Snapshots from Ventura and Oxnard

VenturaThank you all so much for your kind words on yesterday’s post. They worked miracles, since I woke up today feeling pretty great! Now I have the energy to show you the highlight reel from our trip last weekend.

check out the dogWe really loved Ventura and Oxnard. They are about an hour west of us, on the Pacific coast and an hour south of Santa Barbara. The area reminded us a bit of its larger neighbor, but we honestly liked Ventura and Oxnard a lot better. They were more walkable, less touristy, and had far more local shops and businesses (always a plus!). We checked the weather forecast before we left on Friday: highs in the 70s, lows in the 50s. Haunted by our memories of being too hot in Newport Beach last year, we brought short sleeves and bathing suits. We kind of selectively ignored that 50s part. As we were almost in to Ventura, a huge wall of fog rolled in, Bay area style. It was exhilaratingly comfortable and familiar for me, but as we considered the contents of our suitcases, we looked at each other and said, just as GOB Bluth did, “I’ve made a huge mistake.” It was not as cold as we feared, but we did definitely get a lot of wear out of our sweaters! There was a St. Patrick’s Day parade on Main Street, right outside our B&B, and I was struck by how much the landscape looked like Oakland and Berkeley: rolling hills, stately homes, fog, fog, fog. And a bonus dog with a red beard.

waiting to watch the St. Patrick's Day paradeSuper glad I threw this sweater in the car!

VenturaAfter we were paraded out, we set out exploring. A bookstore! Naturally, I had to pose by their sign.

VenturaThere was an angel shop in town where people left their prayers on post-it notes. An Impressive array.

VenturaWe also hit up a local refill shop, where you can bring in empty bottles and stock up on shampoo, bath soap, laundry detergent, lotion, and a ton of other household things. The best part is that you can choose your own fragrance, and they have so many to choose from. I got some pomegranate bamboo bubble bath, and it smelled like heaven. Speaking of reusing and recycling things, I must also note that Ventura is *chock full* of thrift stores with amazing selection and even better prices. I could not believe my eyes! Thrifty ladies, this town is for you!

VenturaOne thing that’s always really special to us is getting the chance to attend mass at the beautiful old missions of California. This one is from 1782, and it was jam packed.

VenturaThe gardens outside were so serene and welcoming.

VenturaAnd this charming sign greeted us across the street.

OxnardWe went down to Oxnard to catch the Sunday farmer’s market, and oh. my. goodness. I have never seen such gigantic stalks of chard, such clean and crisp lettuce, so many mountains of strawberries! I was in heaven. I’d gladly fly there by helicopter every weekend to stock up.

OxnardAfter we loaded up the car, we headed across the street to the beach. Out of all the beaches I’ve ever been to, I think this is my favorite. It was so quiet and peaceful there, not a person in sight, and the sand was so soft and warm. I think that we’ll come back here next time we want to have Ā a beach day. So much nicer than Venice Beach! Also, I totally bought that shirt at a secondhand store to supplement my wardrobe!

VenturaOn our way out of town, we stopped by the Channel Islands National Park to visit the starfish and sea anemones.

Ventura…And we left our mark in the sand. Such a beautiful weekend!

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