I wish I lived closer to Ventura so I could go back for Happy Hour.I don't see how you could find a better bargain in Ventura. We ran across Eric Ericsson's by chance as we walked along the pier, so we thought we'd give it a try. We saw the specials board offering fish and chips for $5, well drinks for $3 or $4, and draft beer for $2 during Happy Hour. Too good to be true? Does this only apply to Bud Lite and crummy fish? No, this was a real deal.Three orders of beer-battered fish (3 pieces per order) and chips, a cup of clam chowder, 3 soft drinks, and two Sierra Nevada ales came to only $41.50 (including a $10 tip). Our server, Hayley, brought the drinks quickly and asked for patience with the food as there was only one cook for 30+ tables upstairs. She brought bread for the kids to keep them happy, though. The fish was better than the much more expensive panko-encrusted mahi mahi I had at another restaurant the following night (maybe that speaks more to my plebeian tastes than to the quality of the fish).To top off the good food at a great price was a wonderful location. We sat in the southwest corner where we had a clear view of the ocean and pier (despite the cloudy day). The windows on the veranda protected us from the cold wind and the heaters kept us nice and warm. Maybe this isn't a place to impress a date with as the plastic tables and chairs announce it's a casual dining place, but it's a wonderful place for family and friends to gather.If you're cruising through Ventura during Happy Hour, Eric Ericsson's is THE place to go. Five stars, two thumbs up, and all that.
I was surprised to read so many good reviews about this motel.Right behind the motel is a pedestrian bridge leading over Highway 101 to the pier. The highway runs below the level of the motel, so traffic noise wasn't an issue. The trains could be clearly heard, but they didn't run past 9:30 PM.The room itself was clean and looked as if it had been remodeled within the last few years. Our room had two queen-size beds, a refrigerator, coffee maker and small microwave. The bathroom looked clean, also. So far so good. My wife said the sheets in one of the beds had blood stains on it, though. Ack! But that wasn't the worst part.The room cost only $98, and unfortunately that's cheap enough for our fellow travelers who have all the social consideration of drunken hillbillies and crackheads. Apparently one was so proud of the sub-woofer in his car that every time he came and went between 10:00 PM and 3:00 AM he played it so everyone could hear. It literally shook the room walls. And his companion who got out of the car to go to the room had such a hard time hearing he had to yell back to the guy in the car to request last-minute details or otherwise publicly air his thoughts at the time. Following Senor Sub-woofer were a few fishermen who stomped down the hallway around 4:00 AM, and they must have been so deafened by the car stereo that they had to yell to each other, also. If that weren't enough, at almost exactly 5:45 AM one of the first food service trucks backed slowly and loudly into the parking lot below our room. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! went its backup warning so the crackheads and drunken hillbillies staying there wouldn't get crushed under its wheels as they staggered around yelling in the wee hours.After our sleepless night we stumbled into the front desk area to take advantage of the continental breakfast. There were small danishes, bagels, fruit, coffee, and juice available. Not bad. But as I waited for the bagel to toast the little girl standing behind the counter with her mommy as mommy conversed with the desk clerk wandered over to peek into the clear plastic dome protecting the danishes. As her mouth lined up with the access hole through which guests could use the sanitary tongs provided and extract the danish of their choice, the little girl let loose a staccato volley of coughs right into the dome. HACK! HACK! HACK! HACK! HACK! When the germs were safely out of her system and confined in the danish dome, she went back behind the counter to rejoin mommy.Hoping the little patient hadn't made an earlier visit to the bagels, I gathered my toasted bagel, cream cheese, coffee and juice and retreated to my room. Only after I finished and took my morning walk did I notice the nicely dressed old folks enjoying their breakfast at the Best Western right next door. D'oh! That motel had fewer rooms and gentler looking guests, so I imagine I would have slept better and enjoyed my breakfast more had I stayed there instead of the Vagabond. Oh well, live and learn.If the Vagabond Inn could somehow keep out the noisy rabble, change the sheets more often, and buttress the danish dome's defenses, it would be a great place to stay for the price. As it was, my wife said she'd rather pay another $50 per night to stay at a hotel in which we could get a good night's sleep and not feel uneasy about the cleanliness.
Over the years I have bought plumbing fixtures and parts from Biard & Crockett, and one time I had them replace my water heater.
What impressed me about their staff when buying parts is that they really know their stuff. They took enough time to offer suggestions and explain why some parts work better than others.
When it came time to replace a leaky water heater, I gave them a try. If their sales staff were good, shouldn't their service staff be? They didn't disappoint. They didn't have the least expensive estimate, but they included things (e.g. a drip tray) others charged extra for. They were quick and professional. I have had no problems with my water heater over the year and a half later I've had it.
I recommend them to others, and I will call them again when I have a plumbing problem.
I received three bids on getting a replacement garage door, and Orange County Garage Door Co came in with the highest bid. Why did I buy my door from them, then? Although they were the highest original bid, theirs was the only bid that did not increase when it came time to buy. Others quoted lower prices (some substantially lower) when I gave them my original specs. Only Orange County Garage Door Co thought to ask me some important questions that would help them figure out which motor and track system would work best for my garage. The others hit me with substantially higher estimates once I was ready to go, so I went with the company who gave me the straight scoop from the beginning. They were professional from start to finish.
I recommend them to all those who want a good deal without wasting time shopping for a bargain that turns out to be a dead end. Save yourself the hassle and give them a call.
We enjoyed a cup of coffee and apple cider donuts on the front deck of Julian Pie Company, and our 8-year old enjoyed sitting on the bench swing in back. If the front looks crowded, there's plenty of seating area behind the shop. It's a relaxing place to go after a stroll through town.
One pie that is very popular with adults is the apple pie with no sugar added. I bought one to take home because I was tired of overly-sweet pies. It wasn't much of a hit with our 2-year old, though. I guess she prefers the really sweet kind.
I visited Julian Hardware in an emergency situation. My wife accidentally dropped her necklace and pendant at the Julian Pie Company's, and it fell between the cracks in the front deck. I asked at two businesses to see if I could buy a wire coat hanger or similar object to try and retrieve it. One suggested Julian hardware down the street.
The clerk at the hardware store knew exactly what I could use and showed me a grabbing tool. I didn't know if it was narrow enough to fit between the boards on the deck, so he said if it didn't work I could return it for a refund.
It worked like a charm (better than a coat hanger or other solution I had in mind previously), so I kept it. My wife is happy, so I'm happy.
Thank you so much!
Bodie was once a booming mining town of 8,000+ people that produced over $34 million of gold. The State of California preserves the ghost town in "arrested decay". It looks as if everyone just up and left while leaving their furnishings and equipment behind. The buildings are preserved so they do not collapse, but they have not been restored to their original condition. Peek in the windows to see what is left and imagine how life must have been out in the boonies over 100 years ago.
The visitor center has maps showing where the notable businesses, houses, etc. were located. Children can participate in the Junior Ranger Program to learn about Bodie while answering questions from a workbook. Upon turning in their workbooks and answering questions from a park ranger, they receive a Junior Ranger badge. My 8-year old thought it was oh so cool.
We stood in line on a hot August day to try one of the new fruit smoothies we'd seen advertised on TV. When we reached the counter we had our order taken and waited a couple of minutes to find out the smoothie machine had just broken down. The clerk not only refunded our money but offered us a shake in compensation for the wait. I expected to hear an insincere apology and go on my way, but the clerk (I believe her name was "Liza") went a step beyond to satisfy the customer.
When I am driving up or down I-5 in the future, I'll stop in again. The condition of the restaurant, the location, and the quality of the food were nothing out of the ordinary for a Jack in the Box (which is fairly high for a fast food resturant). However, it is rare to be made to feel as if you matter at a fast food chain.
I reviewed a number of lodging options for our trip to Mammoth in August. Sierra Lodge looked like the best value for the price paid, and it indeed was for me, my wife, and our two children.
Our room (218 or 228) was spacious and had two queen beds, fold-out sofa, microwave, refrigerator, fan (no air conditioning) and TV. The room was clean and in good order. The free continental breakfast consisted of coffee, orange juice (no milk), bagels, apples, and danishes.
It was located on the main drag through town and within a half mile of gas stations, a Rite-Aid Pharmacy, and a number of shops and restaurants. It was also right across a small street from Angel's Restaurant and the poorly-reviewed Travelodge.
One doesn't normally associate haute cuisine with Inyo County. I'd read about the Seasons Restaurant before I decided to make reservations, and nearly all reviews were unreservedly positive. After eating there I understand why. While I wouldn't go so far as to say it is the best food I have ever eaten, it was still a great experience and value.
We went early and were seated right away. The interior was warm and inviting. Light colors graced the open space, and the simplicity of the decor matched the casual dining atmosphere. I was a bit nervous about bringing our 1 1/2 year old daughter there, but the servers were accomodating. The menu even featured children's meals (to the delight of my 7-year old).
Light and clean flavors characterized everything I ate, and I relished the subtleness of the flavors. I had the pork tenderloin dijonnaise. The meat was tender and juicy, and the dijonnaise sauce light and pleasant. If I could find the recipe for the sauce I would probably try it on most meals at home! The vinagrette dressing on the salad was also pleasingly light.
For two adults' meals and one child's meal, the tab came to less than $65 including one glass of beer and wine. We will definitely go again when we are in town.