Our last few days in Santa Barbara were some of the best of the whole trip, partly because of the things we did, a lot because of the people we saw. And stupidly I have no photos of the people, which is such a shame.

So you’ll have to imagine them…

We stayed with my old bible study leader and pastor, Jillian and Christian, and their two young children who were so much fun. Jill lead my small group when our church did one of Beth Moore’s bible studies, Believing God, which was one of the highlights of my ten months in California when I was studying there.

Jill and Christian welcomed us into their lovely home and completely spoiled us with good food, even getting up on our last morning to make us a breakfast feast of baked omelette, strawberry pancakes and coffee. We also loved getting to excite their children right before bed time – Rasmus and their wee boy spent quite a while jousting with foam swords and jumping off the bed :)

We got to catch up with my old friends Marissa and Lynn when we did a morning walk around the UCSB campus. These wonderful ladies lived together the year I studied there, and I became their unofficial roommate – I even knew where the spare key was hidden if they were all out! Marissa now works for Intervarsity and Lynn is about to start a PhD up in Washington, so it was lovely to have a short time to catch up.

We also met up for dinner with my old friend Rich. He was at Fancy’s wedding and over small talk catch-up we discovered he is planting a church with the same organisation as our pastor in Brussels is sent through (Christian Associates). So it was fun to spend a few hours at the Santa Barbara Brewing Company restaurant, sharing stories and plans and ideas about church. He has a blog if you fancy seeing what they are up to.

It was also just fun for me to be back in such a beautiful city. I was biting my tongue every twenty seconds to keep from saying “Ooh, and this is where I… and once I did such-and-such there…” which would have grown boring. Although I did point out the place I finally, at 21, got my ears pierced. :)

We climbed the tower in the gorgeous court house and took the picture above there. Such a lovely few days…

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