In our quest to see more of this glorious state, David suggested a day trip to Ojai yesterday. We packed up the Land Rover and headed out around noon and enjoyed a traffic free hour drive up the 101. Ojai has a funny combo of spiritual seekers, tourists and plain old retired folk with a dash of bikers and meth dealers creeping along the outskirts...you see wonderful coffee shops and groovy help yourself-honor system book stores and then turn a corner and see a dilapidated bar complete with broken windows and cheap furnishings which must have housed some serious drinkers and seedier sorts at some point.
The weather was beautiful as we drove up towards Arroyo toad country; apparently a few years ago they closed the roads to prevent these little endangered rascals from being run over en masse. This stocky little, blunt nosed, warty skinned species must be pretty daft to get run over in large groups but who am I to say what gets protected and what doesn't in the Los Padres National Forest.
We had possibly, no, THE worst Mexican food I have ever had in my life at Antonio's in Ojai. Really nice staff but man was it awful...the chili relleno was actually a shallow bowl of microwaved cheese and somewhere within lurked what tasted like a pancake battered piece of celery.
However we went to a great little coffee shop (The Ojai Coffee Roasting Company) and had a wonderful latte served by a neophyte being directed by a chipper lady with quite the talent for making java...
All in all it was great to get out, we bought a pumpkin and some gourds for the Holiday season and took some great photos up in the hills....all in all once again a great way to spend a day...thinking, planning, enjoying and laughing...kind of felt like a vacation and that's what life is all about.