Monday, May 05, 2008

Cinco de Mayo Weekend on California's Gold Coast

Despite our pals Jason and Jarrod moving more than 100 miles north, we've actually managed to see them quite a bit actually. The only bummer for Tim is that every time we've visited, we've never had any time to shop at the nearby Camarillo outlet. So this past weekend, we planned a trip to see J&J and shop.

The historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse. (05/03/2008)
The historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse. (05/03/2008)

After some fountain shopping for our landscaping project, we headed up to Ventura. Shortly after our arrival, we hopped into Jason's car for a quick jaunt to Santa Barbara, another hour north of Ventura. We had been to Santa Barbara before, but never really explored it to its full potential.

Northeastern view of Santa Barbara. (05/03/2008)
Northeastern view of Santa Barbara. (05/03/2008)

The coolest place we went to was the old Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Built in 1929 to replace the one destroyed in the 1925 earthquake, the courthouse is not just a California Registered Historical Landmark. It's also a National Historic Landmark — that's national significance, everyone. National! :)

James & Tim at the Santa Barbara Courthouse. (05/03/2008)
James & Tim at the Santa Barbara Courthouse. (05/03/2008)

This attraction — free to the public, incidentally — is definitely on the must see list. Just wandering the elaborately decorated Spanish-style hallways is amazing enough, but the best thing about this building requires an elevator trip to the observation deck on the main tower.

Jason & Jarrod two-fisting it in downtown Santa Barbara. (05/03/2008)
Jason & Jarrod two-fisting it in downtown Santa Barbara. (05/03/2008)

From the top you can see virtually every square mile of Santa Barbara and the surrounding area, including the ocean a couple of miles away. It was simply gorgeous! How I hadn't been here before, or even really heard of it, is beyond me.

James & Tim live it up in downtown Santa Barbara. (05/03/2008)
James & Tim live it up in downtown Santa Barbara. (05/03/2008)

After the exhausting elevator ride up and down, we were in the need of replenishment in the form of Margaritas and appetizers. So we headed down State St. to a little Mexican restaurant that was having happy hour. The appetizers were half-price, and the drinks were two-for-one. So what did we do? We ordered two drinks a piece.

Jason picks out some cascarones. (05/03/2008)
Jason picks out some cascarones. (05/03/2008)

That held us over until we had dinner back in Ventura. For that gastronimical experience, Jarrod and Jason took us to the awesomely-retro Main St. Restaurant and Steakhouse. When I say awesomely-retro, I don't mean it was made to look retro. It just is retro.

A wide selection of cascarones — confetti-filled egg shells. (05/03/2008)
A wide selection of cascarones — confetti-filled egg shells. (05/03/2008)

Built back in the 1950s, this restaurant hadn't been remodeled since the early '70s, as evidenced by the heavy brown and rust tones. It was fabulous! And it's also famous, having been used as a filming location for the Julia Roberts hit, Erin Brokovich. (In fact in the scene that was filmed here, the real-life Erin Brokovich played the waitress who served Julia Robert's take on Erin Brokovich).

Ventura's Main St. Steakhouse. (05/03/2008)
Ventura's Main St. Steakhouse. (05/03/2008)

Lots of fun. After a fantastic breakfast of oatmeal raisin pancakes, Tim and I headed off to Camarillo for the much anticipated shopping. As always happens with us, I ended up buying a lot more stuff than Tim (the idea was to restock Tim's closet).

Inside the awesomely dated Main St. Steakhouse (05/03/2008)
Inside the awesomely dated Main St. Steakhouse (05/03/2008)

Afterward, we headed back to Ventura to meet the guys for the special Cinco de Mayo beer bust at Paddy's. Jason, one of the organizers of the event, had been cooking six pounds of carnitas for the taco bar, and after smelling them all morning, I was destined to have some. And just as I had imagined from the smell alone, they were amazing.

Jason appropriately dressed for the Cinco de Mayo beer bust. (05/04/2008)
Jason appropriately dressed for the Cinco de Mayo beer bust. (05/04/2008)

So was the entire weekend actually. Thanks Jarrod and Jason for hosting us yet again. :)

1 comment:

beastandbean said...

Awesome pics, man! Love the one of you and Tim on top of the courthouse and that great shot of Jason "Mexi-ing it up" for the camera...hilarious!

And those carnitas sound amazing...seriously, I'm kinda drooling right now...