wonderfully made: travel diaries : California day one

Monday, September 15, 2014

travel diaries : California day one

Edit: be sure to check back next week for the budget details and tips from our trip in California. We love to vacation but hate to spend all of our money on it, so we try to be creative! I'm sharing those tips with you next week, so be sure to come back! 

Well, our month long travel-palooza has quickly come to an end. We rounded up the busy month with a vacation to southern California. It was awesome!

We were there for 4 days, so I'll be blogging about our trip broken out into those days.

We got up bright and early on Wednesday morning and headed to the airport. We were flying standby and grabbed the 7:30am flight to LAX with a stop in Albuquerque. The plane was pretty empty and we both snoozed most of the way to LAX!

The rental car process was a beating, but we were on our way by about 10:45am LA time. We headed straight up 'the' 405 (why do Californians preface all of their highways with 'the'?) and onto 'the' 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, or PCH. We took that through Santa Monica and Malibu, where we stopped for a fancy lunch at Subway. We had some time to kill before checking to our hotel in Oxnard, so we headed toward El Matador beach, which I had researched a little before the trip. This beach didn't disappoint!

The many phases of trying to take a picture with a spazz like me:

For the record, I did get water up to my knees later on. The drive to Oxnard was wet and sandy!

The beach was super pretty and we enjoyed getting our first real taste of California for a few minutes here. We hopped back into the car and headed to Oxnard, about 30 minutes north of Malibu. I think we surprised most people by saying that we were staying in Oxnard, because it's kind of a nothing town (for California standards) which houses a naval base, some industrial facilities, and a lot of farming. It is, however, home of the Cowboys spring training camp, which I feel is important to mention when I'm talking to guys.

Anyway, the story of how we chose Oxnard is kind of a long one, but basically this: we wanted to stay in Santa Barbara, but it's pretty expensive and touristy. I found Oxnard randomly and there happened to be an Embassy Suites ON the beach here for the best deal I could find. Embassy Suites might sound a little non-luxury to most people, but our ocean views, large suite (with two bathrooms), free breakfast and happy hour daily, and resort style pool and hot tub begged to differ. We really enjoyed our hotel and did so without breaking the bank. I'll blog more about it later, but just wanted to explain further how we ended up in Oxnard!

We checked into our hotel and headed out to take a breather at the pool. I took in the sights, and Mark slept. 

The boy can sleep anywhere, any time. 

We hung out around the pool, headed out to the beach, got settled in our room, and then went to the #1 place (according to Yelp) in Oxnard for dinner: Moqueca's Brazilian food.

It was pretty empty for a Wednesday night, but it was a cute place on the harbor.

We kept joking about chips and queso, etc. because I was generalizing that Brazilian is Latin so it must be like Tex-mex. Wrong! It was a lot of seafood and lots of things like plantain, etc. Mark got a traditional moqueca (clay pot) with shrimp and just about died with how good it was. I was pretty proud of my dinner choice but listening to him talk about it after every bite got a little old. It was THAT good, I guess!

Mark's moqueca

Lucky for me, they had a ravioli on the menu so I went for it. It was on the menu, so that means it was Brazilian, right?! Anyway, we were both really pleased with our meals!

By the time we were done, it was 10pm Dallas time so we headed back to the hotel and went to sleep shortly after, at the late hour of 8:30 local time. We wanted to be rested for our next adventurous day!

Check back later this week for Day 2!!! 

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