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When Briana isn’t lecturing for her writing courses at UCSB and SBCC, she contributes to The Santa Barbara Skinny, Wake & Wander and Flutter Magazine. Along with her passion for writing and all things Santa Barbara, much of her time is spent multitasking through her days as a mother, wife, sister, want-to-be chef and travel junky. Writing is an outlet that ensures mental stability... usually.

My husband is seated on “the grandfather bench” at Pacific Star Tasting Room trying to snap a photo of the whales passing by

IT’S TIME FOR A TIME-OUT Believe me, you will not regret committing to the mileage that ends on long winding roads in the forest. You have to go far to find this type of smalltown quaintness and serenity, but it’s worth the trek. Eighty-six miles north of San Francisco, you will catch Highway 128, which will take you through the apple orchards and vineyards in Anderson Valley to the Navarro River mouth intersection at Highway 1. Along the 128, there are many places to taste craftsman beer and delicious wine (see my Best Bet for details). It’s a section of road that will require many stops to take it all in. Once on Highway 1, continuing north will lead you along the curvy coastline to a turnoff marked solely with a large wooden mailbox. The road continues to dwindle, weaving its way past a pond and up a small hill to the

Elliana Westmacott was born and raised in Santa Barbara. She is 10. She loves to play the piano and soccer. Skiing, swimming in the ocean, reading, and visiting her Nana’s house are some of her favorite things to do. Her family and her dog George make her happy. So does writing.



our hundred and seventy miles north of Santa Barbara, there’s a cluster of tiny towns dotting the Pacific Ocean in Mendocino. Sandwiched between Sonoma County to the south and Humboldt to the north, Mendocino hosts the North Coast, where fine wine and food coupled with views that are just too pretty for words make visiting this area a must. I grew up in Mendocino County. My husband got down on one knee and proposed to me on the headland bluffs with the town of Mendocino in the background. To say I love this area is an understatement. The fact that cellphone service is not available in many spots is a bonus to the old-growth redwoods, dramatic sea cliffs, whale watching, and some of the best Pinot Noir that California has to offer.


E’S NOTE by Elliana Westmacott

PLANB by Briana Westmacott


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Brewery Gultch Inn. Set on the bluffs overlooking the majestic Pacific, any of the Inn’s 10 rooms will make you feel right at home. The Brewery Gultch boasts modern amenities and locally sourced organic food and wine to spoil you as you sink into total relaxation. Once you are ready to get out and explore, owners Guy and Sarah Pacurar will provide you with tons of activities around the Inn. Our first outing (which wasn’t easy, since we were so content eating and lounging at the Inn) was to the Russian Gultch State Park, where we hiked the waterfall loop. This trek did not disappoint, as it culminated with a 36-foot waterfall covered in ferns and surrounded by redwoods. We kept on track with a nature theme and left our hike to visit the Botanic Gardens. The flora along the coast made me wish I had a green thumb. The day only got better when we drove to a northern point that was rumored to be the best place to scout for migrating whales. Pacific Star tasting room set us up on “the grandfather bench,” where we sipped on another perfect Pinot and watched whales dance around just off the coastline. It’s hard to imagine a better day. The Brewery Gultch Inn serves an impressive breakfast and a sweet buffetstyle dinner, all created by a local chef in a farm to table fashion. We decided to venture out for a bigger dinner one night and headed to the Little River Inn. The rustic dining room and fresh seafood made us quite happy and provoked us to prolong our stay on the coast after leaving the Brewery Gultch Inn. We ended up spending an extra night at the Little River Inn, where we did more whale watching and spent a day


personally love books, and I think that every person on this Earth deserves to know how to read. I know that if you find a really great book, it’ll be like your best friend! If you’re looking for a good book to read, this article is going to tell you exactly where to find it. The Santa Barbara Public Library has upgraded its children’s center. When I first walked into that room, I thought that it was some kind of magic land because that’s exactly what it looked like. They have a program called 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. If you read one book each night, you can get 1,000 books read before you go to school, and you will also gain pre-reading skills. The public library will give out a small prize for every 100 books you read, too! I went on a field trip to the public library a few weeks ago and it included a big S.T.E.A.M craft room. If you are interested in making robots or designing your own little video game, then visit this room Fridays from 4 to 5 pm. It is for ages 8 and older. I might check it out myself! Libraries all over the world are unique



ula Winery has a tasting room on Highway 128 that I would recommend you stop by on your way to Mendocino. The 2012 Pinot Noir and 2013 Zinfandel are highlights from their cellar. Bring a baguette and sit outside overlooking the vineyards. If you prefer beer, swing through Boonville and stop off at the Anderson Valley Brewing Company to savor local craft beer.

in their own way, but the new children’s area in our public library is very cool, and I bet it’s filled with interesting books, too. I’m looking for a new, good book, but you already know where I’m going to go to find it! Love, E

E’s P.S.

Here is a list of good books I’ve read that I loved, and I bet they are at the SB Public A pile of my favorite journeys Library: • The Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling • T he Percy Jackson series Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan • C ounting by Sevens by Holly Goldberd Sloan • T he Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer •A  Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L’Engle • T he Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis • S erafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty  

shopping in the town of Mendocino. Besides the crisp, white Victorian décor and ocean views, the Little River Inn also has the only golf course on the North Coast. My husband was overjoyed to play a round of golf one morning. We felt a strong sense of balance when our trip ended. There is no doubt that Mendocino has a lot to show off, and all of its charm made it well-worth our journey out of town. 

Profile for Montecito Journal

Caught on Film  


Caught on Film