28-JUN-13: Four Seasons Westlake Village

Four Seasons Westlake Village

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Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The waterfall and lawn at the Four Seasons Westlake Village. A beautiful location for any upscale event! Need a spa retreat or a weekend getaway? I’m a Four Seasons Preferred Partner and can usually get you upgrades and specials amenities at any Four Seasons Resort or Spa!

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More pics from the Four Seasons Westlake Village: http://wp.me/p3dhVM-B0

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27-JUN-13: The Pagoda at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village

The Pagoda at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village

Pagoda at the Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pagoda at Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I was invited for lunch and a site inspection tour at the travel agent party two weeks ago, and on a very hot Thursday I drove out to Westlake Village and returned to the Four Seasons Resort and Spa!

More pictures:

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel

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13-JUN-13: Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village

Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, California
Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

And here are a few more:

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel

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12-JUN-13: Oh yeah, we’re gonna have sushi. Sushi at Okumura!

12-JUN-13: Oh yeah, we’re gonna have sushi.
Sushi at Okumura!

Oh yeah, we're gonna have sushi. Sushi at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Oh yeah, we’re gonna have sushi. Sushi at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Sushi at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Sushi at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Sushi at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Tiny Origami Swan Chopstick Holder at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Sushi at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Yellowjack, Albacore and Blackjack (not pictured because we ate it) Sushi at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Sushi at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Spicy Yellowtail and Jalapeno at Okumura!  NOTE: those are Jalapeno slices, not celery (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Sushi at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Oysters at Okumura!  Not for me, but fresh from Seattle!  Report says, “a little briny, but good”  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Sushi at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Tuna, Yellowtail and (excellent) Salmon Sushi at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Sushi at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Softshell Crab and Avocado Cut Roll at Okumura! It needed some sweet sauce so we got some and it was good. (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Sushi at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bluefin Toro Sushi at Okumura! $16 O-Toro was not my call but it was good. (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Sushi at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Eel, Crab and Avocado Roll with sweet sauce at Okumura! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Okumura Sushi – Ventura Blvd (at Louise) in Encino

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UPDATE: 2-24-16

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SushiTuesday! at Okumura in Encino

Sushi Tuesday! We had dinner at Okumura last night again. Since Sushi Hirosuke closed this has been our “go to” local sushi restaurant. The food has been consistently good and reasonably priced. The service is good and it’s very convenient when we want a quick sushi dinner.

On the Menu: Cut rolls: spicy tuna roll x2, California roll, yellowtail & green onion roll, and a Rainbow roll (tuna, yellowtail, albacore, salmon & avocado on a California roll) with small hot sake.

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SushiTuesday! at Okumura in Encino

 

 

“Do you know the way to San Jose?” – The Reunion Roadtrip!

NOTE: This Blog was originally written as a virtual “Road Trip” to San Jose! There are many pictures of the journey north from Los Angeles to the Bay Area in California. We tried to capture the essence of the drive along with some good images. Please enjoy this Blog! Updated 20 May 2016

“Do you know the way to San Jose?”

Take a little trip with me at 70+ mph from L.A. to San Jose!

The Office – Friday 1:45pm

Ready? Had a few errands to run and then had to stop by the office in Studio City.

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Full tank of gas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Go!…Friday afternoon traffic leaving L.A. at 2pm.

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Friday Traffic on the 101 Freeway north (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Open Road at the Camarillo Grade

Camarillo Grade (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Camarillo Grade (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The invitation came via facebook:  Annie (belated) Birthday Party and a Reunion of Old College (UCSC) Friends at Ber’s House in San Jose.  Okay then, ROADTRIP!

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Oxnard (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

It’s about the same distance from Los Angeles to San Jose on the 5 or the 101 freeway, but the 101 is much nicer during the day if you can time it right and avoid the traffic.  I was tied up at the office for about an hour, and got a later start than I wanted.  There was some afternoon traffic leaving the valley, but once I was passed the Camarillo grade it was a smooth ride and an absolutely beautiful day for a long drive.

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ventura (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Great ocean views and blue skies from Ventura to Lompoc!

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101 north to San Francisco (Ventura, CA)

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Ventura (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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It’s a beautiful day for a drive up the coast.

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Carpinteria (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Isla Vista, Goleta, Santa Barbara (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Airstream! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Gaviota 3:45pm

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Rest Area in Lompoc (it was full and there was no parking available so I didn’t stop)

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Turning inland and driving through the Lompoc tunnel.  Speedtrap ahead!  Watch out for the CHP and Buellton Police as you travel downhill!

Lompoc Tunnel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lompoc Tunnel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lompoc Tunnel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lompoc Tunnel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Vandenburg Airforce Base, Lompoc (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Buellton Speedtrap! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Road Construction – one lane ahead (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Keep Right!  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lompoc, Buellton, Solvang and Chumash Reservation (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lompoc, Buellton, Solvang and Chumash Reservation (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Keep an eye out for the CHP!  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Wine Country (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Wine Country (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pismo Beach (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pismo Beach (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pismo Beach 4:45pm

Pismo Beach (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pismo Beach (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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San Luis Obispo (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Madonna Inn (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Cuesta Pass (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Atascadero (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Just a perfect day for a drive.

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Cambria (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Rest Stop (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Rest Stop 5:45pm

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Rest Stop (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Rest Stop (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Rest Stop (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Rest Stop – 101 Adjacent (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Rest Stop (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

On the road again…

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Horses (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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California River Aqueduct (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Los Lobos! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Wine Country (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Moving! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Moving! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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San Lucas and King City (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Getting some nice vistas as the sun begins to go down!

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Speed Limit 70mph (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Wild Horse! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

“I can’t drive 55!” (and I don’t have to)

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70+ Miles Per Hour (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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King City (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Greenfield  Speedtrap! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Soledad (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Taco Bell – Soledad, California 6:45pm

Normally I don’t eat “fast food”, but i didn’t have lunch so I was starving.  Stopped and got a combo burrito, a bean and cheese burrito, and a Dr. Pepper then back on the road.  Watch out for the local police “speedtrap” and “stop sign” taxing the tourists on your way back to the freeway!

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101 North (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunburst! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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It got cloudy along the way for almost 5 minutes near Laguna Seca…

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Laguna Seca (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The way to San Jose!

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101 north – Monterey turnoff (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Oversized Load! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Oversized Load! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Castroville, Monterey, Watsonville and Santa Cruz (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Car dealership along the 101 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Crazy Horse! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Nice vista, but the camera didn’t get it… (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Gilroy (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Watsonville turnoff (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Gilroy (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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San Jose! 7:45pm

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San Jose city limit (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset skies in San Jose (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset in San Jose (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Enough with the driving already!  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Enough with the driving already! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Power station (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset in San Jose (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Next Exit: 101 – 280 – 680 junction (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Final approach (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Fill’er Up!  Valero Gas Station in San Jose (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset in San Jose (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

San Jose! Friday 7:30pm – You have arrived.  397 miles.  6 hours later.

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You have arrived!  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Let’s Eat! – Dinner at IHOP in San Jose:

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Chicken & Waffles w/country gravy & maple syrup (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Saturday – Ann’s Belated Birthday and Reunion Party with old college friends at Ber’s House in San Jose.  Afternoon BBQ and festivities into the night!

Annie's Birthday Cake! Santa Cruz Gang Reunion Party!

Annie’s Birthday Cake! Santa Cruz Gang Reunion Party!

Santa Cruz Gang Reunion 2013

Santa Cruz Gang Reunion 2013

Sunday – Woke up early and drove to Santa Cruz, my phone’s battery drained and the car charger didn’t work to recharge it.  It was another beautiful day and I drove back through Monterey to the 101 and home to Los Angeles.  I saw some amazing things but unfortunately there are no pics.

Highway 17 to Santa Cruz! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Highway 17 to Santa Cruz! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I hope you enjoyed the ride!  It was a fun weekend.  I haven’t done a real roadtrip like this one in a long time, and there were no problems once I got past the traffic leaving Los Angeles on Friday afternoon.  Only paid for gas and food, because lodging was staying with friends, so it was relatively inexpensive.  I can’t say I would want to do it every week, but once in awhile when the weather’s nice, it’s a great California vacation!

Your feedback is welcome!

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Sunday Brunch at Bistro Garden 21-APR-13

Sunday!  Sunday!  Sunday Brunch!

Up Escalator (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Up Escalator (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The party was called for Noon.  Traffic was light and I was early.  It was a beautiful day in Studio City.  Street parking was easy and it’s free on Sunday.

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ventura Blvd and Coldwater Canyon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at Bistro Garden at the Center at Coldwater on Ventura Boulevard just west of Coldwater Canyon.

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Center at Coldwater (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

A Beautiful Day in Studio City (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Down Escalator (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Almost Noon….  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

BISTRO GARDEN, Studio City

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

It’s a beautiful restaurant space, light and airy with very high glass ceilings.  We commented that it feels like “New Orleans” or “Disneyland” inside (I was reminded of the River Belle Cafe or Union Plaza restaurants).

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Dining Room at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Bar at Bistro Garden w/live Piano Player (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hats off to the Piano Player!  He played beautifully all through the brunch, the tunes were familiar, but it was never obnoxious.

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Dining Room at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

We were a party of Ten and the service was very good.  The waitstaff was attentive and very professional.

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Champagne or Mimosa Starter at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

They offered champagne or a mimosa as a starter, along with baskets of bread.  There was sourdough, banana bread, muffins and mini-cinnamon rolls to eat.

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Brunch Menu at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

They have a nice brunch menu.  We skipped the appetizers and I ordered Eggs Benedict with Canadian Bacon, potatoes, and substituted fresh fruit for the tomato slices.  I also pre-ordered a chocolate souffle’ for dessert.

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Eggs Benedict with Potatoes and Fresh Fruit at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Chocolate Souffle’ with Fresh Whipped Cream at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The eggs benedict was good, but not great.  The baked goods and the souffle’ were excellent.  The dining room was a little warm where I was sitting because of the sun shining thorough the glass ceiling.  We had a good time and ate a lot of food.

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Sun Through the Glass Ceiling at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Dining Room at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The restaurant is well established and the clientele is definite “older” and was mostly female.  I was reminded of the “ladies who lunch”, which is a distinct class of patron in Los Angeles, and most everyone was celebrating a special occasion too.  I enjoyed the party, the company, and the service.  The menu was standard brunch fare and the food was good, if not great.  It was a very nice party.

 

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Pic of the Day 19-MAR-13: Ventura Sunset 4B&W

Ventura, California

Ventura Sunset 4B&W - Ventura, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Ventura Sunset 4B&W – Ventura, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Ventura (officially the City of San Buenaventura; and called San Buenaventura until 1891) is located northwest of Los Angeles on the California coast.  Ventura has a Mediterranean climate, typical of most coastal Southern California cities, with the sea breeze off the Pacific Ocean moderating temperatures.

Contact me at joshuawwilletttravel@gmail.com to plan your next getaway to Ventura, Oxnard, Ojai, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez!