To celebrate my mother's birthday, I took her and my dad to brunch... (and my niece joined and bought my birthday brunch). I took them to a lovely restaurant that is inside of a historic building in downtown Ventura. We all remembered the building as a bank (mom and dad remembered the later incarnations of jewelry and women's clothing store), but it turns out it was built in 1927 - designed by the same architects that designed Griffith Observatory - as the power company's headquarters.
It has gorgeous carved wood beams, original murals painted by Norman Kennedy, and beautiful tiling. Painstakingly restored and with lovely chandeliers and other light fixtures, the old bank vault was turned into a liquor/wine vault. We sat in a big booth by the windows and toasted to my mother's birthday.
I intended to work at the library afterwards, but it turned out that it doesn't open til 1pm on Sunday. I have said several times aloud that I have never been to the pier in Ventura or the promenade (where parts of Little Miss Sunshine were filmed), I realized I was so close I could make it a double: go to a new place and get my last two miles in for the week. So, I took a walk down to the pier while I waited for the library to open.
It was an easy and lovely walk ... but not nearly as meditative as walking on the sand near the waves. On the pier, bustling with walkers, gazers, fisherpeople and birds, you can barely hear the ocean.
I made a quick stop in the bathroom at the end of the pier where someone, a woman from her voice, was giving a rousing talk in one of the stalls. It included rhetorical flourishes, facts and figures "without the internet", and call and response. You could tell there were responses in her head as she took them and waited for the silent response to be stated.
Down the pier, I asked about how the fishing was going, watched two ladies make friends with the seagulls by throwing bread crumbs, and witnessed a young boy tentatively chase the birds from the pier.
Needless to say, lovely and entertaining, but hard to quiet the mind.
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