michael_kenna_100 Copyright Michael Kenna

dying is certain there is no escape your whole life moves unto it this rigmarole, the breathing seconds count your remainders as the veiled robber beholds to snatch away your precious.

the accompanying days remain cold landscape barren white, frosty in the middle a forlorn sight still towering high with youth arms stretched afar and aplenty the cries piercing the icy air and leaves roll down trepidatiously.

many days pass by, many seasons fleet none visit, no bird whistles along horizon is white and long no sights remain unseen the chord is stuck at G sharp the pain numbs the soul.

alone he composed poetry there was no one to read it out to.

alone he composed music there was no one to sing it to.

alone he died there was no one to mourn.

56 hours in SoCal

So my husband unexpectedly got a holiday from his workaholic boss for a long weekend and since this was the first holiday he is getting in 1.5 years, we decided to make full use of it by making a quick weekend getaway away from Los Angeles. As we only had limited time and did not want to spend most of it on the road, we decided to head to Santa Barbara and the quaint Danish town of Solvang.

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The day dawned bright and sunny. Our destination was 1.45 hours away and we left around 10. The drive was scenic, along the PCH. The ocean glistened under the summer sun, a Pacific Blue. We listened to the Doors and the Beach Boys. It was a beautiful day to spend outside.


Our first pitstop was Sambo’s on the beach (216 W. Cabrillo Blvd Santa Barbara CA 93101) around 12.30 p.m. Located on the beach Sambo’s serves breakfast all day long, making it an ideal place for brunch. My husband and I are vegetarians and this place serves burgers and fries making it an ideal place for us to find something to eat, moreover he loves places overlooking the ocean. We downed the food with their jumbo mimosas which Sambo’s is famous for. Sambo’s is located on the East beach and we walked around a bit before heading to Solvang.

We decided to stay in Solvang away from the crowd and the noise. Also, my husband had been yearning to be out in the nature for a very long time and Meadowlark Inn looked just the right place. It was a couple of miles away from Solvang. After checking in, we decided to head over to Lake Cachuma (California 154 Santa Barbara, CA). Dinner was going to be light since most places are breakfast & brunch kind of places in Solvang. We decided to play it by the ear and explore the Solvang downtown in order to find a decent place to get a bite.


We started the next day early by going to the famous Paula’s Pancakes (1531 Mission Drive Solvang, CA 93463) for breakfast. On weekends, Paula’s is crowded and the wait extends to 45 minutes. On a Friday morning we got lucky and found a place to sit quite easily. Paula’s is known for it’s Danish waffles and pancakes. paulas-pancake

After gorging and walking around a bit so as to avoid feeling bloated, we headed out to the Blackjack Ranch and winery (2205 Alamo Pintado Road Solvang, CA 93463) a winery made famous by Jack and Miles of the 2004 Fox pictures movie ‘Sideways’. The wine tasting room here opens from 11.00-4.30 p.m. We followed this by another round of wine tasting at Beckman Vineyards (2670 Ontiveros Los Olivos, CA 93441).


After the eventful morning at the wineries we set out to Santa Barbara to have a late lunch at Alchemy Arts Café (35 West Haley Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101). The Arts café is part of the Alchemy Arts center and it is known for it’s wholesome and healthy meals. After the late lunch, we decided to have some secluded beach time at the butterfly beach near Montecito at a far corner of East beach.


After the secluded beach time, we decided to try our hand at some Poker at the Chumash casino (3400 East Highway 246 Santa Ynez, CA 93460). Both of us are huge Texas Hold’em fans and we didn’t mind trying our hand at a poker game. It was like finding Vegas in the Santa Ynez valley!


The next day, we set out back to LA. Our first stop was the Nojoqui Falls (3200 south alisal road, Solvang, California). The nature trail leading upto the Falls is beautiful and very green.



On our way back, we did the weekend ritual of stopping by at Dukes, Malibu for brunch before reaching West Hollywood, aka home.




This photo is taken by my friend and photographer, Hari Menon. I got introduced to Hari a couple of years ago and since then I’ve been an ardent fan of his photography. Hari has something special about him. His photos speak. They really don’t need captions or words. I’m always fascinated by how he does this. Another thing strikingly particular about him is his simplicity. For a man of his stature, he is extremely humble. We have never met in person but that doesn’t change anything. We still connect like long lost old friends.

Hari’s photos always inspires me to write something. This particular photo above inspired me to write these lines:

He glanced to his right

Moist eyes, a runny nose

Inside a cauldron of wounds.


Someone behind the window

Looked at him in amazement

Suspicious of the content

Discarded him as you would

An old newspaper.


No one walked along, except

A tiny ant.

He crawled up the yellow bag.

The man watched him climb


A mighty fall awaits him.


The ant kept him company

On the weary days when he sat waiting.


The train never came,

it never does.