Took a road trip out to Ventura today - way cool!
I FINALLY carved out a few hours to take some time off and we went to Ventura today.
First thing I did was to visit the We Olive store and re-fill my infused oils that I use for cooking.
For those of you who don't know about We Olive, it is a specialty store chain that sells everything related to olives and sells specialty olive oils that you can't really find anywhere else.
They sell oils in bulk or in pre-packaged bottles. If you bring your bottles in for re-fill it's cheaper.
I re-filled my supplies of Meyer Lemon infused olive oil, and Blood Orange infused olive oil. I also tried something new this time and bought two small bottles of white wine/peach balsamic vinegar, and blueberry balsamic vinegar. Combining some of these oils and vinegars makes the most outstanding vinagrette dressings you'll ever have!!
Plus, just about everything in the store is set out on tables for free samples so you can try before you buy.
Another one of my favorite places is Nature's Grill. It is a definite hot spot on Main Street in Ventura and you have to try it. Everything on the menu is made from whole, fresh, organic ingredients. One of my favorite dishes in the Buddha Burrito, but I was sort of a wildman yesterday and tried something new - the Vegetarian Tamale plate - it was scrump!
The city has something new off main street and cross streets where the stores and restaurants are - solar-powered pay-parking meter stations. We stopped and asked one of the meter officers about it and he said the system seems to be running great so far, and it's raising funds for the city.
While we were walking the main street, we passed one of the sidewalk cafes and noticed a handsome fella. Meet Darby:
Darby's owner explained to us that he was a rescue and that he is a very well-demeanored dog, but that his only issue is that he is a chow-hound. But then aren't all dogs? Darby has the staunchest belief that if someone is walking around with a doggie bag from the restaurants that this package rightfully belongs to him. I'll have to check my common law library of precedents to see if this really is the case.
Anyway, Ventura is one of my favorite places to hang out because it is a beach city that is not too heavily trafficked. The pier is a great walk to have and it is one of the longest piers in Los Angeles.
And one of the best parts of going to Ventura is actually the drive there. We take highway 126 which goes through Santa Paula, Piru, and Fillmore. It is a gorgeous drive through lush hills and farmland, and at this time of year it is really special because for about 1/2 the drive you get the amazing fragrance of orange blossoms since most of the farmland is orange, lemon and avacado groves.
There a favorite spot on the way to Ventura off highway 126 that is called Bennett's Honey Farm. It is set back in the middle of citrus orchards and has the most unique Honey-Tasting Room where you can sample all kinds of different honey. They even have a live bee-hive in the store that is behind a glass casing in which the bee's fly in and out through a special tunnell. They have a little documentary there to help you understand the culture of bees. Very cool.
If you're every in LA and are looking for something unusual, adventurous and interesting to do, come up the 5 fwy to highway 126 and make the drive to Ventura for the day.