Apart from being known as the premier women’s community organization with a mission to change the world, Classy Living Society is known for its fabulous over-the-top events. Enter CLS Travels – a Classy way to present first-class travel and entertainment to its members and guests!

For five days and four nights in late August, the first CLS Travels excursion took 33 ladies to one of California’s most popular destinations – beautiful Santa Barbara!  Centrally located along the Pacific Coast of California, Santa Barbara boasts beautiful beaches, tourist attractions and resorts. With the Santa Ynez Mountains rising in view in the distance, the tranquil waters of the Pacific Ocean within reach, and a warm summer climate likened to that of the Mediterranean, Santa Barbara proved to be the perfect choice for the first CLS Travels trip.  Santa Barbara has so much to offer – museums, beautiful Spanish architecture, wineries, biking and hiking trails, hundreds of restaurants and shops, whale watching, sunset cruises and of course, the beach!

Day One – Wednesday – CLS members and guests were greeted upon arrival at a welcome reception at the Riverbench Tasting Room, a cozy, and inviting tasting lounge located within Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, an area known for contemporary tasting rooms, shops and cafes.  Everyone sipped champagne, snapped pictures, greeted each other and introduced themselves to guests. Laughter, fun and wine tasting! CLS presented each traveling lady with a burlap tote bag emblazoned with the phrase “Beautiful Survivor,” a moniker used to present Shade, CLS’ socially conscious line of lipsticks.  The premise is that everyone is a survivor of something, and that survival on any level is always beautiful. Each tote contained a bottled water, a Beautiful Survivor tank top, a plastic cup and an itinerary outlining the exciting events to come. And oooohhh, how exciting it was!

Day Two – Thursday – The women rose early to volunteer at the Braille Institute, and learned valuable information about aiding those who are blind or visually impaired.  The Braille Institute offers classes, special events, lifestyle training, in-home consultation and more. It was truly an informative trip, and an enjoyable morning on the beautiful grounds of the Institute.  

The morning and afternoon unfolded into the perfect evening — perfect weather, perfect skies, the perfect sun and the perfect tranquil breezes.  Dressed all in white, each traveler met on the sand for dinner on the beach – VIP style. Against a backdrop of the beautiful Pacific Ocean and sand on one side, and God’s magnificent mountains on the other side – the ladies dined on the beach as the sun set.  In the background, a lovely lady played island melodies on a steel drum – perfect for an evening of what truly felt like paradise! On the menu – seafood paella, macaroni and cheese, sauteed local sea bass, and grilled market vegetables. The delectable desserts included salted caramel brownies and creme brulee spoons.  The food was delicious, the nautical decor was fabulous, and the ladies were beautiful in white. Couldn’t ask for more – it was breathtaking – the perfect evening – one that left lasting memories.

Day Three – Friday – A chartered bus whisked the ladies away to Santa Ynez, California for a winery tour and picnic lunch. First stop was the Sunstone Vineyards & Winery, where a featured delightful rose’ was free flowing and picnic tables were set with a pink decor and boxed lunches.  Brightly colored blankets were spread on the lawn and after eating, the ladies lounged in the sun on them, relaxing on the brightly colored pillows that were strewn about. More rose’, more resting and it was off to the area tasting rooms until it was time to return to the bus. And, oh, I forgot to mention the majestic mountain scenery along the way!  It was a lovely day and before the ladies could catch their breath … Saturday came and it was time for the yacht excursion.

Day Four – Saturday – The All Yellow Private Charter Party!  In solidarity against and to bring awareness to Human & Sex Trafficking, the ladies wore yellow sundresses and beach cover ups on a magical day on the seas. The Azure Seas, a private 46-passenger, 70 foot yacht was the best place to be!  With the wind blowing through their hair on the open deck, the ladies sipped cocktails from the bar in the main room and enjoyed the rolling seas! It was a phenomenal day of fellowshipping, positivity, love and sisterhood.

Then all too soon, Sunday arrived and it was time for many of the women to return home.  The consensus among them was that it was a trip of a lifetime. Everyone left infinitely better than they came – for some, having experienced something new and, for all, a refreshing vacation.  

Santa Barbara – known as the American Riviera, because of its similarity to the French Riviera, where there the people have an enthusiasm for the beach, wine, boating and beautiful things.  It’s fair to say that CLS Travels presented the Ultimate American Riviera experience – the Ultimate Girls’ Trip!

Next stop in 2020 – CLS Travels goes to Belize!  

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