In April, Kevin and I went on our “Get Historical” date. We decided to take a weekend trip up North a ways and visit some museums and also drive around Newbury Park where I lived for a few years as a kid.
We started out going to the going to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and walked through the different exhibits that were on display. A notable exhibit was drawings that were done by Leonardo Davinci. It was disappointing that we were not allowed to take any photographs inside the exhibits…they want you to buy the books with his drawings in the souvenir shop.
From there we drove up to the Thousand Oaks/Newbury Park area and got a hotel room at the Hampton Inn for the night. It was great, the hotel turned out to be a brand new (only a few weeks old) hotel and it was so nice. An expanded continental breakfast was included so that was nice.
For dinner that night we chose to go to a restaurant called Mama Ritas in Newbury Park. This is a great Mexican food restaurant that I first heard about on the television show “Kitchen Nightmares”. A beautiful restaurant but struggling because of menu and preparation issues. I thought it would be fun to check it out and see how they were doing since being revamped by Chef Gordan Ramsay. We weren’t disappointed. I had a chili rellano and Kevin had mini steak burritos. Both were great. The chips were hot and crispy and the salsa was spicy and hit the spot.
In the morning we got started bright and early and headed out to explore Newbury Park and visit the Stagecoach Inn Museum that I used to visit and hang out in when I lived in Newbury Park. When we were kids we would walk behind our houses along a path that led to the museum. On our way there we would pass a fenced in pasture that had cows and I can remember feeding the cows the long grasses/weeds that were just out of there reach beyond their fence and feeling their long tongues swipe my hand as they grabbed their treat.
That morning Kevin and I found they were having an antique faire so there were tables and booths set up all around the yard out in front of the museum. It was a very hot day and I was glad that I didn’t have to be sitting in one spot trying to sell my wares.
One of the docents inside spent quite a while showing and explaining to us about all of the gramophones. They must’ve had over one hundred different styles in all shapes, sizes and colors.
We also visited the room where “Pierre” the ghosts is supposed to live. The story goes that a psychic detected his presence and said that Pierre was a 35 year old man who was shot on the second floor back in 1889. There is no documentation supporting this anywhere but it makes for a great urban legend and it made us kids want to spend a lot of time there when we were young, hoping to see the infamous Pierre Duvon.
When we lived in Newbury Park my mom donated some furniture and an antique dictionary to the museum. Unfortunately in April of 1970 a fire destroyed the museum and most everything in it, including what we had donated. The structure that stands today is an authentic reconstruction and was reopened on July 4, 1976.
After visiting the Stagecoach Inn Museum we continued to drive around and explored Newbury Park. We drove by the house that we used to live in at 68 Karen Place. The house still looks great and has the same pine tree on the side of it that used to sound so peaceful when the wind blew through its needles with a whistling sound.
It was a great place to grow up. We hiked in the hills behind the housing addition from dawn to dusk, built onto a tree house in the big oak tree that stood in the middle of the field on Kelly Road, played in the creek catching pollywogs, frogs and salamanders near the old chicken farmhouse that was abandoned and just enjoyed being kids. Some great memories.
We drove by the schools that I used to attend, Timber Elementary School and Redwood Middle School.
We tried to find the location where Manzanita Elementary School used to be but couldn’t find it since it is no longer an elementary school. Everything looked pretty much the same. At Redwood, the girls locker room door where I went running through at break neck speed trying to be the first one in and out of the showers and instead hitting a puddle of water and wiping out and ruining my knees for the rest of my life. The hill that we had to run up and down during P.E. that caused me to wind up in the nurses office with one of my worst asthma attacks at school. The wood shop room where I remember the instructor not allowing us to say the word “thing” as it drove him nuts when students would ask for help with “this thing”. My English classroom where my teacher was so strict and mean…also my first encounter where a woman dressed like and had the mannerisms of a man…but she turned out to be one of my best teachers ever.
We even drove by Newbury Park High School even though I didn’t attend there. I did spend time though being a Pop Warner cheerleader and that is where our home field was. It’s different. Now they have a beautiful stadium and running track. We did go through a rummage sale that was being held by the LaCrosse team and wound up buying some fun action figure toys for Hudson for $.05 a piece!
We decided to go to the Ronald Regan Library, something that Kevin has wanted to do for a while. While we were there we got to see a miniature of the White House with working televisions inside it and everything. Pretty neat. We also saw Airforce One and got to walk through it and see the inside. We walked through the exhibits and saw the bullet proof car that President Regan rode around in, the gardens and the site of his grave. We also learned about a famous Ronald Regan quote, “Trust but verify.” I like it and so does Kevin, so he bought a book marker with it and a pad folio. We now have visited the Ronald Regan Library and the Richard Nixon Library. They are both so full of great information, memories and mementos.
From there we decided to head north to Oxnard. Since we didn’t have a hotel reservation I pulled out my Iphone and started looking for a place to stay. I wound up choosing Homewood Suites in Oxnard. Turned out, this was a brand new hotel also…it’d only been open about a week. I don’t think anyone had ever stayed in the room Kevin and I stayed in so we were the first! Such a nice place too. For dinner we decided to “eat in” and placed our order online to the nearby Outback Steakhouse. The OKC Thunder and the Lakers were playing in a play-off game so we enjoyed that while we devoured our steaks. The next morning the continental breakfast was also another expanded breakfast. I just love hot waffles with butter and syrup!
In Oxnard we visited “The Murphy Auto Museum” … no relation to us. There we saw collector cars, vintage clothing and model trains. The Murphy Auto Museum collection has American classic autos, including several Packards from different years. Cars were really a work of art back in the day. You could just imagine cruising around in these cars that were built of real steel that didn’t crunch so easily like the cars of today.
It was time to head back south towards home so we decided to hit one more stop. We were going to try and make it to the Griffith Observatory but the traffic to it was insane! We would have to park and literally hike the hilly and winding road up to the observatory. I said, no thanks. Instead we visited the Autry National Center Museum of the American West. There were exhibits of the Art of the Native American Basketry, Home Lands – How Women Made the West, and extensive collections of artifacts from the Wild West Shows and western memorabilia. In the Golden Spur Cafe I ate a buffalo burger for lunch.
It was a whirlwind weekend of fun and food. A great date!