Ruth here, finally chiming in, because this place is just too magical not to share. Tell no one.

We’ve spent the past three nights at Emma Wood State Beach, just outside Ventura, CA. That doesn’t sound exactly exciting, right? Well, while exciting may not be the right word, this place is amazing. The campsites, while pretty close together, are right on the beach – as you can see, I’m writing this within easy sound of the crashing waves. The Amtrak trains go by frequently, and those of you who know us, know that we believe the sound of a train is one of the most magical sounds there is. Daybreak walks with Gyp are just the best.

Working at Emma Wood



Emma Wood3






Emma Wood4


Emma Wood9


We spent yesterday in old downtown Ventura, which is a cool collection of renovated old buildings, diners, and brewpubs. Here are a few pix of fun signs I found around town, including my favorite, the Elvis shrine on a local taqueria.

Ventura mission gift shopVentura iron and resin

Ventura busy bee diner


 Ventura cinemaVentura El ReyVentura Elvis shrineVentura loungeVentura1


















Here’s one of the many breweries we visited, TopaTopa, which had lagers and good IPAs, but alas, no real malty brown ale for me.

Ventura brew pub



Next time, perhaps I’ll tell you about the awesome Cuban sandwich I discovered; and where to get the best hard cider on the planet outside of England.