Saturday, March 12, 2011

N is for Nude Beaches

Thanks to everyone who has bought my book.  As you can see, I'm doing really well in these categories.  You can order yours by clicking on cover icon on the right or just clicking here.

Now I'm really proud to be the number one selling travel book about Santa Barbara because let's face it, there must be millions of them.  You're probably thinking, so what does Ken's book have that no other does?  Well, to answer that, and as a way of giving a sample of the kind of travelogues you'll find in my book, here's my Santa Barbara entry.  Enjoy... and order. 


With both kids away this summer (I forget where) my wife and I snuck off to Santa Barbara for a long weekend. Other than the speeding ticket and dropping my cell phone in a pool it was a wonderful trip. Santa Barbara has become the land of the "smart writers who got out and bought when prices were still affordable.” Now one must go to Lodi.

Every structure in Santa Barbara is made of stucco. Every floor is tiled. Every hotel room has pictures of the mission. Maybe one in a gazillion tourists come up to Santa Barbara to see the friggin' mission.

Shacks are referred to as "cottages.”

Golden Girls writers have gorgeous homes up there. But I’m not bitter.

We stayed at the Inn at the Spanish Gardens. Lovely hotel. Not as nice as Bob Zemickis' tool shed but still. Walking distance to State Street and in a perfect location: down the block from the Council of Drug Prevention and Alcoholism. Across the street from Legal Services. And around the corner from the Probation Department. It was the Ritz-Carlton of Watts.

The town was jumping. All the guys looked like Ashton Kutcher or Jerry Garcia. All the women looked like Demi Moore or Ashton Kutcher.

Sue Grafton, the mystery author, lives up in Santa Barbara. And so, in following her lead...

S is for Sushi -- There are sushi restaurants on every block. Typical small town America.

I is for Informercial -- My favorite store in Santa Barbara is called "As Seen on TV.” It offers all the dandy items you see on television that you order by phone. From Vegematics to that miracle foam thing you put between your knees when you're sleeping, they have it all. My favorite is the Jane Fonda treadmill with the great added feature that there's nothing to plug in! It uses no electricity. You generate the belt moving by yourself! Excuse me, but isn't that called "walking"??? You're paying $200 to walk??? Shouldn't it be called the "Jane Fonda Hamster Wheel"? I overheard a customer say "How does this place stay in business if you can return stuff because none of this crap actually works?"

O is for the Oxiclean kit we bought. I never have to pour or measure detergent again! How did I live without this?

W is for the Wizard Pancake maker (which also makes donuts at no extra cost).

R is for Rain -- It rained Saturday. First time in late July in Santa Barbara since the Cenozoic Era. But did real estate values go down?? Nooooo.

A is for Appalled -- When I called the front desk and reserved an in-room massage, I gave my name as Kobe Bryant. (Note: at the time he was charged with raping a girl in his hotel room.)

P is for Politically Incorrect -- Santa Barbara boasts the first (and now only) Sambo’s restaurant. Noted without comment....except...come on guys!

E is for End of an Era -- the mask store on State Street is going out of business. Where will people who eat at Sambo's get their masks?

H is for Heist -- I saw an officer of the SBPD tooling around on a motorized scooter. If you want to rob a bank and your getaway vehicle is anything but a Segway I'd seriously consider Santa Barbara.

G is for Great Food -- The Palace Grill and Andersons.

M is for Mission -- Okay, we went to a mission after all. Gorgeous, impressive, truly majestic. No wait, that was our friends, Dave & Sally's new house in Ojai.

N is for Nude Beaches -- they have them in Santa Barbara. Considering that most people I saw shouldn't wear shorts much less go naked, I did not visit.

Z is for Zorro -- who, as legend has it, bought his first mask at the mask store on State Street.


Please Leave Name said...

I wish I'd read this before my last trip to Santa Barbara (a week ago), it might've been helpful. Next time.

Anonymous said...

"E is for End of an Era -- the mask store on State Street is going out of business. Where will people who eat at Sambo's get their masks?"

HA! Hilarious as always. Guess I'll have to buy the book now...

Laurel said...

I bought your book. I clicked through and read the Amazon description, and I saw that you have The Electric Chair listed in places you've visited. I figured I could pay $3 to find out what you have to say about the place where I get my hair cut.

te said...

The owners of Sambo's have to bow to American cultural ignorance? Unless there's been a recent infestation of tigers in Africa, "Little Black Sambo" is from India.

And to the best of my knowledge, they're too busy there putting customer service calls on "hold" to care one way or the other.

WV: "boammit" -- last word as you're about to be strangles by a large snake

Cap'n Bob said...

The Sambo's brouhaha reminds me of the man who lost his job for describing spending as niggardly, which means stingy. The gov't body that fired him said it was offensive because it was close to the N-word no matter what it meant. Ignorance prevails again.

lucifervandross said...

Bought my copy. Now I guess I should sit down and read it.

John Pearley Huffman said...

Bought your book. It's great.

Better, I bought my house in Santa Barbara in 1997 at the bottom of the market. Yeah, even lower than now.

I'm the only person left in town without a vanity card.