be outdoors.
It was quite the weekend, but I survived and I had such a great time. I am so tired and now it’s time to get back to work. I hope everyone has a great week!
Photos by myself and Rafael Hernandez