Treasured Memories Scrapbook Store in Oak Park

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Treasured Memories Scrapbook Store opened in June 1997 and has grown and evolved with the scrapbook industry to provide customers with the best memory preservation solutions on the market. They offer supplies, classes, parties, events and more.

Located in the Oak Park Shopping Center at 612 Lindero Canyon Road, Oak Park.  Visit www.treasuredmemoriesca.com or call 818.889.6639 for more information.

During normal business hours, Treasured Memories offers complimentary space in their project room. Call the store in advance to ensure space and availability.

Ventura Flea Market - Ventura County Fairgrounds

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The Ventura Flea Market is held near the ocean in Ventura and is a great place to shop. The event features antiques, used and new merchandise sold by over 500 vendors, more than 5,000 buyers visit the Market each time it is held. 

The Ventura Flea Market is held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. A special Early Bird admission is available from 6am to 9am at $10.00 per person. Regular admission starts at 9 a.m. at $5.00 per person. Children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.  (Prices current as of February 2018.) Pets are not allowed. Event is held rain or shine! Parking is $5.

Upcoming Dates as of 11/17/18:

  • November 18, 2018

Visit www.rgcshows.com/ventura or call 323.560.SHOW (7469) for more information.

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Ventura Harbor Village

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Ventura Harbor Village at 1583 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura is home to 33 acres of harborside activities, shopping and restaurants.  The weather is always so cool over there it makes for a nice retreat.

There is a 36 horse carousel and arcade for the kids and plenty of outdoor activities available like kayaking, sailing, pedal boats, sport-fishing and cruises. Ventura Harbor Village hosts events and activities year-round, including music performances, kids' activities, themed events, festivals and more.

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Eateries at Ventura Harbor Village include 805 Bar & Grilled Cheese, Alexander's, Andria's Seafood Restaurant, Surf N' Taco, Boatyard Pub, Brophy Bros. Restaurant and Clam Bar, Coastal Cone (ice cream shop), Coffee Dock & Post, Copa Cubana, Fratellis Pizza & Brew, Harbor Cove Cafe, Le Petit Cafe, Bakery & Restaurant, Margarita Villa Mexican, Rhumb Line, The Greek Mediterranean Steak & Seafood and The Parlor. You won't go hungry here.

The Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center is located adjacent to Ventura Harbor Village. Free admission and an awesome resource for learning more about the Channel Islands and its protected habitat.

Island Packers at the Harbor has numerous boat rides and is the only authorized concessionaire to transport folks to Channel Islands National Park. 

Ventura Boat Rentals rents out electric boats, paddle boats, kayaks, power boats and charters cruises in the Ventura Harbor.  So much fun to be had!

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Across the street from Ventura Harbor Village is beach access at Harbor Cove Beach (a safe beach protected by jetties) and Surfer's Knoll Beach. Local area beaches at THIS LINK.

More information at www.venturaharborvillage.com or call 805.642.8538 (or 877.89.HARBOR).

Painting with a Twist in Camarillo

Painting with a Twist is located at 2298 E. Ventura Boulevard in Old Town Camarillo (at the intersection of Arneill), next to the El Rey Cantina.

Painting with a Twist provides customers with paint, a canvas and brushes that lead to a fun evening with friends and a finished piece of art.  And yes, you receive professional instruction to create your work of art as well as access to wine.

For updates, visit paintingwithatwist.com/camarillo.

California Oil Museum in Santa Paula

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The California Oil Museum at 1001 E. Main Street, Santa Paula (corner of Main and 10th) is the birthplace of Union Oil Company (aka Unocal and more recently acquired by Chevron in 2005). The building was completed on October 17, 1890. The museum was established in 1950, and the building was restored to its original appearance for its centennial celebration in 1990. Click here for an early picture of the building. The building is also a California Historical Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The museum has one of the largest displays of vintage gas pumps in California. There is a turn of the century (20th century, that is) drilling rig, various displays, videos, working models and gas station memorabilia as well as rotating exhibits about science, technology and transportation as well as other more local exhibits on hand.

As of July 2017, admission is a suggested donation of $4. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.

More information at www.oilmuseum.net or 805.933.0076.

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 Left side of California Oil Museum on 10th Street

Left side of California Oil Museum on 10th Street

 Display in the rig building

Display in the rig building

Stagecoach Inn Museum - Newbury Park

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The Stagecoach Inn Museum is a replica of a Monterey style inn, the 1876 Grand Union Hotel. The complex also includes a Chumash Indian village, an early California adobe, a pioneer house and a few other buildings. There is a nice park adjoining the property along with nature trails and a stream that make this a nice place to bring the entire family.

 Spanish Adobe structure at Stagecoach Inn is a replica of housing that would be seen in the Conejo Valley in the early 1800s.

Spanish Adobe structure at Stagecoach Inn is a replica of housing that would be seen in the Conejo Valley in the early 1800s.

The Stagecoach Inn Museum is State Historical Landmark No. 659.  The original structure was destroyed by fire in April 1970 but has been rebuilt and relocated.  It was originally located at the corner of what is now Ventu Park Road and the Highway 101, where a historical marker has been placed.

The Stagecoach Inn is located at 51 South Ventu Park Road, Newbury Park.  Call 805.498.9441 or visit www.stagecoachinnmuseum.com for more information. As of March 2018, it is open from 1 pm to 4 pm Wednesday to Sunday. Adults $5, 62+ and ages 13-21 $4, kids 5-12 $2.

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Olivas Adobe Historical Park - Ventura

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The Olivas Adobe Historical Park is operated by the City of Ventura and serviced by the Olivas Adobe Historical Interpreters. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and is State Historical Landmark No. 115.

The Adobe represents a superb example of a large home from the Rancho Period prior to California statehood in 1849. The home was started in 1847 and completed in 1849 through the efforts of local Chumash people, and occupied by Don Raymundo, his wife Teodora, and their 21 children until 1899.

Ultimately, the City of Ventura received the adobe and a large land parcel from the Max Fleischman Foundation that included 450 acres that extended from the Olivas Adobe to the ocean, where the Olivas Golf Course, the San Buenaventura Water Reclamation Facility and the Harbor are now located. The Park includes exhibits, extensive gardens, and the restored adobe buildings.

The Olivas Adobe is also available for weddings, receptions, fiestas and special events.

The Park is located at 4200 Olivas Park Drive in Ventura.  Grounds are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekends. Free admission. Costumed docent-led tours of the house take place on weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (tour tickets are $5 for adults $3 for children under 12 and seniors and free to under 4). For more information, visit www.olivasadobe.org or call 805.658.4728.

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Channel Islands Maritime Museum

The Channel Islands Maritime Museum (formerly known as Ventura County Maritime Museum) is a cultural and scenic haven in the Channel Islands Harbor complete with world class maritime art, ship models and ocean breezes. It opened in 1991 as an independent, not-for-profit public benefit corporation funded by members, friends, charitable foundations and businesses.

In Summer 2012, the museum moved across the harbor to 3900 Bluefin Circle, Oxnard (off of 3900 Harbor Boulevard).

The museum is open Thursday to Monday from 10 AM to 4 PM (noon to 4pm on Sunday) except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors (62+) and $3 for children ages 6 to 17 (free ages 5 and under) as of February 2018. Admission is free the 3rd Thursday of each month.

The Channel Islands Maritime Museum is home to a permanent collection of extensive marine art, featuring works by the Dutch and Flemish painters, 17th century artists Willem van de Velde and Bonaventura Peeters. Noted modern artists in the collection include John Stobart, Montague Dawson, David Thimgan, Roy Cross and Christopher Blossom.

The museum also houses one of the two largest collections of antique Napoleonic prisoner of war sailing ship models in the US. Three thousand years of maritime history are illustrated by historic ship models, including the life's work of renowned builder Edward Marple. Exhibits on whaling, sailors' arts, the history of the Channel Islands Harbor and Port of Hueneme round out the collection.

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In my many visits to the museum, I have been very impressed by how knowledgeable the docents were about the contents of the museum! I learned a lot and was amazed at the collection of nearly 100 intricate ship models on display going back hundreds of years. I was also pleased to see docents take the time to engage my kids in some of the exhibits.

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The Museum welcomes about 25,000 visitors annually. The Elementary Education Program, staffed entirely by volunteers, conducts in-house tours for thousands of elementary school students each year. The At Sea Education program supports three day youth sailing expeditions on board working tall ships.

For more information, including current exhibits and upcoming museum events, visit www.channelislandsmaritimemuseum.org or call 805.984.6260.

The Ultimate Escape Rooms at Ventura Harbor Village

The Ultimate Escape Rooms are a recent addition to Ventura Harbor Village. There are four different themed rooms that a group of up to eight people are have to escape within a 60 minute time frame.

But how? The room is full of puzzles, riddles and props that the group must decipher to come up with the ultimate "code" to escape the room. Using the combined efforts of your group, you must review the clues and solve a series of puzzles to make your way out of there.

Yes, I have tried it with a group of 11 to 14 year old kids and we had a fun time trying to get out of there. Although we were unable to figure out the final piece to our puzzle, we enjoyed it. And don't worry...if the group needs clues, you can all raise your hands and you will be given a bit of help.

They do not allow you to bring personal belongings like cell phones into the rooms, but lockers are provided. 

The current room themes as of January 2018 are: The Wizards Lair, We Are All Mad Here, The Attic and Adrift. Pricing is $39 per person but do check for special deals. We booked the entire room for a birthday party via a Groupon deal.

We tried "We Are All Mad Here." Quite an interesting assortment of items on display in the room. This was an experience that none of us have ever had and the kids and I worked together to ultimately fail to get out of the room...but succeed in having fun!

Learn more at www.theultimateescaperooms.com.

Gardens of the World - Thousand Oaks

Gardens of the World at 2001 Thousand Oaks Boulevard is a 4 1/2 acre garden across from the Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks.  It is free and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Gardens of the World is a gift from the Hogan Family Foundation.

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GOTW is a stunning oasis of beauty, smack dab in the middle of Thousand Oaks. There is a large bandstand in the center of the Gardens that is a perfect venue for outdoor music.  And the array of plants, flowers, waterfalls (including a stunning fountain that looks out toward the Civic Arts Plaza) and a serene koi pond next to an authentic Japanese Pagoda.

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There is a Japanese garden, a French garden and waterfall (shown above), a Mission Courtyard, an English perennial and rose garden and an Italian garden.  A beautiful place to visit and relax for a bit, right in the heart of Thousand Oaks.  Also a great place for a picnic lunch, with plenty of tables, benches and grassy areas. More info at www.gardensoftheworld.info or 805.557.1135.

 I never promised you a rose garden...but here's a beautiful one to check out!

I never promised you a rose garden...but here's a beautiful one to check out!

 Koi pond in the Japanese Garden

Koi pond in the Japanese Garden

 Shaded picnic area

Shaded picnic area

 Since 2003, Gardens of the World has hosted a great Jazz Series on Sunday afternoons in August in this traditional American Bandstand area.

Since 2003, Gardens of the World has hosted a great Jazz Series on Sunday afternoons in August in this traditional American Bandstand area.

Conejo Valley Botanic Garden - Thousand Oaks

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The Conejo Valley Botanic Garden is a 33 acre retreat of hiking trails and natural habitat adjacent to Conejo Community Park off of Lynn Road and Gainsborough. 

CVBG now offers plant sales (weather permitting) every Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. featuring California native and drought tolerant plants. Reasonable prices! Enter at the Kids' Adventure Garden entrance (400 W. Gainsborough Road).

This is really a special place to bring the kids for low key hike.  There are numerous trails and a short walk/hike to the top of the mountain rewards you with sweeping views of the entire Conejo Valley, from Westlake Village to Thousand Oaks to Newbury Park.

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Here is what you'll find at the CVBG:

  • The Nature Trail is 3/4 of a mile long and meanders above the creek through oaks and willows.  This is a moderate trail.
  • The Little Loop Trail leads you above the creek, through chaparral and around a meadow.
  • The Native Plant Section and Lower Meadow feature southern and northern California plants.
  • Lillian's Meadow showcases perennials, shrubs and trees that thrive with minimal water.
  • The Salvia Garden delights hummingbirds and butterflies. 
  • The Butterfly Garden is a safe haven that provides nectar and food sources for butterflies and caterpillars.
  • The Nursery houses workspace for the plant propagation team and hosts plant sales.
  • The Herb Garden exhibits an extensive and unusual collection of medicinal, kitchen and aromatic herbs.
  • The Bird Habitat has a fresh water source and is planted with native plants that provide year-round food source for birds.
  • The Australian Section features collection of plants from down under.
  • The Desert Garden hilltop landscape features cacti, succulents and desert trees and provides a panoramic view of the Conejo Valley.
  • The Rare Fruit Orchard holds an extensive collection of trees.
  • The Tranquility Garden is planted in the Japanese style featuring California native plants.
  • The Oak Tree Grove has many species of North American and other oak trees.
  • The Trail of Trees exhibits 50 trees with a variety of genera.

If you have small kids, they will love the Kids' Adventure Garden and treehouse, open on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  They'll enjoy hiking through the trails and exploring the streams and bridges.

Conejo Valley Botanic Garden is located at 400 West Gainsborough Road, Thousand Oaks.  For more information visit www.conejogarden.org.

 Desert Garden at the top of the hill, featuring cacti, succulents, etc.

Desert Garden at the top of the hill, featuring cacti, succulents, etc.

 Japanese style Tranquility Garden featuring native California plants

Japanese style Tranquility Garden featuring native California plants

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Camarillo Ranch House

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The Camarillo Ranch House is a 3-story, 14 room, 6,000 square foot Victorian home built by Adolfo Camarillo in 1892.  Adolfo is the son of Juan Camarillo, who purchased the land in 1866.  Adolfo operated the ranch from the time of Juan's death in 1880 until 1948.  Adolfo's name proliferates in Camarillo and the local high school was named after him after he gave 50 acres of land for that use.

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The 4.5 acre ranch was given to the City of Camarillo by the Centex Company in 1997.  Today the property includes the house, a historic red barn and a stable.  In 2001, the City of Camarillo completed a $1.5 million restoration of the beautiful home to exhibit what it looked like during the 1914 to 1930 time frame. The Camarillo Ranch was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

The Camarillo Ranch is open to the public 7 days a week, 9am-5pm, unless there is holiday or special event. There is no charge to visit the property and walk the grounds during normal hours. The gardens have interpretive signs and there are also picnic benches available for use at lunchtime.

Docent-led tours of the house are currently (as of June 2017) offered on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last tour starts at 2 p.m.) but effective 7/1/17 will noon to 3 p.m. Donation of $5 per visitor is requested.

The property is used for many special events and can be reserved for private events like weddings and receptions.

The Camarillo Ranch House is located at 201 Camarillo Ranch Road.  Visit www.camarilloranch.org or call 805.389.8182 for more information.

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  Morton Bay Fig Tree

Morton Bay Fig Tree

Ojai Trolley Service

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The City of Ojai has run the Ojai Trolley Service since 1989. It provides transportation service on a fixed route schedule throughout Ojai, Meiners Oaks and Mira Monte via about 45 stops (though typically they only stop at about a third of the stops on a given route, based on if there are people waiting at each stop). Roughly 5 mile route one way (eastbound or westbound).

It costs $1 to ride the trolley (as of June 2017), 50 cents for 65+, 25 cents for ADA and Medicare cardholders and free for kids 5 and under. Day passes are available for twice the standard admission cost.

The trolley runs 7 days a week,  every day of the year except Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

Hours are 5:36am to 9:27pm Monday through Friday, 6:06am to 8:27pm Saturday and 7:06am to 8:27pm Sunday.

For more information and a detailed schedule, visit www.ojaitrolley.com. Or call 805.646.5581 x207.

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