The Friday Five, 11/11/22: 5 things I've been up to this week

I just got back from Santa Barbara around 11pm yesterday, and I didn't get home until 12am because there was a shortage of Ubers/Lyfts, so I'm definitely dragging today. Plus, this weekend I have to go on a diet of sorts for a medical test on Monday—basically no carbs or sugar—so I'm not looking forward to that.

Sunset in Santa Barbara
Sunset in Santa Barbara

What I've been up to this week:

  1. Work trip to Santa Barbara, CA. This is probably one of the most beautiful places I've ever traveled to, despite the rain on Monday, when I arrived, and most of the day Tuesday (and I've been told it never rains there, so they needed it). Wednesday was beautiful though and Thursday was too, even though I had to leave. I was there for IFEC, which is a conference that mostly PR people and editors attend, and it was valuable to have that one-on-one time with brands. 
  2. Eating delicious things. I only had one sit-down meal in SB, and it was at Barbareno with some friends, on Wednesday night, and was very delicious. The standout of the meal was definitely the miso brown butter steak—the presentation was impeccable, it came out under a dome with steam coming out—but everything we ate was tasty. IFEC provided most of my meals for the week and we had a lot of interesting foods, too; on Monday night when I arrived, there was a Chef's Showcase, including plant-based things and also lamb ribs, which I didn't even know was a thing. I'm not usually a fan of lamb but those were very good. 
  3. Sightseeing. I didn't get to do a ton of that this trip but on Wednesday, we split up into groups to do various tours, and I chose what I dubbed the "foodie" tour—it included a trip to an empanada restaurant, a chocolate shop, a BBQ place, and a distillery. I'm a big fan of empanadas and these were probably some of the best I've ever had; at the chocolate shop, we got a behind-the-scenes tour, and I also bought some chocolates to try later at home. The BBQ place, which I thought was a beer place, beforehand, had us trying some CA tri-tip, which was very tender and tasty, and at the distillery we got a sample flight of their wares, including an apple pie liquor, which was delicious. 
  4. Traveling through 4 different airports. On Monday when I arrived, I took Southwest through Denver, and actually ran into a high school friend on the plane, which was random but fun. I had a four-hour layover at Denver, and had lunch at Root Down there, which ended up being fabulous; I got a turkey banh mi burger. I arrived around 5:30pm Monday at SBA (Santa Barbara Airport), which ended up being super small—it only has five gates. Yesterday, I flew home through American Airlines (AA), and I had a 2-hour layover at Phoenix instead; I've actually been to PHX three times this year now—once for a personal visit, once for work, and now this. So that makes four airports: SBA, DEN, PHX, and DTW. 
  5. Seeing movies. I watched Mack and Rita on the plane yesterday, and it was probably a 3/5 from me, but Diane Keaton is always delightful. I finally got to watch The School for Good and Evil on the way to SBA, and I liked it a lot; I'd probably give it 4.5/5, and it's streaming on Netflix. I read the book a while ago for my book blog and enjoyed that too. Last Saturday, I saw The Estate at the theater, and I'd give it 3/5 stars; it was fine but not super memorable. And tomorrow I am seeing the new Black Panther movie in 3D, which should be great.
Empanadas at Buena Onda, in Santa Barbara
Empanadas at Buena Onda, in Santa Barbara

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