Thursday, September 9, 2010

Walking Tour of Ventura RV Park and Southbound on Highway 101

September 5, 2010

A Walking Tour of Ventura RV Park
Ventura, CA

Drive south from Pismo Beach

to Ventura in the Thunderbird with the top down

Ventura - Day 2

Sunday morning dawned with an even thicker marine layer than the day before. Our plan, and like all plans eventually meets reality, was to ride south on PCH to Oxnard, and back...about 24 miles in all. The day before Elaine's rear tire had gone flat. This is a continuation of a problem encountered over a month ago when we rode several miles on a bike path that apparently had a lot of thorns and stickers which eventually ended up in our tires. Elaine's tires being older than mine, are a little thinner, and more suceptable to puncture....well another thorn we had missed punctured her tube again on this morning only about 2 miles south of the RV park. The picture below was taken just south of the Ventura pier immediately after I had repaired her tire again. While repairing the tube I discovered a large slice in her tire which made riding so far really a bad idea with such a badly damaged tire, so we turned around and determined to just take a short tour of downtown Ventura and share some pictures with our readers. Ventura is really a quaint oceanside community, and we always enjoy our visits here several times a year.

Just after repairing Elaine's tube....

The Ventura pier as it disappears into the overcast.....

Statue of Father Serra....he built 21 missions along the California coast

The beautiful Ventura City Hall....formerly a county courthouse

The current incarnation of the Ventura Mission....the original site and mission were/are to the left of this current building. The original mission no longer exists.

The view from south of the mission

Looking eastward on Main Street....Ventura old town

After returning from our brief jaunt around downtown Ventura we lowered the top on the Thunderbird and headed north on Highway 101 toward Pismo Beach to have lunch. Once we escaped the vortex of Ventura the sky turned blue and the temperature rose into the low 70's. It turned out to be a great day for a 200 mile drive with the top down.

We had lunch at "Steamers" in Pismo Beach

We arrived in Pismo around 3pm for a late lunch at Steamers.....this reastaurant for many, many decades was known as Trader Nick's......we used to eat there when we stayed at the Kon Tiki Inn (see picture below) on our numerous trips there in the 70's and 80's. This was a favorite destination of my father.

Our view from the restaurant

The ever lovely Elaine.....waiting for lunch

We have stayed here many times over the years...

A late 1980's wide body Newell

On our way home from Pismo Elaine spied another Newell (man she has got good eyes...she was driving at the time and saw it.....I did not see it until she pointed it out) parked along the beach just north of Carpenteria. The owners were not in at the time, so I took a couple of pictures. This coach is in beautiful condition, and shows obvious pride of ownership.

We arrived back in Ventura to the heavy, cold marine layer just in time to light a fire and settle in for a relaxing evning.

My view.............

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ventura state of mind....

Ventura is always a great place to escape the dog days of this writing (4:10pm) it's 103 in Ontario, and it is 65 in Ventura. The sea breezes and sunshine are good for my state of mind. Our group, composed of family, in-laws, and friends, includes 6 RV's (4 Class A DP's, 1 Class C, and 1 Toy hauler trailer). All four of my grand kids are here.

My oldest granson, Christopher, named after his father, is celebrating his 10th birthday today, so we had a big party and a pinata.....but I get ahead of myself.

I left home about 9:30am yesterday (Friday) to cruise north where Elaine would meet me later in the day....she had a few sales calls in the Long Beach area, and would head directly here when she was done.

I got so busy loading the final items into the storage bays that I forgot to eat breakfast.....this oversight became apparent as I was entering Fillmore, CA from the east.....just about the time I was wondering why I had hunger paings I spied a Carls' Jr. on the left, and quickly pulled over to stop. I snagged a chicken salad to eat in Ventura (I was only 15 minutes from the RV park).

When I was inside getting my salad my son and his high school friend passed by in their rigs.....OK, so I won't be the first one to the park.....haha!

Pulled in right behind Chris and Keith around 12:30pm, checked in at the office, and headed to Space #74 which is on the back far from HWY 101 as possible. The one negative about Ventura RV Park is its proximity to HWY 101, which is essentially a north/south divided highway in this area. Since this is a popular area, the traffic is continuous, and even on the back row I can hear the dull roar of cars whizing by on their way north and south.....I just pretend it's the ocean, which is just on the other side of the highway.

Elaine got in about 3pm, and by that time I had everything set up. On her way in she stopped at Vons and picked up a couple of filets to BBQ for dinner, and a nice bottle of Pinot Noir.

We sat outside by the fire with the kids and their kids until about 9pm, and then it was time for the old fogies to hit the!

Woke up this morning to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, poured a cup and sat down to watch ESPN's Game Day with my son who had his outdoor LCD TV is good!

After breakfast Elaine and I got on our bikes to ride north around 7.5 miles to Seacliff along the ocean. This is an area where you can park your RV right next to the Pacific Ocean. It's called Rincon Parkway.....Ventura County has marked off around 150 spots end to end for self contained RV's only. All the sites are on a first come, first serve basis, so during the summer it is almost impossible to beat the locals to the spots, unless you come up on the previous Monday to save, and pay for a spot for the whole week. During the winter we can come up on a Thursday afternoon and snag a a spot just 50 feet from the breaking waves.

On our way back south I spotted a rare classic Newell parked in the day use area south of Rincon. It looked to be a pre-80's Newell with Nevada plates, and was in pretty good shape. Unfortunately the owners were not around at the time, so we missed an opportunity to meet our fellow Newell owners, but I did take some pictures.

***We drove back by that Newell the next day and found the owners "home"....this is actually a 1980 Newell, 37' in length. We introduced ourselves and were treated to a tour of the inside. These folks are from Las Vegas. They day camp along the ocean during the day, and park at the local Wallmart at night. ***

When we returned it was time for Christopher's birthday bash, and now we are getting ready for another meal....looks like BBQ'd hamburgers tonight! Watched part of the UCLA game vs. Kansas....they were only down 2 with a minute to go, but missed the 2 point conversion.

Oh well, another day in paradise........enjoy the pictures!
1980 Newell
In GREAT shape!
Looking south ^
north >
The preparations.....
The birthday Boy....

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Son of a "beach.....

Tomorrow morning we head out to Ventura, CA for the Labor Day weekend. This is a very cool beach community just south of Santa Barbara. They have a wonderful old town, which is a 5 minute bike ride from the RV park we will be inhabiting. We'll probably take one day and ride south to Oxnard for breakfast, but most of the time we will be enjoying the sea air, 65 degree weather, and great friends and family. Tune in tomorrow for the first installment!