Tuesday night I headed up to my parents house with Lucy and listened to Modern Guilt by Beck. Let's start this campin' trip off right!
It was the first time driving with a trailer so I was a bit nervous but I did great! I followed my dad down to Ventura matching all his turns. Dad: "Make sure your turns are wide and slow down before you normally would in your car." My dad does not have a mid western accent at all but whenever my sisters and I recount something my dad has said to us we say it like my dad is from Oklahoma.
We get to our normal spot in Ventura which is a first come first serve campground and it is completely full. AH!!! So we checked out a few other spots and they were all full! I thought school was back in session - geez! We ended up going to Ventura RV Resort which can be seen from the 101 and I always remember saying to myself "Who would camp there?" Well - desperate people wanting to camp by the beach thats who. By the time we got set up at the site we were starving so we headed into town for a quick bite and shopping for the trip. We stopped by Jersey Mike's for a sandwich and I have only been there once before and wasn't impressed. Maybe because I had a wrap and that is not something they specialize in. My dad said "You have to get a sandwich Mike's Way it's amazing!" So being the good daughter that I am I listen to my dad and get a turkey and provolone sandwich Mike's Way and had them add a few peppercini's on top. It was deeeelicious!! I pretty much inhaled my sandwich. I will definitely be returning to Jersey Mike's. During our pig out fest at Jersey Mikes my parents and I were trying to figure out what to make for dinner. My dad suggested burgers and I suggested hot dogs. Then my mom said what about hot dogs and mac & cheese! Our eyes lit up and we all agreed that the best way to start our camping trip dinners is to go the WT way with hot dogs and mac & cheese.
Jason came up shortly after our lunch and met us at the market. I have never in my life been to a grocery store that was locked up like Fort Knox. I mean I understand that some of the liquor is locked up - but even the mixers? I'm not joking...all this store was missing was a metal detector.
Back at the campground we all took a walk to the beach and it was the first time taking Lucy to the beach so I was interested to see how she would react. She ran around like crazy and would follow you close to the water but did not want to be touched by it. It was hilarious seeing her little legs running in the sand - she didn't look like she had any.
We had our first dinner camping and it was so delish! I can't remember the last time I had hot dogs and mac & cheese! Why is camping food so much more delicious than food you cook at home? I guess cause you cook things over the fire...but even the mac & cheese was pretty amazing.
The next day my sister came up from Oxnard with my niece's and we played in the pool and spa. We at first were in the spa with the girls and this guy who worked at the RV Resort came up and the conversation went like this:
Weirdo Guy: "Hey are you guys from America?"
Weirdo Guy: "Do you guys read English?"
Us: "Yes" - I start to realize this guy is being an a-hole so I start to give him the death stare
Weirdo Guy: "Well can't you guys read that children under the age of 18 are not allowed in the spa?"
Us: "No, sorry we didn't see the sign."
Weirdo Guy: "Well I guess we need more signs."
In the meantime my niece Addy books it out of the spa and is already in the pool and Mia is holding onto my sister for dear life because the guy looks like a chester. Then he proceeds to tell my sister how much he loves little girls! Creep a-hole!! For the rest of the trip my nieces didn't want to go anywhere by the pool because that creepy guy might be there. Ergggh! I was pissed so I taught my niece Addy to put her fist up and say "Why I outta!!" My sister thanked me later because Addy was using that statement on her later on. Oops!
That evening Jason taught the girls how to marinate tri-tip - he is such a good uncle. The tri-tip was amazing and we had corn on the cob and baked potatoes. Can I say again how great food tastes when you are camping?
Unfortunately Jason had to go into work on Friday so my parents and decided to spend the day up in Ojai and exploring the area. I'm getting Lucy ready to get into my dads truck when a lady and a little girl with a golden retriever and some little dog came walking by. I had just let go of Lucy's leash to pick her up when she ran over to the dogs barking. The little girl got scared and picked up her dog. My dad picked up Lucy and apologized and the older lady was glaring at me. First of all she was the one with the golden retriever and should she really be worried that a dachshund chihuahua is going to hurt it? Anyways she wouldn't stop glaring at me while I'm putting Lucy in the car. If you have read my previous blogs you will know that I have a hard time holding my tongue when morons are around. So I screamed "What are you looking at!!" She looked horrified and finally looked away. I then apologized to my parents for the outburst and my mom was just laughing. She said "you sound just like your father." My dad just said "hey I apologized I don't know what else she wanted." No harm done with the parents so we were free to have a great day.
With that said...a little more Beck to keep the partying going.
We headed to Ojai for breakfast at Cafe' Ojai Emporium and my mom and I shared a breakfast burrito. It was really good - if you are in the area I would recommend it. We then stopped by Bart's Bookstore which is an outside bookstore that my mom and my sister have been raving about for years and I have never gone there. I ended up buying 5 books.
After burning in the hot sun looking for books we were ready to explore. We headed up to Wheeler's Gorge to check it out because not only have we camped there when we were kids but my dad did and even my grandma camped there when she was a little girl as well. It brought back memories but there definitely was not a lot of water in the river. We were driving over a bridge that is usually covered up with more water and my dad stopped to show us a rock that he and his brother Tim took a picture in front of as kids. Next time I will be better with pictures.
- Boone's Lick by Larry McMurtry (the guy who wrote Lonesome Dove - which I want to read as well)
- Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes (My mom said this was a good book and I got this for 50 cents)
- The Wildfire Season by Andrew Pyper (hey I live in California)
- Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Jason rolled his eyes when I showed him this purchase)
- How the Irish Saved Civilization (My dad read this book a few years ago when we went to Hawaii and said it was a really interesting book)
We then headed back for the big family BBQ at the campsite. Both my sisters and their husbands were coming and Jason was coming back up after work. This time we made London Broil, Seely potatoes (which are to die for) and the famous Aunt Julie salad. Seely potatoes are prepared by putting onions, garlic salt and butter (oh and potatoes) in foil and then they are cooked over the fire. Deeeeelish! Basically again I was in food heaven! It was a family get together that went well! None of us started to fight, scream, leave crying or anything - good times!!
The next day we packed up and went to Buellton to camp. Weird place to camp right? No. It is a genius place to camp. When you check in they give you 4 warm chewy cookies and if you have a dog they give you dog treats. They have 'Make your own ice cream sundaes' on the weekend from 3-7:30pm (they have every fixing you can imagine). They have a pool and spa where children are allowed. Right down the street you have the Hitching Post and A.J. Spurs. This place also offers Wine Tasting tours where they will pick you up at 11 and you visit 4 wineries, have lunch and they drop you back off at 4:30. Sounds pretty darn good to me!
Saturday night we ate at The Hitching Post because it is amazing and we always go there with my parents nowadays. They have one in Casmalia that we usually visit, which I like a little bit better because it really has a down home feeling more than the one in Buellton. But the food is amazing no matter what location. We devoured two marinated artichoke hearts with 'magic dust' in I think if you count out the talking time - maybe 5 minutes.
My mom's side of the family is a card playing family and all of us girls adopted this right away. So card playing is essential when you go camping with my family. My sister Heather taught my parents this game Slappy Seconds which is soooo much fun to play! Even my dad and Jason play it. I don't feel like explaining the rules - but lets just say all you do is laugh (or if you are my mom pee your pants cause you are laughing so hard).
Sunday my parents left to go back home but my sister Missy stayed and we laid by the pool and then we all went wine tasting in the afternoon in Solvang. The first place we went to is called Presidio and I noticed right away that I knew the guy who was helping us because we went to high school together. Of course no one remembers me because I looked like I was 10 years old in high school. I said did you go to Righetti? He said very quietly 'yes' - which I thought was kind of weird. Anyways, long story short I told him we went to school together and he didn't remember me at all so I felt like a loser and then to top it off he thought my husband was 8 years younger than me. So not only does he not remember me but I am the old hag (cougar) with a younger guy. Then he proceeded to hit on my little sister and I will say he was taking an interest in Jason as well. Missy and I were arguing who he was into more - she thought Jason. The second winery I loved even more because you are allowed to bring your pets there. Carivintas Winery works and donates to non-profit organizations like rescuing animals and every bottle of wine has a picture of the animal that they or the organizations they donate to have rescued. The wine was delicious but the hit of the day were these brownies that had a thin layer of white chocolate on top...oh lord they were so good! We ended up buying a few bottles a wine at each place.
I was really sad to leave Monday morning and return to the grind. On the way home I was listening to Beck feeling really relaxed so I leave you with this song. Kind of a bummer song - but...oh well. ChemTrails.
P.S. I promise to add pictures next time. :)