15 April 2014

A Rather "Cool" Paradise!

15 Apr 2014--Cathy and I headed a few miles north of where we are staying, to the Ventura Village Harbor on Saturday afternoon, a nice spot where you can eat, drink, and shop, of course, but also rent small boats or take a big boat out deep sea fishing or whale watching.  The Asian-looking boat in the picture with Cathy is actually rent-able as a bed and breakfast.


There is a lengthy wharf area with a park service info center that includes displays of life-sized elephant seals, a little fishery, and "pygmy mammoth" bones.  The park ranger pulled this starfish out of the water to show a little kid...very pretty shades of blue on it.

The term pygmy mammoth seems to be a bit of an oxymoron...looks like a very small elephant. They said they evolved to a smaller species due to a more limited food supply before going extinct about 10,000 yrs ago. The Channel Islands are right off the coast here, and you can take day trips out there, but seeing as how cold we are here on land, we are passing up that excursion.  haha


Outside the center is a garden.  This is called the Giant Coreopsis...and that is not the Latin name (haha).  Haven't seen this before...notice how it has very thick branches, then blooms greenery, before a splash of yellow flowers.

Cathy and I are bordering on freezing, yet there are people in the water behind her in the 3rd picture.  And they didn't have wet suits on either...yikes!!!  Must be from Minnesota?!  The scenery is beautiful though.

The most fun was watching these seals.  We have all seen seals lay on their backs, but these guys seem to be sunning themselves with their faces and fins hanging out of the water.  Cute!

Yesterday, Monday, after ascertaining that it was supposed to be the clearest and warmest day of our stay here, we headed north again, this time to Santa Barbara, about a 45 minute drive.  As you can see in pics 1 and 3, the forecaster couldn't have been more wrong.  haha  It was probably around 1 pm when we got there, and the fog seemed to just be getting there.

At the entrance to the pier, and looking back toward the approaching fog in pics 2 and 3.


Looking over the railing as you enter the pier, a very entrepreneurial homeless person.  He is enticing you to throw coins to see if you can get them into the cups/bowls...touche!

Out on the pier they had a display of the 12 flags that have flown over California, from the Spanish to the current one with the now extinct California Grizzly on it.  Funny how everyone thought the Rebel Flag bear looked like a hog.

Here I go with more flowers.  This 1st one looks like some sort of aloe plant, and the green/purple one is just flat out pretty.  I am becoming a flower fanatic!  haha

The "Land Shark" enters the water (like the Boston Duck Boats), and isn't the boat in the 2nd picture almost cute?  After seeing all the million dollar yachts, this looks like something a kid would play with in the tub...even has a little rubber ducky attached.  haha

Hallie, here is the Red Powder Puff right after opening...love the green on the ends.  And I don't know what those carrot looking flowers are, but they are wound around street lights for beautification.

This tree is weird looking.  It's called the Dwarf Coral Tree, and I think the flowers don't bloom until it has shed almost all its leaves.  The flowers grow out of the cones.


So very California!  Skate parks and beach volleyball!

Cathy and I walked to a building that housed a restaurant and a Maritime Museum where we could go to the roof for the view.


And then we played with the camera a little...I like the ones where we are jumping rocks more, but this was fun, too!  haha  (That really is what the whole wharf area looks like...not 2 pics spliced together.)

It was 4 pm before the fog relented and we were finally able to take our sweatshirts off, but it was a pretty day anyway...just really looking forward to some heat for a change!


  1. What a pretty place !!! I love that small tree and the cool shapes of the flowers. The seals are fun to watch. When are we going to see you swimming? That fog is amazing to lokk at. In one of the pics it looked like a huge wave coming in.

  2. Swimming? I am forcing myself not to put my hoodie on my head, so swimming is absolutely out of the question! The fog is cool to look at, but we have been surprised at how cold it gets when it rolls in...the temps drop really fast as it does.

  3. Really nice area! It looks really yuppie!!! My kind of place!!!!

    1. I don't know about Yuppie...there were a lot of foreigners walking about, as there has been really for our entire trip...not just in California. Must be vacation time for Europeans! As for the locals, we saw boats for sale for well over $1 million, while at the same time a bunch of men/boys were playing soccer and I think they were all speaking Spanish. I guess they could be the boat owners, but somehow I doubt it. haha

  4. You are definitely not in the desert anymore!

  5. Love the seals! And those carrot flowers are wild!!! Very pretty area