“Butterflies Alive” Returns This Month!

Entertainment, Uncategorized

Well folks, it’s already May… as of today’s post, I have already submitted the obligatory May social media posts for the 1st and the 4th (Justin Timberlake “It’s Gonna Be May” & “May the 4th Be With You” for those of you not in the know.) However, beyond fooling around with hash tags on Instagram, May is one of my favorite months for finding fun activities to check out here in Santa Barbara. For this post, I’m focusing on my absolute favorite – the Butterflies Alive exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (located at 2559 Puesta Del Sol in Santa Barbara.)

Officially opening May 25th, and going until September 2nd; visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to walk through this live exhibit of about 1,000 butterflies fluttering around you in the new Sprague Butterfly Pavilion that was built last year. There are many different species of butterfly, along with a variety of plants that attract them.

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This is an excellent event that the whole family can enjoy together. From those who just want to sit and relax as the butterflies flit about around you, or kids that want to learn about the life cycle of these beautiful insects and see the chrysalis that they emerged from (click here for SBMNH video about it) – everyone will find an aspect to enjoy. As a bonus, this exhibit is included in the museum’s price of admission.

In addition to the Butterflies Alive exhibit, the SB Museum of Natural History, is a thoroughly enjoyable family outing venue. There is plenty of room for the younger kids to explore outside, there are nature trails, and the standing exhibits to peruse for all ages. For those that have visited in recent months and feel that they have seen everything there is to see at the museum, I would highly recommend returning soon to see the butterflies.

I give this Santa Barbara attraction 4/5 🌴🌴🌴🌴 for beauty, interactive learning and observation, and the rarity of this being something you only get to experience once per year.

Travel Tip: The museum opens at 10am every day and closes at 5pm. To avoid what will undoubtedly be summer crowds, plan to either arrive first thing when they open or come after 3pm to avoid the larger crowds.

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Hook & Press Donuts

Food

You know the feeling. The one where you roll over first thing in the morning, open your eyes and think… I really need coffee. Then you remember, there’s no more coffee in the house. So you figure, if you have to venture out into the world for a caffeine fix, it has to really be worth the effort, so you might as well add a delicious donut to your caffeine fueled morning. Well, this morning after allowing myself 5 minutes of crying due to the lack of coffee in the house, I decided that today was the day. Today, I was finally going to get my hands on a Hook & Press Hand Crafted Donut.

Since their grand opening in October 2018, I have been hearing a lot of good things about H&P. For some strange reason, however, it has taken me the 6 months they’ve been open to finally sample of their gourmet confectionery treats. After today, I can officially go on record as being part of the Hook & Press fan club.

Just to give you an understanding of how determined I was to get one of these donuts today, you need a little backstory. I woke up super early, and as previously mentioned, I had no coffee in the house. I found out that the shop opened at 8am, so I got myself ready to go out, went to their website and Instagram page to see their current menu (when I commit to a plan of action, I’m all in.) I make my way outside to my car… only to find the battery completely dead. Now, for a lesser human, this could have been the end of my donut adventure. I, however, was not going to see the sun set on this day without getting my gourmet hand crafted donut. So, I called AAA and they gave me a jump. This may not seem like a major life hurdle, but you must keep in mind… I’d had no coffee in like, 18 hours! <Gasp>

Anyway, after that major (minor) setback to the morning, I was once again back on my journey and soon thereafter made it to 1131 State Street where there were still plenty of donuts to ogle and choose from. Most importantly, my pre-selected flavor – the Blueberry Pancake, was still available. Oh Mylanta! Was it ever worth the wait. Delicious airy donut, with blueberry icing and little maple swirls, topped with 4 perfectly ripe fresh blueberries bursting with flavor. My mother got the Samoa, which she totally loved – even though she doesn’t like the cookie, go figure.

By the way, these donuts were such a complete sensory experience for me – I totally forgot to get coffee. They were that good. I enthusiastically give Hook & Press 4/5 🌴🌴🌴🌴 for creative and delicious flavor combinations, staff friendliness, and value (I will happily pay $3.25 for quality like this.) Now that I know what everyone has been raving about, I will certainly be back soon.

Travel with Next Vacay

Travel Tips

Last year, shortly after my 36th birthday, I finally took my first international trip. Initially, I was in a bit of a frenzied state trying to settle on where I wanted to go. I knew I wanted to head somewhere, but I couldn’t settle on the where part. This indecision was also inhibiting me when it came to trying to find reasonably priced airfare. I didn’t want, or have the disposable income to pay for last minute airfare – and it literally makes me ill if I don’t do a thorough search of the net for the best price on anything.

Well, imagine my joy at happening across a service called Next Vacay. Their whole platform is tailored to busy individuals who want to travel soonish, want to find the best deals, and want to have travel destination options presented to them. They take the pressure off you so you aren’t bogged down with the stress of price comparison across different sites and monitoring fares over a prolonged period of time. They handle all that for you and alert you when there is a super low fare flying out from your nearest major airport.

When I read up on the Next Vacay’s process, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical at first that they could provide what I needed at an affordable price. However, there was a free 30 day trial period so I decided to give it a try anyway. I provided my nearest airport and signed up for the service. Within 10 days I had received several deal alerts to possible travel locations. I had finally narrowed down my ideal travel locations to 3 places in Europe I wanted to go, so I decided that the first city to show up in the alerts was the one I would go with if the price was right. In the second week of the service, I received a deal alert for London (my 1st choice city) for $439 round trip. I was beyond excited to take advantage of such a deal! I immediately went directly to the providing airline’s site and booked my flight that day.

I couldn’t believe how much money and time I was able to save using Next Vacay! They literally did all of the work for me and helped me figure out where I wanted to travel. It’s like having your own personal travel agent who contacts you every few days to tell you about exciting trips you can afford to take. However, unlike a travel agent, they don’t take any commissions or fees so nothing extra is added, giving you the lowest possible fare imaginable and they only charge a $25 annual fee.

I am in the process of planning an extended stay trip back to the UK this Fall, do you want to guess which service I’ll be using to guarantee I get the best deal on my airfare? Ding ding ding, winner winner chicken dinner if you guessed Next Vacay!

Stay tuned for upcoming posts about my travel planning process for tips and hacks to plan an awesome, yet affordable, vacation.