Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Gem

One of the resources we use to determine our outings is the old fashioned AAA tourbook.  The Santa Barbara County Courthouse was listed as a gem and they give tours.  We also wanted to do a hike that I found on my AllTrails app, but since we were hoping the marine layer (fog) would lift later, we started with the courthouse.

According to the book, it's a fine example of Spanish-Moorish style architecture.

Maybe so, but this fountain seems Roman style to me.

Our guide told us a funny story about the fountain.  It seems the artist interviewed hundreds of people to be the models and unknowingly ending up choosing siblings.

Here's our guide talking about the copper doors of the Hall of Records.  Pretty impressive..

The back of the courthouse is just as lovely as the front, although since it is around a courtyard, maybe it's actually the front.

The Law Library was pretty spectacular.  This is a postcard since I can't fly around the room.

Ron pointed out that the map shows California as an island.

He said that back in the 1700s, it was believed that the Gulf of California extended farther north and cut what is now California off from the mainland.  Let's hope that wasn't a psychic prediction.

There were some beautiful features like this painted ceiling . . .

And this tile staircase.

But we were disappointed because the two most noteworthy rooms were closed for repairs.  So I bought postcards of the Board of Supervisors Assembly Room, known as the Mural Room.

And the other feature was the 85-foot clock tower.  I didn't find a postcard of it, but I did spot this picture in the Santa Barbara visitors guide.

When we finished the tour, the fog was still with us.  But I guess if the locals waited for a clear day, they'd never do anything.  Off we went on our hike.

We followed a trail up in the Santa Ynez Mountains surrounding Santa Barbara.  It was supposed to pass some waterfalls, but we turned around at the first one.
(More evidence of the drought.)

The trail provided a nice view of Santa Barbara and it was nice to just get out and stretch our legs a bit.
(I guess you can't really see the city or the ocean through the fog, you'll just have to trust me.)


  1. You said what I was going to about hoping the map maker wasn't making a prediction about California. That's a pretty impressive courthouse -- a gem indeed.

  2. They sure don't build courthouses like that anymore. So beautiful. The ones today are functional but sterile. That map maker definitely could see into the future. I have no doubt that someday that big one is going to hit and there goes California. I also think Yellowstone will have another big one. I am such a pessimist.

  3. Our courthouse is ugly ----I wonder if the water has been leaving California all this time and now its DRY as a bone-

  4. That 1700s map could be correct after that big one happens. Better buy up some Arizona property, so you'll have a waterfront view... :cD