Layover in Santa Barbara: even better than I predicted

Never, ever be afraid to strike up a conversation with strangers. What’s the worse that can happen? They may not want to talk, and will then simply find ways to stop the conversation. On the flip side, they want to tell you about themselves, they want to get to know you, and invite you to go sailing with them on the boat they live in.

In my case, the conversation started from a delicious cup of cappuccino.

Let’s backtrack, this past Friday, I drove out to Santa Barbara the night before a Quidditch tournament so I don’t have to wake up at 4 in the morning and travel before a full day of quidditch. Last minute looking for accommodations, I decided the cheapest option would be Air B&B.

If you’ve known me for a while, you’ll know that I’m a huge advocate for Couch Surfing, so Air B&B is a concept that’s a little odd to me- but it was cheap, and the apartment I requested looked really cool.


My stay was phenomenal. My hosts were intelligent, kind, and very welcoming entrepreneurs. Our conversations consisted of movies, science, and how they were in the middle of creating a coffee hand grinder. My favorite part of the house? They had a world map that covered a whole wall- with push pins of where all their Air B&B guests came from. (Put that on my check list of my future apartment)

Anyway, that’s not the point of the story- so let me get back to it. After about the 50th time my stomach decides to growl at me, I decided to find myself some food. Santa Barbara is not a cheap destination, so I wasn’t too uptight on finding a cheap spot. I was, after all, only there for a night.

As I strolled down State Street, I came across a relatively crowded quaint restaurant with a patio overlooking the street: Andersen’s Daniel Bakery & restaurant. It was the perfect place to plop down for a meal, a bit of reading, and people-watching.

santabarbara dinner

It’s never too early for thanksgiving food. Turkey, home made cranberry sauce, Mash potatoes, and sweet potatoes- mmmmmmmm…. that’s all I have to say about that.

It was delicious. I was so, so, so, content with my life at that very moment.

And life only get better.

As the wonderful waiter brought my cappuccino, I heard my restaurant neighbors ask, “Wow. What is that drink? It looks delicious!”. I looked up from learning about the Jedi Academy and responded with the simple answer “cappuccino”.

I have to give credit to Stacy, my restaurant neighbor, for starting our incredible 3 hour long conversation. She was with her husband on what seemed like date night, so I wouldn’t have wanted to disturb them- but they didn’t seem to mind. They were an elderly couple, I’d say perhaps in their 50s.

As the conversation progresses, I learn that they are just passing through Santa Barbara as well. Originally from the East Coast, they were on their way from San Francisco to Mexico on a sail boat and decided to dock in SB for a few days. What an incredible journey. On the other hand, I was in SB for a quidditch tournament- so I guess we both had pretty unique reasons for being there.

Conversation continued for the next 3 hours, about our families, our travel experiences, culture, America, hospitality, and of course- quidditch. It was one of the most refreshing and rejuvenating moments for my soul since I’ve moved to California. With my transition to school, driving, balancing time to see friends and boyfriend- I haven’t had time to really travel, explore and meet strangers like I use to.

Eventually, we exchanged contacts and parted ways with the hope that we will see each other in the near future again. I solely believe that the universe has a way of bringing people together.

“The night I met Stacy and Robert” is definitely one for the books. I hope I was able to inspire them as much as they inspired me, even if it was simply the rules and community of Quidditch. (Trust me, they were very intrigued.)

P.S. When I spoke to them on the phone yesterday, Stacy was talking to me while observing a hurd of 100+ dolphins swim by their boat. Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

Published by Joanne Lam

📍 Toronto | STRONG w Joanne 💪 MovNat ACE & Agatsu Kettlebell Certified 🎯 Commit Confidence Consistency

5 thoughts on “Layover in Santa Barbara: even better than I predicted

  1. What a cool thing! Never lose that spirit of freedom. Keeping on with your adventures, talking to strangers, and Quidditch, I love it, it’s so cool you got to go upon their boat, and also have such a nice 3 hour long convo 😀 Good luck with Quidditch darlin xx Lucas

  2. You are right. You both had unique reasons to go there and I’m sure exceptional stories as well. What turned out to be a lovely experience! Wishing you all the best for future travels!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: