We got up and Karen wanted to get a last hike in before leaving, so a short trip up to Lake Mary before another hearty breakfast (hearty is code for pancakes—a definite “no-no“ for my usual diet). Here are a few pics of our way out of the mountains and as we approach Ventura where we will be visiting family.
This visit was very special to me and I will be planning another two-day trip out to say goodbye (I haven’t told Karen yet) because I feel just one day and two nights was at minimum a day short.
But I was able to enjoy another of my brother’s famous BBQ’s. He grilled 4” thick prime New York Steaks and a fresh salmon flank over oakwood.
Melt in your mouth.
These delights were preceded by several cups of Ed’s legendary chicken and sausage gumbo.
So we crash for the night and wake up early.
I already knew Karen would be eager to head to the beach.
First, as is our tradition whenever we return to the area, we head up to Santa Barbara where it all began.
The Harbor Restaurant on Stearns’ Wharf where I worked as a chef when I first met her. We were able to get a glimpse of the rerstaurant we went on our first date and were pleasantly surprised it was even in existence. It is called The Palace and I remember enjoying excellent jambalaya and etoufee with a few Dixie beers.
Then up to Mission Street where we go look at our absolutely miniscule studio apartment where we first moved in together. I happen to have grown the most badass Hawaiian weed on the little lanai where there was just enough room for my “barrel o’pot” and a couple small stools around our little two-person hibachi. My “barrel o’pot” was 4 Kona Gold plants which grew to where I HAD to cut them because you could detect the sweet pungent aroma as you were coming up the driveway and when you approached the front door.
I made the sign of the cross every time I walked out there to check on my plants because I stole the soil from the Santa Barbara Mission rose beds. Speaking of which, the roses were in bloom at the mission and we got these pics:
Then we head to the breakwater and the Santa Barbra marina:
We returned home to the aforementioned BBQ and I said goodbye to my nieces and their children whom I just met and didn’t really get the time I wanted with them, hence another reason for my decision to return.
I hope my brother reads this before I call.
So Karen and I left the next morning for home. I made it in 6 ½ hours from Ventura to Phoenix, so we were averaging about 70mph. I will say, our new Toyota Highlander was a smooth ride. I like the pickup in the six cylinder engine.
Back home and we get Murphy and Bruiser from the sitter and it took a couple days for them to start to get back in their old routine.
The dogs are happy.
I hope you are happy.