On May 18th, my friend Lori and I hopped aboard Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner to meet up with The Valencia Hiking Crew for an urban adventure in Ventura.
Linelle, with assistance from other members, put together a great itinerary for us that included a stop at Sandbox Coffeehouse, the Ventura Visitors Center, a hike on the new trail in Ventura Botanical Gardens, Art City Stoneworks, Patagonia Surf Shop and store, Mission Plaza with its beautiful San Buenaventura Mission, lunch at Dargan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, tastings and demonstrations at both We Olive and Spice-topia, a post office to see historic wall murals, a gigantic fig tree in Plaza Park, and finally a walk on the pier and beachside promenade.
After the adventure officially ended, Lori and I went back to the plaza and toured the mission and grounds and got some iced coffee and dessert at Palermo before boarding our train back home to L.A.
What an amazingly fantastic day that was! And now we’re looking forward to the next urban adventure with this group. See you in Long Beach!
Click on the pictures to enlarge and to read captions.
Saturday December 15th’s Sierra Club outing was a 6-mile urban trek through Koreatown via Wilshire Blvd. Along the way, our leader, Robert J. Baldwin, shared his knowledge and personal experiences, having lived in Korea for four years.
For example, at the Korean Cultural Center we learned about the “easy” Korean alphabet. At the Koreatown Plaza food court he made some suggestions about what to eat for lunch and, pointing out the stands specializing in organ meat, what we might want to avoid. Then, at the Koreatown Galleria supermarket, he pointed out various cooking ingredients, such as bags of kimchi and boxes of Korean pears. In the seafood department he held up a package of fresh octopus while relating a story about when a fisherman cut up a live octopus and served it to him — the octopus was still moving on the plate and clinging to his fork by its suction cup.
Unfortunately, the day went by way too fast and we ran out of time so we couldn’t do much window shopping and completely missed out on the planned visit to Wi Spa. The Sierra Club leaders decided that future Koreatown tours should have an earlier start time and we all agreed. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the day very much.
As usual, my friends and I continued on our own tour after the official tour ended. We walked an additional 3-4 miles, saw some great old architecture, enjoyed some gelato and Korean coffee, and took a tour of Olympic Spa.
Here are my pictures from the day. Just click on them if you want to enlarge them.