Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Beaches and Puppies

After San Francisco, we stayed with Jarrett’s friends Matt and Jess in Ventura, California.  The city of Ventura felt a lot like Boise to me but with palm trees.  The weather there is always fairly warm and windy from being so close to the ocean.  The beaches were beautiful, we visited one by Oxnard and one up in Carpinteria. 
The mountains close to the beach at Carpentaria.
This town has beautiful views all around!
While Matt and Jess were at work during the day, we had time to catch up on relaxing, blogging, walking Pepper (their energetic Boarder Collie mix), and organizing the car better.  It was some much needed down time.  During the evenings Matt and Jess entertained us by cooking up yummy dinners (some amazing garlic potatoes!) and showing us around the town.  We spent one night bowling.  If you have ever bowled with me, you know that I’m guaranteed to have the lowest score, sometimes so low it is embarrassing.  The first two games we played were no exception, but the third game was different.  After a spare and strike next to each other and another spare a couple rounds later, I won the game!  My score wasn’t super high, but was my personal best J Friday night, we met Jess and Matt, after their work days, at The Island Brewery in Carpinteria. This was a wonderful bar with great beers and became packed as the town got off work.  It was also close to a beautiful beachfront, totally picturesque of California.  Matt then took us to downtown Ventura, his old stomping grounds.  We hit up a pretty nice beer bar with a live band then checked out the harbor. 
Matt and Jess with Green Bay Packer bowling balls in the background.

Saturday Matt drove with us down to Santa Monica Beach.  After we found parking we walked along the beach, up the Pier, and back along the sidewalk.  The beach was just beautiful we got our feet wet in the ocean and hot in the sand.  Santa Monica Beach is very touristy and we got quite a taste of it on the Pier.  Quite a few fishermen were catching and cleaning their fish on the pier.  On the sidewalk we passed a guy who was singing “who’s your baby’s daddy, I’m your baby’s daddy” (change of hat to long blond wing) “who’s your baby’s mama, I’m your baby’s mama.” 

The Ventura area is the first time we ate at In N Out Burger on this trip.  We are loving the chain, it makes good late night meals, as well as good late-lunches-that-it's-really-dinner-time lunches.  The double double protein style hamburger got a few looks from the servers one night, but yum is it good, and perfect when I'm hungry.  (Which is all the time, by the way!).  

The view from Santa Monica beach looking toward the Pier.
A Memorial Day tribute at Santa Monica beach for the soldiers lost
in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
We had a great time in Ventura.  We got some much needed relaxation in, got lots of play time in with Pepper, and had fun checking out the area.  Thanks to Matt and Jess for treating us so well in lovely central California!

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