We headed down on Friday night, with the point of the whole trip being to see a concert at Zoey’s in Ventura. I cannot tell you how overjoyed I was to get to see 2 of my favorite artists, Jason Reeves and Amy Kuney, on the same stage! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We made it down to Ventura, traffic free, just in time to briefly freshen up at the hotel and walk over to the café. After a few blocks, we arrived at the café, only to be turned away and told to walk 4 more blocks east to “The Lodge”, where the show was being held. So, after teaming up with some other people who made the same mistake, we hiked another 4 blocks and arrived at “The Lodge”.
“The Lodge”, it turns out, is the old Elks Lodge in town and ended up being a very cool venue for a concert. The building is just steeped in history and cool features – think intricate architecture, red velvet theater seats, overly decorative light fixtures and the smell of musty old floors. We later found out that a portion of the concert proceeds went to helping save that building, which is a very noble cause.
Amy opened up the concert, and though she had some sound issues and a dead guitar, she persevered and did a great job. I love Amy’s voice. She’s got that old school quality that you just don’t hear anymore. After a brief break, the headliner and my personal musical obsession, Jason Reeves, played. Wow. Jason is the real deal. His lyrics pierce your heart and after watching him for a few minutes, you can tell, he writes from his own life. Not a bad guitar player either. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Jason brought out some friends (including Amy, to play their awesome song Bookmark) and surprise guest… Colbie Calliat! It was crazy. And cool. They sang a few songs and wrapped up the show. After the show wrapped, Ryan and I stuck around for a very long time just so I could get this shot… awesome! Do you like how I’m a foot taller than just about anyone?
The next morning, we slept in and awoke to a beautiful, warm and sunshine-filled day. Ryan even wore shorts because it was so warm! Very different from our cold winters and frequent, but needed, rainy days. With hunger growing, we decided to hit the streets for breakfast. We wandered downtown again and stumbled on a little café just barely still serving breaking (yeah, we sleep LATE when we can).
Now, I’m no food snob or restaurant critic, but I must say, this little café was lucky that I was so hungry because our service, though very friendly, was extraordinarily slow. Ryan and I sipped on coffee and orange juice for what felt like hours. When our plates of food finally arrived, my jaw dropped. There on a plate maybe 4 inches square, was a sorry excuse for what should have been Crabcake Eggs Benedict. What’s worse than that? They actually tried to pass it off to me without the sauce on top! Hello?! Anyone who knows anything about food, let alone a food encyclopedia like myself, KNOWS that Eggs Benedict comes with a delicious lemony sauce on top. That, and the fact that I overheard them talking about running out of sauce. Apparently, no one thought about making more? I ate it in about 3 bites, but was too optimistic from the day to complain. Oh well, some battles just aren’t worth fighting. We bought a muffin, for the road, which later we found, tasted dry and bland. Of course.
After that, we decided to walk around the streets of Ventura a bit and soak up the sun and history. Ventura is a very cool town. A mix of hip cafés, cozy art galleries, overpriced boutiques and amazingly cool architecture and historical buildings. A photographer’s dream, really.
My favorite was their amazingly beautiful City Hall. It definitely had some “wow” factor to it. Not to mention, some fun little characters.
Before heading out for the day, we went down to the beach (which was remarkably plain and kind of ugly) to check out the longest pier in California! We soaked up the sun and ocean breezes, took a few photos and then sadly trudged our way back to the car to head home.
Not after a quick stop to Ryan’s favorite destination in any city we visit…
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf!
We did make another quick stop in Piru Canyon and picked up the most beautiful and juicy sweet strawberries ever. We couldn’t help but dig in while driving.
It was such a great trip, even if it was just 24 hours. Ryan and I have come to thrive on those little journeys. Just getting out of the valley for a day, spending quality time together and just enjoying each other’s company. It’s good for the soul and so good for our blossoming marriage. We’re already planning the next trip.