It's official! After days of tussling with US Airways and their frequent-flyer hell, we're set to return to California this coming summer. The best part is Nancy is risking chaos at work when she returns in order to spend two whole weeks with beach bum hubby.
The first year, we headed north to Santa Ynez wine country, and during the next returned to favorite places there as well as new ones (Buttonwood winery, ah -- like James Taylor says of Mexico, you just gotta go).
Last year we headed south along the coast and discovered Carpinteria. I can only say that if we could afford it (not possible in any space-time dimension I'm aware of), that would be the place we'd watch the sunset from forever. It even has its own microbrewery and three public beaches and the funkiest taco place...plus a fine library and dozens of cafes, each one more delightful than the last. And tropical fruits, serenity and sun. So much sun. No wonder we don't have any here!
In Ventura, we only visited the waterfront, the park with the singular Australian fig tree, and the Anacapa Brewing Co. where I had the pasta dish of a lifetime (as good as in Rome, which sounds impossible). We're going to explore Ventura a lot more. The actual name is San Buenaventura -- sounds like a song, doesn't it?
This year we have to head into the wild interior to see Nojoqui Falls, and there is a ranch in the same area for some more horseback riding (like a swimming pool, I don't want to own one, but they sure are fun). We each have places we must return to: me to Jensen Music to bail out my little 45-watt amp that they fortunately haven't sold yet (I should have shipped it home last year -- it will cost most of what the shipping would have just to get it back), and Nancy to Jeannines where enjoying breakfast outdoors under the flowering vines should be on everyone's bucket list.
If I never see Las Vegas or even New York again, it would be all right. But California -- oh, the golden shore...