On Retreat in Santa Barbara...
I left for Santa Barbara early for a retreat at St. Mary's Retreat House. I paid for the upgrade to business class which was very nice. Such as free cups of tea and pastries. The book "Heaven" by Ferlo is a series of essays on the subject, which was the theme of the retreat.
Above is the guest house. The monks stay in a separate building.
It's right next door to the Old Santa Barbara Mission, still an active parish. There were scads of chalk paintings on the ground in front of it, a fundraiser for local schools, they were fabulously gorgeous and rich in color.
The rose garden below the Mission was thanks to the daughter of the original owners of St. Mary's Retreat House. Apparently, she arranged to ensure the land next to the mission wasn't developed.
And I mean its right next door. Above is a shot of the old mission from the driveway from the retreat house. What I love about the retreat house is that it is so accessible by public transit. The bus stops right at the mission. The food's good, mostly vegetarian but delicious, so if you're in coo-ee of this place and need to get away, check it out. One of the monks does beautiful calligraphy too.