Exploration: Oh Hi, Ojai
One of the things I love most about living in California is the ridiculous amount of diversity when it comes to all of the places there are to explore. Wanna go to the ocean? Done. Head up to the mountains? Ditto. Same goes for lakes, forests, deserts and cities; any landscape you can desire is there for the taking.
Ojai is a little town nestled in the Ojai Valley, just inland and southeast from Santa Barbara. I'd been hearing recommendations for it since we moved to Los Angeles, and after a particularly busy series of weeks during which Toby and I saw very little of each other, we decided to get the hell out of dodge and take a weekend to decompress and chill, and Ojai seemed like just the right place.
Honestly, we weren't sure what to expect. I knew that it was pretty and small, and that Reese Witherspoon had a house there in which Robert Pattinson holed up during that whole Kristen Stewart cheating scandal business, and that was about it. We chose to take the scenic route in, which was a bit longer, but totally worth it. We spotted some great camping areas and came across a cute little spot at a curve in the road just outside of town named Boccali's Pizza & Pasta. It had a great few of a couple of orchards and the mountains, and the food was super tasty (I got the cheese ravioli, duh).
After we ate, we drove through the main part of town (which is so small that it only took a couple of minutes), checked into our hotel, and headed out to explore, explore, explore.
On the right: the view from the balcony outside our hotel room
The main drag
We ended up spending a long time at Bart's Books, an outdoor bookstore near our hotel. More pictures to come; I'm going to give this place its own post very soon, because I fell in love with it. I want to live there.
After we walked around for a few hours, we went back to our hotel room and crashed. I wanted to try to find a good place to take pictures of the "Pink Moment", which is when the mountains turn a beautiful shade of pink each night when the sun is setting. We ended up being far too lazy to drive anywhere, but luckily our hotel had a stellar view of the mountains (we stayed at the
), so I was able to watch the colors change from the balcony in front of our hotel room.
We went to a cozy little wine and appetizer restaurant named Barrel 33 (I highly recommend it), took the time to relax and chat about life, which we don't do nearly often enough, and then went straight back to our hotel room and crashed again.
We woke up the next morning and had tea and breakfast at Bohemia Coffee House. You know those mornings when everything is quiet and peaceful, all of the people you meet are cheerful and calm, and the perfect music and smells always seem to be wafting through the air? This was one of those mornings. I could have stayed there all day, except I would have wanted that day to include a nap, and I'm not sure they would have been okay with that.
Toby and I decided to leave town a little earlier than we had planned and take a detour to Santa Barbara for a couple of hours, because what is a vacation without a little beach action?
And the drive back. Oh, you guys, the drive back. We drove down the PCH, hugging the ocean the whole way, and I diiiiiied of happiness, because this, THIS is why I moved to California.
And that, my friends, is Ojai.
...and Santa Barbara and Malibu.