Sunday, July 25, 2010


I love going to visit Warren's family, especially his sister. Sure she happens to live near the beach, but she and her husband are just super cool. For starters, they got us a hotel room on the beach.

We took full advantage of our proximity to the water. Despite the somewhat chilly weather, the boys and I played in the waves forever, built a sand castle, watched the numerous surfers catching waves, and we even buried Jiro in the sand. To warm up, we went swimming at the hotel's outdoor heated pool.

After getting thoroughly water-logged, we met Shirley and cousin Natalie for a walk around downtown and some delicious Thai food. Then we went to what has to be the coolest store in the world. I'm just going to give you a sneak peek since I plan to go into more detail on it later.

After beaching, eating, and gorging on sugar, we of course needed a nap. Once that was over we went to Shirley's house to hang out with the family for a bit. Then in true super cool form, Shirley and her husband, Peter, suggested that the adults go out for sushi while the kids stayed home. Shirley made them chicken, rice, and broccoli, which happens to be their favorite dinner. (It included their first vegetable of our vacation!) Before we left, Peter laid down the law. "Noah is in charge, not Jiro!" (Jiro was very outgoing during our visit...maybe a little TOO outgoing!)

Noah is 15 and our funniest cousin. He hasn't seen the monkeys in over four years, but he aptly asked me, "Does Jiro still like beer?"

Our dinner was awesome. We went to Koba Sushi and feasted on salmon tempura, spicy tuna rolls, and avocado and tofu salad. (Among other things!) It was also really nice to have a few beers, relax, and have some adult conversation. Warren and I had been with the kids 24/7 for over two weeks at that point! Shirley and Peter are so much fun to hang out with and give us a glimpse of what our life will be like when the boys are older. (Their oldest, Dillon, is 18 and starting college!)

After dinner, we went to Tutti Frutti to get a treat for the kids. It's one of the new fangled pay by the weight yogurt places where you can get all the toppings you want. We got there just as they were closing so there were slim pickings, but it was enough to get me excited about the similar place opening in Memphis soon. (Fro-Yo? Lo-Yo? Something like that.)

We got back to the house to find the kids all getting along, which was the icing on the cake. We all snuggled up on the couch and watched Harry Potter for awhile before heading back to the hotel.

The next morning we met up with the whole gang at Palermo for some super fancy and delicious coffee and chai.

Then we all went next door for breakfast at the Cajun Kitchen. We had the back patio to ourselves and got to spend our last hour in Ventura enjoying everyone's company and eating a hearty breakfast. (Satchel had gumbo!) I still can't believe how grown up all of Shirley's kids are. All of the college talk got Satchel thinking. He started with, "Can I still live at home since my college is so close?" (He was assuming he had to go to Rhodes since I did.) When Warren told him he could go to college in Alaska if he wanted, he said, "Will you guys move to Alaska with me?" His final thoughts on college were, "Do I have to go?" I told him no.

Of all the places we visit in California, Ventura is the town where we can actually see ourselves living. Family + beach + great restaurants = what more could you ask for? Don't worry, we don't have any actual plans to move, but we hope it won't be another four years before we get to visit again.

We did so much eating in Ventura at so many great places, but I never quite got it together to do a full blown DWM review! (Probably because I was too busy enjoying myself!) Now that I see that most of the places we visited have little or no "internet presence," I really wish I had. And I was so hoping that Palermo had an online menu. You just wouldn't believe some of their extraordinary concoctions. *Sigh*)

1 comment:

sbanbury said...

I used to love surfing that pier. If you liked Ventura, y'all should go check out Ocean Beach down San Diego way. See ya soon!

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