Wednesday, December 7, 2011

TTT: Ojai California!

Back in October, when I took my break and went home (why is it the place you are from will always be home-even when you have lived more of your life away from it)…

Where was I?

Oh yes. After two days in LA, a day and a half in San Diego, two days in Camarillo/Oxnard/Ventura, I was finally able to spend my last day with my other sister. The one who lives in Ventura, started me blogging back in the day, and now has a cool photo/recipe gig every Saturday and Sunday at WeYuMe.

Sis and I have similar tastes in music, in wine, and, most especially, in enjoying a road trip.

She asked me where I wanted to go and I said Ojai. For one reason or another, I have not been back to Ojai since long before I moved to Hawaii (1982).

My best friend from childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood went to a cool private school in Ojai for high school. I missed her when we went off to separate schools, but had the perk of going up to Ojai with her on weekends. I remember everyone offering organic food (including the fun brownies- “hey man, it’s organic”), we went square dancing (but we were dressed like surfer/hippie/organic girls), and everyone ended up at Matilija Hot Springs. Midnight. Beautiful moon. Cool night air and natural hot springs. Ah, youth.

These days Ojai seemed to me an eclectic blend of organic food gone nouveau, art, and high end shops for LA folks up for a drive. Lots of beautiful California land, avocado and olive groves, and (my favorite), open roads.

Come along…

After a road song of a California morning in Ventura, we headed to a place in Ojai that Sis knew I would love. An organic market and restaurant, The Farmer and the Cook.

Huevos Rancheros was my breakfast. Check out that Ojai avocado! Home made tortillas with scrambled eggs, the awesome avo, pico de gallo, and guajillo sauce on the side. If it had been lunch, I would have gone for the grilled squash blossom quesadilla.

Tummies full, a walk is in order. Here is the place where you will find the trendier shops and the LA crowd up and about with their spending mula.

I did like this shop. Had I spending money myself, I so would have bought something here. African imports with the coolest beaded jewelry.

Next, sis took me off the main road to a place she's been dying to show me for years - Bart's Books - The World's Largest Outdoor Bookstore. I could so live there. It's an old house, with outdoor patios and little rooms and places to sit all over. Mostly hardback books and all used. Amazing. We sat in the sun. Then we sat in the shade. We read some, skimmed some, browsed some. After collecting a stack of ten or more, I narrowed it down to one. I bought a Joan Didion book. A favorite author of both my sister and I.

We had to share our table with the handsome guy with the green eyes. Tough day.

We left Ojai and went up through upper Ojai where Sis took me out to the olive groves.

Looking back down on upper Ojai as we head to Santa Paula.

A rare glimpse of yours truly.....

Got a favorite place you went to sometime this year? Link on up!


Anonymous said...

I have no links because I have a dusty abandoned blog...
But, I have been to that bookstore. Oh yes, I have.

Maybe we should meet THERE?


Brian Miller said...

nice...i am all about bookstores and i am so hungry right now i almost listed those eggs...smiles...beautiful country

Jan said...

I'd love to link up, but it's been so long since I've been anywhere that I got nuthin' to link up to. *sigh* Well, I may get to go to one of Michael Simon's restaurants for my birthday in two weeks, so we'll see.

And I wish I looked half as good as you do from the rear. *more sigh*

Michele said...

I must go to that bookstore! Huevos Rancheros is always my breakfast of choice. Yummy!!!

Kristan said...

"why is it the place you are from will always be home-even when you have lived more of your life away from it"

Haha, yup. I feel that way too.

Hehe, the only thing I know about Ojai is that it was (supposedly) where Easy A was set. (Cute movie, btw.) Thanks for giving me a look at the real deal!

gretchen said...

We LOVE Ojai! And I love Bart's Books! We used to go up there all the time pre-kid. We love sneaking slightly up the coast and doing to Santa Inez valley wine tasting too!

Sprite's Keeper said...

It looks amazing there!
Of course, I would probably mess up and call it "O-Hi!".
Yes, I'm embarassing.

secret agent woman said...

I love a good road trip, especially when wine is involved.

ellen abbott said...

Looks like a really fun time.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Ojai is a great getaway but I didn't know about Bart's Books. how could I have missed that! I need to plan a trip to check it out.

And... You look great.

Merry Christmas, xo jj

Anonymous said...

Looks like you shared a wonderful day with your sis. I cherish having those moments together!

shaunna said...

that was such a fun day. (I can't believe I'm reading this almost a month later.)

the bane of twitter/twattle ... microblogging becomes addictive.