By in Travel

A Road Trip to Los Angeles County and Back

Yesterday was the 50th Anniversary Reunion of the church I used to be part of over 40 years ago as a member, and have always been part of in spirit since then. I hate trips to Southern California because they are tiring and the traffic is usually hectic. We decided to make the journey over two days. It's just too hectic and tiring to go and come back in one day.

We decided to drive as far as Simi Valley the first day. One of our old friends from the church lives in Westlake Village and she was hesitant to go to the reunion because she is undergoing chemotherapy for recently discovered lymphoma. We arranged a visit for Friday night and we all went our for Chinese food after some time in conversation at their house. That was like a mini-reunion, since we haven't seen these friends since the last memorial service for one of our group a few years ago. Those services are getting all too frequent as we all get older.

The trip to Thousand Oaks was hectic. My husband had been unable to contact the friend he normally sees at the gym at noon on Fridays, and he decided to stop and find him at the gym on the way to let him know he couldn't keep the regular date. We also made a rest stop at Trader Joe's in Santa Maria. Unfortunately, I could not resist making use of my Kindle in the restroom. I set it on the top of the paper dispenser while I was doing the paper work and forgot to put it back in my purse. I discovered it was missing when we got to Buellton to get gas and use the restroom there. I immediately called Trader Joe's, and they had found it and promised to keep it in the safe until I could get back on Saturday night or make a special trip later on. We didn't have time to go all the way back on Friday.

The traffic on the way to Thousand Oaks was terrible. It was bumper to bumper all the way through Santa Barbara, Montecito, and Summerland. It was the same going through Ventura and even Newbury Park. I wasn't because of road construction, just three-day weekend traffic having to keep merging lanes at interchanges. We had left home at 11:20, and we arrived at our friends' house a bit after 4.

We had a delightful time eating Chinese food and catching up with each other's lives. This is a hard time in my friend's life, and I wanted to know about her course of treatment and its effect on her. She tolerated her first five-hour treatment with no side effects.

We spent the night in a hotel in Simi Valley where we have often stayed. I managed to add a few points on Blogjob from the computers in their business center. I slept better than I usually do when traveling. We pigged out at the free hot breakfast the next morning. I had an omelet, pancakes, watermelon, a blueberry muffin, some potatoes, orange juice, and tea. Then I went to their fitness center and worked off 20 calories on the bike before going back for a few minutes on the computer in the business center.

After check out, we took the 118 Freeway through Simi Valley to connect to the 405. It was the right decision. Not only was the scenery on 118 beautiful, but there was no traffic until we got to the interchange. Then there was heavy traffic almost all the way to the reunion in Culver City.

I won't say much about the reunion here except I'm glad we went, there was an international buffet you wouldn't believe, conversations were deep and meaningful, and it was like a sauna in that little clubhouse with people packed together like sardines on a day that was about 100 outside. Seemed at least 90 inside. Other than that, the setting was beautiful. It was just so hot no one wanted to be out on the deck looking at the little lake with ducks in it and big trees around it.

We left about 5:30 to go home. I thought it would be almost impossible to get back to Trader Joe's in Santa Maria before it closed at 9 to get my Kindle, but another friend said she'd pray. We managed to get all the way back to Buellton for our rest / refuel stop in time to leave there before 8:15. It's a major miracle we didn't have to stop until then. We were in time to pick up my Kindle before Trader Joe's closed, and we made it home about 10. There was virtually no traffic on the way home, even though we took the same crowed freeways home as we did on the way.

I wish I had photos of the scenery I saw along the Simi Valley Freeway. It seems all the best shots are where you can't stop to get them. Rather than showing you reunion photos of people you don't know anyway, I will show you the balloon-marked path we followed to get to the clubhouse where the reunion was held.


Image Credit » B. Radisavljevic. I took the photo.

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JohnRoberts wrote on October 11, 2015, 4:44 PM

As I reside in the San Fernando Valley, I well aware of your journey and the sites along the 118 through Simi. Having traveled up the coast a zillion times, it is always a traffic issue in Santa Barbara. Santa Maria is my parents' home town.

Kasman wrote on October 11, 2015, 4:47 PM

That sounds like both a good time and a hard time! Good to see friends but hard to cope with traffic. Glad you got your Kindle back.

WordChazer wrote on October 11, 2015, 5:12 PM

Please note, if you ever travel to England, do not attempt to drive here. Our main roads are easily as bad as SoCal, in fact my husband states he would RATHER sit in a jam on the I-5 than on any of our 'motorways' here in the UK. We would be happy to welcome you to the East of England by meeting you from the coach at our local stop in town. emoticon :grin:

Feisty56 wrote on October 11, 2015, 6:09 PM

I'm glad your journey was safe, even if hectic on the way there. The reunion sounds like it held significance for you, so I'm guessing the traffic issue was worth it overall.

wolfgirl569 wrote on October 11, 2015, 6:20 PM

Glad you had a great time and got your kindle back too

BarbRad wrote on October 12, 2015, 3:36 AM

We do always hit traffic in Santa Barbara (except it was clear at about seven last night.) We don't usually hit it in Ventura and Newbury Park unless there is road construction.

BarbRad wrote on October 12, 2015, 3:38 AM

I was very glad to get that Kindle back. The traffic makes any travel to Southern California beyond Ventura County unattractive. It's only special people we travel for.

BarbRad wrote on October 12, 2015, 3:42 AM

The problem with Southern and most of California is that we are used to our cars and being able to come and go when we please. Where I live there is no public transportation to speak of. It's hard to find enough people going to the same place at the same time to make it financially viable. Our governor thinks that if they build it, people will come, but car pooling is about as close as we get to it. I noticed on this trip that even the carpool lanes were moving slowly.

BarbRad wrote on October 12, 2015, 3:44 AM

We would not have wanted to miss the reunion, but we do wish there were a better way to get where we need to go. I hate the thought of going to Orange County for Christmas because that means we go twice as far in bad traffic.

BarbRad wrote on October 12, 2015, 3:44 AM

Yes, those were the highlights. It would have been sad to lose the Kindle.

jiangliu1949 wrote on October 12, 2015, 7:54 AM

It seems like the reunion was not as rich and colourful as that on the road where you visited a patient ,called at your friend's and fed your eyes on a beautiful sight along the road .By the way, is the Chinese food popular there ?

JohnRoberts wrote on October 12, 2015, 9:25 AM

It's weird how traffic is always awful through Santa Barbara. I can remember before there was a freeway and the freeway didn't cleat it up. You usually hit traffic through Camarillo on weekdays from commuters.

bestwriter wrote on October 12, 2015, 10:41 AM

That was a long trip you undertook. I have stopped travelling distances after my accident.

inertia4 wrote on October 12, 2015, 12:30 PM

I hate traffic. I would think that California would have less traffic than we do here in NYC. Maybe what you consider heavy traffic is like fine to me. I don't know. I know all too well what it's like to sit in bumper to bumper traffic. Horrible and nerve racking. I get real stressed out when that happens. Especially when I know I have to be somewhere at a certain time. But your trip seems as if it was well worth it. You seem to have had a great time with friends.

BarbRad wrote on October 13, 2015, 1:04 AM

The friend I visited and the church we all went to started as a Chinese church. Everyone loves Chinese food there. The reunion was well worth the trouble to get there.

BarbRad wrote on October 13, 2015, 1:05 AM

Now I got a summons for jury duty in Los Angeles. Better believe I'm trying to get excused.

BarbRad wrote on October 13, 2015, 1:07 AM

I don't think traffic could be worse anywhere than in the Southern California cities of Los Angeles and Orange counties almost anytime.

inertia4 wrote on October 13, 2015, 12:44 PM

You will be surprised. Come to NYC and see for yourself. The reality is that all major cities have their fair share of heavy traffic.

jiangliu1949 wrote on October 14, 2015, 2:44 AM

Chinese church ? That is to say ,there are a lot of Chinese people where you live .

BarbRad wrote on October 14, 2015, 4:27 AM

I drove past NYC on one of the freeways or whatever you call them there, and it wasn't this bad. Of course, it was also in 1989.

BarbRad wrote on October 14, 2015, 4:28 AM

California has lots of Chinese and Japanese people.

inertia4 wrote on October 14, 2015, 12:01 PM

Traffic was better back in 1989. Now it's horrible. More people and more cars. We call them highways here.

Shellyann36 wrote on October 15, 2015, 1:44 AM

That is what I like about living in the country. Not having to deal with horrible traffic that often. Thankfully, NC does not have the horrible traffic jams that larger states and cities do. Heading into Raleigh or Charlotte you get into a few traffic woes but nothing like what you are talking about.

BarbRad wrote on October 18, 2015, 1:34 AM

It is a lot more laid back here, but we are living in a suburban neighborhood in Paso Robles now, and I don't like what's happening. There were gunshots two blocks away on my street Thursday night and the police could not find the perps.

Shellyann36 wrote on October 20, 2015, 8:36 AM

@BarbRad I am so sorry to hear that. I am sure it was unsettling for you and your family. If we hear gun shots it is normally due to hunting season. Of course our area is not perfect. We are noticing more and more crimes in the surrounding areas. The larger cities around our area are seeing more thefts in the suburbs. It is a sign of the times we are living in.

BarbRad wrote on October 22, 2015, 3:07 AM

I agree. People respect the law less and less it seems.