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Romance On The Road - Where Any Day Is Your Special Day
by Marilyn Anderson
TheSyndicatedNews columnist

Marilyn Anderson is a relationship expert, dating coach and speaker, who has appeared throughout the country with her unique blend of comedy and advice. She is the author of "NEVER KISS A FROG: A Girl’s Guide to Creatures from the Dating Swamp.”

Ohhhhh, weddings, engagements, anniversaries – they all mean romance! But why limit romance to special occasions? Pick any night, and whisk your honey off to an enchanting getaway. Just an hour and a half drive from Los Angeles is one of the most romantic places in the world.

Santa Barbara, coined America’s Riviera, has beautiful beaches, Mediterranean architecture, a world-class museum, and a myriad of marvelous restaurants, wineries and hotels. My boyfriend and I recently rendezvous-ed at an intimate Bed & Breakfast where we were treated not just romantically, but royally!

Nestled on an acre of English gardens only blocks from the heart of Santa Barbara’s main shopping area, is a beautiful Victorian hideaway --the Simpson House Inn. The grounds are elegant, the rooms lovely, and the food scrumptious. Their personal little touches make the Simpson House Inn stand out as a distinctive and memorable romantic haven.

We stayed in their Plumstead Cottage – a living room and loft bedroom-- with charming antique furnishings and decor. The bedroom was cozy and warm, and the living room – totally unique. It not only had a fireplace, but in the corner surrounded by windows – was a large, inviting Jacuzzi! Talk about romantic! They provided candles, truffles, sherry cakes, and bubble bath – we could sensuously soak as we watched TV, listened to their selection of romantic CD's, or just played with our rubber ducky! They even provided that!

In the morning, the Inn serves a gourmet breakfast, featuring a special entrée every day. If you like privacy, you can dine in your room or on your private patio. Or, if you're like us and enjoy company, you can eat in the main house, on the veranda, or in the gardens. We happily lounged in the back yard gazebo and were treated to a heavenly melt-in-your-mouth egg soufflé with peppers and black beans. Mmmm… and the “yummy” didn't stop there!

Simpson House Inn offers tea and crumpets in the afternoon, wine and appetizers in the early evening, and desserts, beverages and sherry all night. Everything is complimentary. And homemade!

In the guest rooms, a filled cookie jar sits on the table and beverages fill the fridge. Oh, and when you get home from a night on the town (if you ever want to leave your room) -- they offer videos or DVD’s to take back to your room…along with freshly popped popcorn!

Delicate little extras make you smile all the time. My eyes lit up as I spied – not just the usual turn-down service with truffles on the pillow – but beautifully laid-out robes, bath slippers and personally addressed notes to each of us, saying "Sweet Dreams." And after the morning maid service, we discovered captivating memos with quotes from George Bernard Shaw. I'm sure he would have loved staying there, too!

The historic, East-lake style Victorian estate was originally built by Scotsman Robert Simpson in 1874. It was restored by the Davies family, and when their son left for school, they started taking in boarders. For 20 years now, it's been a B & B - and it is truly delightful.

Whether it’s a special day or any day, it will definitely raise your Romance Rating with your sweetheart. Of course, Simpson House frequently hosts proposals, weddings, and anniversaries... or just a divine romantic getaway only a short ride away. Hmmmm.... maybe we'll see you for afternoon tea next weekend?

Simpson House Inn – Santa Barbara Bed & Breakfast
North America’s only AAA 5 Diamond Bed & Breakfast Inn
Accommodations: 15 rooms, suites and cottages
Phone: 800-676-1280

Published: Jul 17,2008 03:52
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