It was warm and blindingly bright out, despite the fact that it's the middle of January, when Steven and I drove along the back, country roads near Camarillo, California. I use the term "country road" lightly, because I know we weren't driving through English countryside. No, the roads we drove one weaving between strawberry fields and citrus orchards, farm stands at intersections offering deals like "15 Avocados - $5!" It was nearly 70 degrees outside and there was no denying that we were most certainly in California.
We were on our way to look at a prospective future car in Port Hueneme. The GPS on my phone said we had eight minutes to go, and the clock read exactly eight minutes before we were supposed to meet. Then the car seller called and told us he couldn't make it.
As you can imagine, we were a little frustrated. We'd been cancelled on eight minutes before our appointment and we were already thirty minutes from home. About to turn around and write the afternoon off as a complete waste, we approached a sign for Highway 1 and I had an idea.
"Turn onto the PCH," I instructed Steven. "It'll take us out to the coast - it'll be a nice drive."
As we drove along the coast I couldn't have laid out a better scene if I tried. It was downright surreal. Windows down, music up...it was as if I'd stepped out of real life and into the stereotyped, romanticized version of California everyone hopes to see when they come here. I loved every minute of it.
We stopped to eat at Neptune's Net, a famous seafood restaurant/biker hangout that sort of aims to be a dive but really isn't. Their seafood is pretty incredible, the atmosphere is awesome, the views obviously unbeatable. Can you tell I love this place?
Tip: I recommend visiting on weekdays. It gets very crowded on weekends, particularly with nice weather. Even on weekdays it can be hard to find an outdoor table when 12PM rolls around (our 11:45 AM Thursday arrival had been pretty perfect.) Their fish n' chips are also much better earlier in the day during the week, and I think that's probably because the oil is newer and used less. I highly recommend their fish tacos - cilantro, pineapple slaw and real ginger on a fish taco is a recipe for success.
After lunch, we climbed down to the beach and walked around. The wind had picked up a little but I didn't mind. We skipped stones, looked for shells and watched the surfers catch waves and wipe out.
As a girl who likes to keep herself as busy and as possible, this spontaneous, completely care-free trip to the beach was a blessing like no other.