Saturday, September 29, 2012

Road Trip #2 - 2012 - Day 16

Friday, August 31 - Port Hueneme to San Francisco

Beginning odometer: 44,598
Departure time: 7:30 a.m.

We left the cousins' house early, stopped to get gas and to pick up a roadie breakfast. We headed North on the 101, facing a long day of driving to San Francisco.

Hours later we were able to say, "Hello, San Francisco!"

We found our hotel in The Marina District and got settled into the room.

We researched local restaurant options and discovered we were just 3 blocks from the Union Street Shops. We put on our walking shoes and ended up at Cafe des Amis. Friday night happy hour was in full swing and the bar area was standing room only. We eventually managed to snag two seats and began the evening with martinis and oysters. They hit the spot after a long day in the car!

We had a pleasant evening and headed back to the hotel early. Bed was calling our names...

Ending odometer: 44,985
Miles driven: 387

Friday, September 21, 2012

Road Trip #2 - 2012 - Day 16-24

Yes, I'm home after our 24 day road trip.

Yes, I know I've only blogged up to day 15.

I was tired when we arrived home and I had a lot of things to do.

First, and foremost, spend time with my 80 year old Mom. She missed us.

Second, see my Sister and her family.

Third, visit my two booths, which had been neglected during my absence.

It was time to pull my stockpiled Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving merchandise and distribute it to the booths. And, yes, resume shopping at the local estate and garage sales.

Weary, I tell you. Weary, I am. I've had no time or energy to finish blogging our vacation.

Never fear that I will not be able to complete the documentation of the 24 day trip. I not only have handwritten notes for each day, but I have photos and applicable brochures for places we visited.

As God is my witness, I will complete the documentation of our vacation!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Road Trip #2 - 2012 - Day 15

Thursday, August 30 - Port Hueneme

Beginning odometer: 44,598

We had a great sleep and woke up early for a couple of reasons:
  1. The Cousin had a volunteer meeting to attend.
  2. The Cleaning Lady was due to arrive at 9:00 a.m. (You never want to disrupt the cleaning lady's schedule!)
Before we left the house, we were privileged to meet their pet. They have had this pet forty years. Yes, I said 40 years!

Meet Morongo. 

Let me give you some perspective on his size. He weighs around 18 pounds. 

He lives in their back yard and under their storage shed.

This is the entrance, under the storage shed, that he has created for himself over the years.

Now, mind you, they have lived in this house since 1965, which is 47 years. Morongo has lived there 40 of the 47. Amazing, but true!

When the yard storage shed was installed. Morongo said to himself, "Hmmm, instead of burrowing into the ground to hibernate, I'll just tunnel under this shed and make myself a mansion." Which, over the years, he did. Smart turtle!

The Cousin's Husband told a couple of really funny stories about how he, at various times, was working in, or around, his shed on a ladder and all the sudden the floor/ground would give way because of Morongo's tunnels. The Cousin's Husband said even though it was surprising to fall through the floor of the shed, it was really interesting to see how Morongo had created his own world down below to protect himself from rains and cold weather. At one point, he even installed a mirror in the tunnels to keep up with what Morongo was doing down there!

Morongo is a picky eater, but after 40 years they know what he likes and dislikes in the way of fruits, vegetables and flowers. Newly sprouted asparagus in their garden seems to be one of his favorites, much to their chagrin! 

The only thing they have to worry about when they leave for vacation is whether or not he accidently turns himself on his back while moving around the yard. It doesn't happen often, but if it does and there is no one there to turn him over, it could cause his death. They don't have to worry about putting out food or water for him in their absence. He can survive on the plants in their yard and the dew provides all the water he needs. 

I ended up falling in love with Morongo. He reminded me of the little box turtle that lived in my parent's backyard when I was young. That turtle showed up every spring for 2 or 3 years and then disappeared. So sad. 

I'm trying to convice The Husband we need a turtle. It's the perfect pet for us!

After The Cousin left for her meeting, The Cousin's Husband took us to a great breakfast.

Afterwards we went to a thrift store, where I was able to purchase some items for resale in my booths. After the thrift store, we toured the local 99¢ Only store. It's amazing what they sell for 99 cents. Truly amazing.

We returned to the house to meet up with The Cousin. We headed off to the small town of Ojai, CA for the afternoon. We spent time perusing the contents of the shelves at Bart's Books. I can now say I've been to an outdoor bookstore! If I lived in Ojai, I know I would spend a lot of time there. After touring a local antique store, we took the long and winding road back to the house.

We had a delicious dinner at home and played a few rousing games of Mexican Train Dominoes.

The Husband with his dominoes. His keen analytical mind helped him win 3 of the 4 games we played. Curses!

After dominoes, The Cousin cut us HUGE slices of leftover chocolate cake. She was desperate to get rid of it!

Ending odometer: 44,598
Miles driven: 0

Road Trip #2 - 2012 - Day 14

Wednesday, August 29 - San Diego, CA to Port Hueneme, CA

Beginning odometer: 44,422
Departure time: 10:20 p.m.

We began our day with a big breakfast in San Diego, before heading out of town.

We took a combination of Highway 1 and Highway 5, headed north, toward Port Hueneme, CA. The Husband's cousin and husband have lived in this city for years and we have never visited their home. This trip was the perfect opportunity to rectify this situation.

During our drive up the coast, we continued to be amazed at the agriculture in California. We saw fields of blueberries, strawberries, pimentos, onions, cabbage and orchards of nut trees (almonds, walnuts, pistachios). We probably saw other fruits and vegetables, but just didn't recognize the plants. We both knew that California produced vast quantities of food, but it is overwhelming to see the variety in the fields. Especially for us Okies who are used to seeing cattle and limited crops.

At one point in the drive, we took a break and stopped for a snack at Paradise Cove, located in Malibu, CA. We didn't know anything about this restaurant, we just stopped on a whim. The restaurant has beach access and because it was a beautiful day, the place was crawling with traffic. Everyone has to pay for parking and it's expensive. However, if you spend more than $25 in the restaurant, you only have to pay $3 for 4 hours of parking. Quite the money making business, and we hadn't even ordered a drink!

The parking lot was full and we had to drive around for several minutes before finding a spot on the last row of the lot. As we walked across the lot, winding our way through parked cars, I stepped into an open area and in front of me were a man and a woman. He was walking fast and talking fast over his shoulder. She was scurrying behind him, telling him what he needed to do.

I took one look and blurted out, "Are you Jarrod and Brandi?"

He never looked up, but said, "Yes, we are." and kept on walking.

She looked up, smiled, and said, "Hey. How are you doing?" and kept on walking.

I felt I had just stepped into an episode of Storage Wars! Then, I felt like a big dork because I totally butted into their conversation. My only excuse was I was so surprised to see them, my mouth engaged before my brain!

The Husband and I don't watch reality tv. We just don't. However, we do watch this show. We both enjoy the treasure hunt of the lockers. We enjoy all the characters and their fussing back and forth with each other. But, we especially enjoy when Brandi fusses at Jarrod! (Brandi is as cute in person as she is on the show.)

When we decided to stop at Paradise Cove, we had no idea of it's history as movie and tv show locations. If we are ever in the area again, we will certainly stop in for more fun.

After we left Paradise Cove, we finished our drive to The Cousins' house, arriving at 4:30 p.m. It was so nice to see them again and be in their lovely and comfortable home. She prepared a great dinner that we really enjoyed. It was the first home cooked meal we'd had since leaving home and it was delicious!

After we cleaned up the dishes, we went to the Port Hueneme Pier to watch the sunset.

The Cousin's Husband, The Husband, The Cousin

Me, The Husband

We returned to the house and had chocolate cake. Yum, yum! This was a great evening with family.

Ending odometer: 44,598
Miles driven: 176

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Road Trip #2 - 2012 - Day 13

Tuesday, August 28 - San Diego, CA

Beginning odometer: 44,395

The Husband and I slept late, of course. After getting around, we decided to drive over to  Coronado Island.

We had a great lunch at Brigantine Seafood. The crab & shrimp fondue was "the bomb!" Our bartender, Jesse, was a very personable young woman and we enjoyed our conversation with her.

After lunch, we walked through the shopping area. I did not purchase one item. (ha!) We then strolled into the Hotel Del Coronoda, which is a a fantastic old place. We could easily vacation there, once we win the lottery!

We walked out to the ocean and put our feet in.

We are extremely fortunate to have been to both the Atlantic ocean and the Pacific ocean this year.

After driving around the island, we returned to our hotel. Look at the facilities located directly across the parking lot from our room! Can you say, "Laundry?" Yes, I did a few loads.

The Husband researched restaurant options for dinner and we ultimately selected The Red Door restaurant, based on good Tripadvisor reviews. Our waiter, David, was attentive and very nice.

We started by sharing:
Braised Pork Cheeks
pork cheeks braised in white wine & veal stock, wrapped in puff pastry; with onion marmalade, natural braising jus, fine herbs

I selected this as my main course:
Lamb Meatballs
ground Colorado lamb with roasted garlic, feta, pine nuts, home made herbed gnocchi, roasted tomato, sauteed hericot verts, chimichurri sauce

The Husband selected this as his main course:
Red Door Turkey Meatloaf
tender turkey meatloaf topped with mushroom maderia 'gravy', served with mac n' cheese, sauteed garden vegetables

Oh. My. Goodness!

Where do I start?

The pork cheeks? Divine!

The Lamb Meatballs? Fantastic!
(The pine nuts added such an interesting taste and texture.)

The Meatloaf? Yummy.
(That side of of mac n' cheese was to die for.)

Reading the Red Door full menu makes me want to return for many more meals!

The Red Door is an interesting restaurant, because they share a kitchen with their sister restaurant. I found that to be a fascinating concept. The Wellington couldn't be more different in decor and menu than the Red Door. The owner and chef created two distinctly different concepts and decors, but use shared resources to deliver food and service. Absolutely brilliant!

After dinner, we returned to our hotel and one last stop in Zack's bar. Another good time was had by us. If you are ever in San Diego, stop in to meet Zack and be entertained!

Ending odometer: 44,422
Miles driven: 27

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Road Trip #2 - 2012 - Status Report

For all of our friends who have been following our vacation antics,
apologies for the lack of posts recently.

We have been in San Francisco and I have been trying for FOUR days 
to write a blog post with photos and hyper-links to other websites.

It has been impossible, due to horrible connectivity at our hotel.

Oh wait, not just our hotel, but everywhere we have been
in San Francisco and surrounding areas.

You would think this area would be 100% connected,
but we have not found that to be true.

We are on the road again on Tuesday, September 4th.
Hopefully, internet connectivity will allow continued postings!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Road Trip #2 - 2012 - Day 12

Monday, August 27 - San Diego, CA

Beginning odometer: 44,390

This day was our 18th wedding anniversary. Where did the time go?

Near our hotel was a public transit center. We purchased a day pass and hopped on the trolley to San Diego's Old Town.

After our walk around Old Town, we hopped on the trolley again and headed to Petco Park.

After the game, we took the express trolley back to the transit station and then returned to our hotel. 

We stopped in at Zack's Bar and met Zack. We enjoyed our conversation with him and the other patrons.

Ending odometer: 44,395
Miles driven: 5

Road Trip #2 - 2012 - Day 11

Sunday, August 27 - Pioneertown, CA to San Diego, CA

Beginning odometer: 44,235
Departure time: 12:30 p.m.

Sunday morning was a time for everyone to sleep in. The family got together mid-morning and went into town for breakfast. The Husband stayed at the hotel and packed the car.

We all returned to motel and visited with each other. I became fascinated with this cactus. I thought it was beautiful.

The Bride and Groom, and their sweet baby, arrived to visit and open wedding gifts.

Check-out at the Pioneertown Motel was high noon. How appropriate! We said good-bye to the family and headed toward San Diego.

We arrived in San Diego and checked into the Best Western Seven Seas Hotel. We took a short nap and then started looking for a place for dinner.

We decided to stay at the hotel and try their food. We went into Zack's Bar and ordered a couple of sandwiches, which were decent. We had fun chatting with Pam, the bartender. We also meet another guest named Justin, who lives in Maine. Justin is a welding supervisor for company who repairs submarines. He was in San Diego on assignment.

In the bar, there were a number of framed Frank Fontaine albums. The Husband remembered him from the Jackie Gleason show. Pam told us that Zack, of "Zack's Bar", is the son of Frank Fontaine.

We didn't get to bed until midnight because we had so much fun chatting with Pam and Justin.

ending odometer: 44,390
miles driven: 155