June 25th, 2016 Genki Husband and I celebrated on “Year of Steel” together, hands willingly clasped together in marriage for 11 years. Does this mean the honeymoon years are over? Who says these blissful years have to be over? Our marriage is based on love, dedicated, trust and friendship and we will enjoy many, many more years together enjoying life and most importantly serving God as He put us together in the first place. For our celebration, we plan on going on a larger trip (after the 4th of July tourist craziness) but for now a day trip was the perfect idea. See what we did below in the video and photos:
Our main event of the day was hiking up Point Mugu near Ventura, California, USA. Hiking has become a main activity in our lives since moving to California, we are blessed to be surrounded by mountains, oceans and desert land. According to others, Mugu stands for the Chumashan word for beach (not very original since Pt. Mugu is the mountain that overlooks the ocean right off the famous Route 1 (PCH- Pacific Coast Highway). It’s an interesting area beholding 70 miles of hiking trails and near 5 miles of beach shorelines all in one area. So a person can literally go hiking up a mountain and then go down the mountain to sit upon the beach. Since it was an option, that is exactly what we did (can’t do that in Indiana 🙂 ).
Remember the breakfast sandwich recipe I shared last week? Well, we took full advantage of them and had a few to take along with us for the trip. It was the perfect protein/carbohydrate sandwich before a good hike up a mountain. Simply place the sandwich in the toaster oven (since ours are frozen, I open it up 1/2 way) and then place in the car to go. Easy! This kept us full the entire morning, even while hiking! And can we take a moment to look at that Southern California sunshine? It’s so gorgeous here in the desert!
Our mission today was to hike to this view on top of Pt. Mugu in the Santa Monica Mountains. It takes around 1-2 hours to hike to the very top, time dependent upon experience and/or fitness level. The hike is a bit strenuous, there were many fit hikers gasping for air, taking short breaks through the trail up to the top (me included). Not only is the hike itself rocky, more so on the steep inclines (which is about 3/4 of the way), but it also climbs an elevation of over 1,000 feet. This means one that runs closer to sea level will most likely have elevation issues with breathing and muscle strains, even for the most fit. So please plan ahead for the extra time to take short breaks while climbing up the mountain, if not an experienced mountain hiker. Gasping for air while sweating as if you were sitting in the principals’ office waiting aside, this mountain hike is absolutely breathtaking and worth it.
Hiking up the mountain, feeling like death may come sooner than later, it is hard to take many photos. However, I did snap a few as we trekked down the easier path for about 1/4 of the route. Little did we know this path was available until we reached the top and a gentleman explained why some of the others hikers were still smiling as the top was reached. Yep, there was an easier path that we did not take going up. It’s okay though, the easier path is not much of a lifesaver since it only lasts for a wee bit of the route. It’s like a trick to the body. Go all the way in for the sights on the way up then take the gentle path going down, the best of both scenes.
Next we took our sweaty and tired bodies to the beach, which one can literally roll down the mountain and land at the beach. That’s my kind of cool down. One must pay to park at this beach, I believe it was less than $5 per hour or if it is a gorgeous day and you have the time a daily fee can be paid for a longer stay. There is limited parking though, the lot filled up rather fast around 10AM and was full within the hour. A parking meter is located at the main entrance near the sign, cash or credit card works at this machine (no one is on duty).
Since this was supposed to be a full day of adventure, a short internet search came up with a missile park just outside the NAVY base at Pt. Mugu. It is around a 5-10 minute drive from the hiking trails and beach front. The entire park is open to the public and there is no entrance fee, walk at your leisure or stop by for a al fresco lunch under the wooden shelters complete with picnic tables. A good selection is available to see from airplanes to missiles, interesting if you love aviation. The area is also handicapped accessible and children and leashed furry babies can roam around too as it is an open park.
Address: 10A Naval Air Rd, Port Hueneme, CA 93041
By the time we were finished with the missile park, we were quite hungry so we found Vinh Loi – Tofu. This is a 100% vegan restaurant and really should not be missed if coming into the area. The owner is a marathon runner and a superstar in the kitchen. It has a vietnamese theme, so if you are missing Pho like me, go for this restaurant. Go! (Trust me on this one, even if you aren’t vegan.) It does get a bit busy inside, so if you are claustrophobic, order takeout. Complete Menu Here.
Address: 18625 Sherman Way #101, Reseda, CA 91335
We have yet to find a good quality Vietnamese restaurant in the Palmdale/Lancaster, California area, so Genki Husband took me to this restaurant in hopes I could have a bowl of delicious pho once again. This was the Tofu and Mock Duck Pho – words can’t describe how tasty this dish was to me. Everything is supposed to be homemade and fresh to order, I believe their words because I’m still dreaming about this dish.
Genki Husband decided upon the Vegan “duck” lemongrass noodle dish. We wanted to test out two different dishes to share 1/2 and 1/2. Both were super tasty, unlike many other Vietnamese restaurants in the SoCal area, Vinh Loi has a knack for serving simple ingredients and making a well-rounded taste on the palate. When we left the restaurant stuffed to the brim, we were talking of how we could make another trip here for more food. We were even in talks (okay maybe me) in how to come for a dinner pickup every night, considering the 1 1/2 – 2 hour drive one-way, I’m not sure I convinced Genki Husband just yet. But we will be going back and we highly suggest this restaurant. The owner and staff members were all very kind and wholeheartedly wanted to assure we loved the experience and dishes.
Stuffed and muscles reaching exhaustion, we finally reached the point where no more could go on for the day so we took the relaxing drive back home singing to music and chatting about our days’ adventure together.
What is your favorite restaurant in the SoCal area? We would love suggestions!