Thursday, October 20, 2011

TTT: Ventura County

When I said in a previous post that my trip home was amazingly perfect, I wasn't even using hyperbole (one of my fave literary devices).

My mom was well - physically, mentally, and emotionally. She has not only adjusted to living in assisted living, she has thrived.

Thank-you God.

The day that my younger sister and her husband met up with me (all the way from Florida), and the three of us took Mom out for the day played out to be what might be tallied as one of the best days of my year.

Come along and I'll show you how to have a great day in Ventura County - featuring our family's favorite haunts.
On the Ventura County line of the PCH is Neptune's Net. It has been there forever as far as I know. Back in the day it was quite the dive, but has been updated and the menu looked awesome. We even were tempted to eat there, but had just had In and Out burgers, fries, and shakes; so we only went in for beers and iced teas for a picnic.

Neptune's Net is also a favorite stop for the bikers on a weekend and then you would find more like 40 or 50 bikes outside. We were there on a weekday so you only get two cool bikes in the photo.

We had to pass Sycamore Canyon to head to Neptune's Net for the cold ones, and while we were driving down PCH, a school of dolphins were swimming parallel to us.

Beautiful, clear, no winds, fall day.

Frolicking dolphins.

Auspicious, yes?
This Sycamore Canyon day park is where our mobile home park used to be in the late 60's and early 70's. That's grannie and my little sis there. My sister does not blog nor even use facebook, and when I asked her if it was OK if I put her photo up here, she said, "blog away!"

Behind Mom and Sis is the old clubhouse. The rangers use it now and it is a bit run down, but it used to be the center of the park, both physically and socially. The upstairs was a party room for the adults, but the manager let my friends and I have sleepovers up there sometimes.

Good times.

After a couple beers and a picnic, you can take a nice walk on our little beach. That's Castle Rock down there and my friends and I climbed all over it like indigenous crabs back in the day.

Between the rocks the waves rush in and flow back out to the ocean. Like rapids. We used to jump off the rocks and let ourselves get flushed out to sea. Again and again.

I would never have let my kids do anything half that dangerous, but we were not watched quite as over protectively back in those days.

After a few hours at Sycamore Park, head on up the coast to Oxnard. You will be following my old school bus route.

Out at the beach in Oxnard, right on the marina, I recommend you head on over to the Whale's Tail. I used to hang out there with my BFF and I am pretty sure it was with a fake ID. That's how long ago it was.

It is still a happening happy hour spot.

Here's sis showing off our "cucumber Bloody Marys." Sis used to work as a bartender at the Whale's Tail in the '80's. I was already living in Hawaii.

After happy hour head straight into Oxnard itself to Cabo's for some of the most real deal Mexican food to be had. I am ready to leave my computer right now and go make myself something to eat just thinking about our dinner that night.

When you walk into Cabo's there is a woman making hand made tortillas right there in the center of the restaurant.

Oh. My. God.

Best tortillas ever.

Can you tell we have MEH Mexican food over here? I was so ready for this meal.

Cabo's also does the best table side guacamole I've ever had. My BIL was talking about it all day.

Some beers, some chips (also made from their home made tortillas)....

We had tacos to die for. I was too busy inhaling them to get a photo for you all. My favorite is the Taco Dorados de Picadillo. It is pork, beef, and potato; all cooked down together and served in a crispy, fresh, hand-made minutes before tortilla.

We also ordered the Carne Asada and Carnitas tacos, which are served in soft tortillas with cilantro, onion, and lime.

Then we all shared so we could have one of each.

Cabo also does a Bloody Mary with cocktail shrimp inside. Which we also ate too fast to take photos.

There you have it. Ventura County a la Pseudo.

Got a favorite haunt where you live? Where you grew up? Link on up!


Anonymous said...

One of my favorite things about living in California was the Mexican food. I'm pretty sure I've trolled most of your tour today all those years ago.

Didn't realize little sis had made it out there too! So cool!


Michele said...

We traveled all over the South last week and the first thing we did when we got home was eat Tex-Mex. You just can't get good mexican food just anywhere.

Looks like a lovely trip!

CiCi said...

Good times and good food go together. I am so glad all went so well and that your mom is thriving in her new environment.

Brian Miller said...

nice i am hungry now...ha...sounds like some wonderful haunts and nice scenery as well...

Jan said...

I was going to tell you how thrilled I am about your mother doing so well, but I'm too busy wiping drool off of my keyboard from the description of your tacos...

Sprite's Keeper said...

Argh, I now want tacos...
I love this TTT, happy memories, happy food, just happy. :-)

Jo Black said...

Found your blog in a round-about way that I fail to remember.

Love your travel photographs...


sage said...

Thanks for taking us along with you as you looked back on where you grew up.

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

i am so glad you were able to experience this day w/ your family!

Anonymous said...

It is so wonderful to hear about how happy your Mom is and how well she is doing- I bet she really enjoyed herself too! Thanks for the tour but I've got to look up some mexican food!

Kristan said...

Thank goodness I had Mexican food last night, or this post would have been torture!

Also, yay for having 2 travel posts to link up. :)

hillgrandmom said...

Looked up Ventura in Google maps and found there were so many nature preserves around. So it must be really beautiful and to have dolphins swim parallel, while driving along the road--unbelievably awesome.

Julie H said...

I say the area where I work is little mexico lol. There is great mexican food all around us and not much else :) I'm always jealous of southern California, so much more to do down that way!

secret agent woman said...

Hm - I don't really have a "where I grew up" since we moved a lot. But I could go back to favorite haunts in college and grad school.

Keely said...

Nom. Looks delish.

My favorite place is a local tapas restaurant. The menu changes weekly, the chef is amazing, and there is always one thing that is spectacular.

Joanna Jenkins said...

That's it-- We're having Mexican food for dinner tomorrow night. Yours sounds fantastic.

I'm thrilled you had a great day with your family and that your mom is doing so well.

Thanks for sharing your visit with us. jj