Island whirld

First off, I have to apologize to all of you for my being MIA last week. I am overwhelmed with a project that takes me all through March.  I may have to post every other week until it is done.


In order to keep this cool and upbeat, I am focusing on the pleasant aspects of life here in Shangri-La. Well, almost that ideal paradise.  We have been happy in Valencia for many reasons. From the outset, we picked a beautiful, safe, upscale neighborhood and, as my Dad always counsels, bought the cheapest house on the hill. That is supposed to keep our investment ticking up and secure.  We shall see!


Coincident with this point, we took a ride over to Ventura — our preferred retirement destination — early in February. Ventura is a county as well as a city.  Within the county are a number of towns, including ones I have already shared with you here like Santa Paula and Ojai, among others, as well as Ventura proper itself. It is the latter, set high on hills around a bustling vintage downtown commerce area, that we identified as the ideal place to live. You can go back to my earlier posts to see why.


Anyway, we drove over in the direction of Oxnard, a place I don’t recall ever visiting or driving through, because it is an old agricultural town. Many of the country’s berries come from the Oxnard area farms.  Its downtown is almost 200 years old and promised to have some lovely historic sites.

But, before we got there, we stumbled into the Port Hueneme and Channel Islands areas at the beach, about 20 miles south of Ventura. What a find!


The whole place is my idea of idyllic, if one doesn’t care that it never snows.  For those of you who know Europe, the weather is Mediterranean. As I have often said, my favorite weather (sans snow) is in Barcelona, where it seems to be sunny, dry, temperate (70s) and breezy all year long, no matter when you visit.


There is a place like that in California too (in fact, the only place in the US): La Jolla, in the burbs of San Diego.  Slightly warmer, La Jolla is between the 70s and 80s all year long.  No major weather systems plague that lower California beach area. It is just beautiful all the time. And it has a price tag to go along with it. La Jolla is truly for the leisure class.


But, the Channel Islands, while expensive, are still within the realm of possibility for anyone who is already supporting a property in California. And they are gorgeous.  Fingers of water delicately encircle petals of land, on which are the most delightful, charming homes I have seen outside of Carmel, in NoCal.


I will share this time and next time, some of the pictures I took.  What struck us too, in addition to both the fact that every home had a boat slip, among those in the Islands neighborhood, and were either on the beach or steps away, in the Silver Strand and Hollywood Beach areas that form part of this extend marine Oxnard municipality, was the fact that the owners ornamented their properties with decorations picking up the ocean or sea themes.  These decorations show a levity, a cheerfulness of disposition that tells me the place is safe, secure, calm and content.


Life is apparently good in the Channel Islands.  Good and beautiful. Inevitably, we are aiming for this place — here we come!

The beaches themselves are wind-swept, natural, filled with driftwood, shells, some seaweed and sea birds.  The water is deep and blue, the sand is soft and in some spots almost white, similar to the Pine Barrens in New Jersey, where my parents have a vacation home.


The two weekends we were there, the wind was blowing and the sea roaring in a way that is unusual for the Pacific, likely from the storm that was gathering as the sun floated to the horizon.  People were strolling and collecting casually on the beach, but they were few and far between.

I will probably add more pictures here, even to this post, in the coming week, so you can get a good idea of the atmosphere of the Channel Islands.


As we drove back into Ventura for dinner, the first weekend, we saw an Irish Dancing school on the way. Now, that is the reason I love Ventura County! All the benefits of living in the world’s second biggest economy, with Barcelona weather, and cultural extras. Outside of Oakland/Berkeley, you will not find that combo easily.


Oh, and, I have made a list of my regular commenters, so I can visit you even when I am slammed with work.  I truly appreciate the dozen or so people who make up the core of this extended and growing community (and I also warmly welcome every single visitor and community member too, believe me) and don’t want to neglect any of you, just because I am busy. Loyalty is one of my most important values in life! ❤

Watch this spot for more!

Images: Chez BeBe assets – The Channel Islands

14 Comments on “Island whirld”

  1. What strikes me most, Beth, reading this and looking at your gorgeous photos, here and on other posts, is the diversity of climate and scenery in the US. If you had written that these photos were from foreign parts, to you, I’d have gone along with it. Living in such a very small country, by comparison, I’m in awe at the fact that climate and scenery can be quite so different. I have to keep in my mind the scale. It’s like America, as a land mass, as well as culturally, is made up of parts of every country imaginable. You’re truly blessed to have so much beauty around you, and so much choice. Every visit here is a holiday to me.
    I hope your work load eases, Beth. Mine is off the scale at the moment with reports and planning and whatnots. More than ready for the Spring break and counting down the weeks. I might not be in as often but I always try to catch up with my favourites – you even have a special folder! 🙂
    Take care of yourself, missus, and don’t work too hard.x

    Liked by 1 person

    • First of all, Anne-Marie, I truly appreciate all your visits and comments. I think you and i and Cole, among others here, are such sympathetic souls that just reading each other’s blogs give us a true sense of community here. You can stop in whenever and take off as much time as you want in between, LOL!

      Secondly, I made the list of my closest friends here so I could do the same. My schedule is so variable that it is feast and famine, work-wise and thus I neglect my friends or my work at different times for different reasons. The short-list should remedy this to some extent.

      Lastly, yes, the scale of this country means every kind of environment from Switzerland to the Gobi. I forget it too but when I look at the map of California, it hits home that it is such a big state and has all kinds of micro-environments.

      Our home is in the high desert, but just 40 minutes from the Mediterranean climate and look of the Channel Islands. It’s crazy! Where I grew up, in two smaller states (NY and NJ) there was very little variation. I have taken a long time to get used to this.

      Hugs and good luck with your work, Anne-Marie, and most of all, thank you, for being you. ❤


    • Thank you Bob.

      This choice is all predicated on assumptions about what we will be able to do, some who knows, 15 years into the future or more. As you and I know, assumptions are always tenuous, given, we could be invaded by Martians tomorrow and then, pffff!

      More pictures you will like, coming up.

      California and NJ — we share them both.


  2. Thanks for sharing this with us, great “discovery”. Just looking at the pictures I wouldn’t have guessed it was California. Such a diverse state. Thanks for taking time to share and post in the midst of your busyness.


  3. JM, thank you so much for taking the time to comment so kindly.

    Yes, California has every single kind of terrain and climate. Something for everyone.
    Typically, I like four seasons and mountains, but, this place is just 45 minutes from where I am now and only 50 minutes from the heart of Downtown Los Angeles where my husband has his building and business, so it is almost perfect.

    I wish I could comment on your blog, but I will just “like” it and you will know I have been there and read and absorbed and usually agreed! 🙂


  4. Beth, I am surprised, even though I live in the U.S., there are parts of your posts seem to me as foreign as overseas’ locations.
    I am like Anne-Marie. Your vibrant colors and details in photos demonstrate one of your amazing talents in capturing places like in a Genie’s bottle. Encapsulated time, space and beauty. 🙂 I am excited to hear more about your project, dear friend. Say hi to Geoffrey from your Ohio friend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Robin, ugh, I have been snowed under. I am working on developing a battery of surveys related to psychological syndromes in children. These are developed for testing on population samples before they can be marketed to the mental health profession. It has been an ongoing project but has clustered since January. I will be winding this phase down this week, thank goodness.

      Yep, California has a lot of different environments. It is a big state and runs across many climate niches. Makes it interesting. If only Ventura/Channel Islands got some snow every year, it would be perfect. But, it is only two hours from snow, so I shouldn’t complain.

      I will be over to your place soon!

      Geoff sends you a warm hello. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • No worries between the two of us, Beth.We catch up when we can. . .
        I wish I could get myself to post only every three days. 🙂 I think working where I do, although I have a small “niche” of displaced, educated professionals who sit with me at lunch, my blog “nourishes my brain.” This may seem silly to some but it is quite addictive! Smiles and hugs, dear.
        Oh, please don’t feel worried or bad, just noticing I must not comment enough to become part of your community? Did I accidentally “unfollow you?” Lol 🙂 Sending a warm hello to Geoffrey. You both were so understanding last summer when my purse was stolen! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are beyond wonderful, Robin. I just can’t blog more often or I wouldn’t get anything else done. One reason is that I am also on Flickr and SmugMug and of course there is always Facebook. I finally reopened my FB page so I could just communicate with a tiny group of family from time to time. I honestly don’t know how you do all those posts! Just one every other week now and I think that is all I can handle.

          One problem is that I have so many incoming emails from WP that I miss the people who are my core community. I am thinking of starting a different email account. But I also made a short-list of links to people’s blogs so I can be more up to date.

          Mostly it was the work. It was relentless starting in January. I am hoping for a break!



    • That is kind of you to say, Charlotte.

      And when I go to your site, I get both the beauty of your music, and your voice, as well as insights into my other favourite place on earth, the Isles. I have never been to Scotland, but have spent a great deal of time in the climate (England, Ireland, Wales) so I need to go to Scotland at some point. I have heard from family members that it is the most beautiful of the group!



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