Thursday, January 05, 2012

Route 66 & California - Oxnard & Ventura

The next three days were spent in the Oxnard-Ventura area where I'd spent almost twenty-one years of my life - more than any place else on this planet of ours.

Before I left to Spain I emailed three of the guys I'd worked with in an attempt to arrange a get together.  Since I'd made our Route 66 plans back in May I had a good idea when I would be available and figured there would be a good chance to get together sometime in the three day window.  I also emailed GeekHiker (GH) hoping to fit in a hike.  I figured wrong.

One guy was literally driving east as we were driving west - He would be driving through Omaha when we were nearing California.  Another guy was going on a vacation to visit with adult children.  The third said sure until about a week before we got to California when emergency business travel got in the way (emergency business travel is very common where I used to work).

Oh well at least I would hike with GH.  Oops.  Unknown to me at the time GH was going through a life changing event (being let go from his work, selling/storing all his worldly possessions, and getting ready to leave on a four month roadtrip to try to figure out where he was going next) and, on top of that, this was Carmageddon weekend in Los Angeles (They were shutting down the 405 freeway and everyone was predicting epochal gridlock but it turned out to be a non-event - typical media exaggeration) and he wasn't sure if he could make it to the trailhead in a timely fashion.

So it turned out that everyone I hoped to visit with in my old home town was not available.  Turns out some of the Wife's friends weren't available either.  Oh well.  What are you going to do?

We had to make the best of it so we got up and went to Mrs Olson's Coffee Hut for breakfast.  The food was just as good as we remembered it.  We went back to the car and ... the rear driver's side tire was low.  *sigh*  We had an appointment so we got in and drove the short distance to the Anna Day Spa & Salon.  By the time we got there the tire was completely flat.  I guess after driving so far we should have expected something like this to happen.  It could have been on some secluded desert road so we were lucky.

We went in and the Wife had a facial while I had my first ever Swedish massage.  I successfully put the flat tire out of my mind while I had an hour long relaxing massage which I enjoyed greatly.  For Christmas, the Wife bought me a gift certificate for a massage in Omaha which I will probably indulge in later this month.

I put the spare on the car, which was not fun as the masseuse had greased me up pretty good and the parking lot dirt kept sticking to my arms, and we went to a place to have it repaired.  Turned out the tire could not be repaired so a new tire had to be bought.

We took the repairs in stride and headed over to a World Market to shop (They closed the one in Omaha) and had lunch, and a Pizookie, at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse.

After some afternoon shopping, we picked up our friend the "J" and headed to Winchester's to eat ... it was closed ... so we ate at the Anacapa Brewing Co. instead.  We also got to meet Molly, the "J"'s new dog roommate.  She was a cutie!

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Day two in the Oxnard area I did a hike up to Topa Topa.  I will discuss this eventful day in another post to follow shortly.

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Day three was our last day on the Oxnard Plain.  I woke up sore.  My right knee was killing me.  I must have been in a funk because I don't remember much about what I did this day.  I think we went to In - N - Out Burger for lunch and we walked along the beech and visited the Ventura Pier.  Other then that it's a little foggy.

The evening, on the other hand, was memorable.  We met the "J" at Winchester's and had some good grub before we walked down to the Ventura Improv Company and caught a funny performance.  It was my first improv experience and it was fun.  (Great idea "J"!).  We had a great evening with the "J" as always.

I would have liked to see my old friends but we still had a great time in my old stomping grounds.  We did drive passed the old house.  I had no feelings toward it.  Neither did the Wife.  Our time in California felt like ancient history.  I didn't take any pictures in Oxnard or Ventura.  There will be pictures from my hike on day 2.

Stay tuned for me being humbled by Topa Topa.

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