I rented a little car from Hertz and at 6a.m. we were off to the beach. The drive is 6 1/2 hours along the beautiful California coast. Along the way, we stopped in at Salinas, Ca to get some much needed coffee and a bag of cashews. We love our cashews.
I had to stop because we ran out of snacks less than halfway through our trip! This girl knows how to eat.
There are several things that you need to bring in the car when road-tripping with kids:
- 1 snack for every hour that you will be in the car. Think nuts, dried fruit, fruit pouches, pumpkin seeds, hard cheeses, and anything that can last awhile without refrigeration.
- 2-3 canteens of water. I use Swiss Made stainless steel water bottles with the twist tops that are simple for kids to open on their own.
- 2-3 books
- A drawing pad and crayons that you can stuff into the side of a car seat.
After our stop, I made a beeline for my favorite salad and burger joint, Firestone, in sunny San Luis Obispo, Ca. Firestone offers huge salads for inexpensive prices. We walked around downtown for an hour before getting back in the car. At one point, I live here and it was nice to meander along the streets.
Finally, after passing through Santa Barbara and a few other towns, we made it to Ventura, Ca. Ventura is a cute little town off the 101 and is full of beach access. We drove down to the port where they offer a great selection of restaurants. My daughter insisted that we find some fish and chips because she is three and she never gets it...being a vegetarian and all. So much for that attempt.
We ate at Brophy's Seafood Oyster Bar and Grill. I had clam chowder and the little one had fish and chips. We had a great view of the harbor, while chowing down on some good grub. The manager was friendly and made his rounds to each table to make sure everything was up to the standard. He offered me his latest beer on tap at a discount since we have never eaten at his restaurant before. So sweet!
If you are going to take a trip to Ventura, check out the Harbor.
After we finished eat, we left our shoes in the car and went down to the beach. As the sun began to set, my daughter, the monster, ran toward the water only to return in haste as the water graced her toes. She spent an hour before it got dark running in the sand and drawing her name. She threw sand magic into the sun to make the sky fall asleep.
What a beautiful day. And then we got back in the car...