Road Trip To Ojai…

Ojai Valley photo:dionthaiyoga.com
Ojai Valley photo:dionthaiyoga.com

Monday was a holiday and the entire family had the day off…very unusual for David to have a day off.

What to do on a dreary Southern California Monday?

After badly singing a few verses of The Mommas & the Poppas, Monday, Monday, I proposed donning fancy boots and Stevie Nicks inspired flowing tops and heading the Beemer towards Ojai, a 90 minute drive from Malibu.

Ojai-Jul2012

Ojai is located in the Ojai Valley, northwest of Los Angeles and east of Santa Barbara.

The Ojai Valley is about 10 miles long by 3 miles wide, surrounded by hills and mountains. The population hovers around 7,500.

Ojai radiates a ’60’s laid back, mellow vibe and is a destination with boutique hotels and a plethora of recreational opportunities including great hiking in the mountains, superb bike paths and horseback riding.

It also specializes in spas and spiritual retreats.

This is probably why so many celebrities have getaways in Ojai…always seeking.

Additionally, Ojai is an art enclave with many art galleries, handcrafted jewelry stores and home shops so you can shop or exercise until you drop and then have a delicious meal at the many restaurants.

Chain stores are prohibited by Ojai city law to encourage local small business development and keep the town unique.

Ojai proves that you can survive without Starbucks, the Gap, J.Crew and Target.

Java & Joe, Ojai
Java & Joe, Ojai

Viable alternatives do exist to feed your caffeine addiction.

Ojai Main Street
Ojai Main Street

We strolled the main street, ducked in and out of stores and had an enjoyable Mexican lunch outside.

The Girls were with us. This was Finnley’s first road trip so we were scheduled to dine at Suzanne’s Cuisine, considered the best restaurant in Ojai, but our plans were thwarted when the immovable French owner would not allow us to sit on the patio with the dogs.

Snapper Salad
Snapper Salad ($13.95)

We headed to Agave Maria’s Restaurant and Cantina for some friendly, homemade fajitas and margaritas.

Agave Maria Fajitas
Agave Maria’s Sizzling Fajitas ($16.25)

The dogs were treated royally so Agave Maria’s earned 5 star status.

IMG_3848

We moseyed back to the car via Ojai Avenue. The garden entryway at Fig Curated Living beckoned us in.

The store has unique gifts for home and garden in a warm and embracing atmosphere.

If I had a garden I would have been in big trouble.

IMG_3847

deKor & Co. also had curb appeal. It is an upscale home and lifestyle boutique.

If I were in the market for interesting housewares, I would have been heavily invested in retail therapy.

Most of the action in Ojai is right on Ojai Avenue, the main street in Ojai. Side streets demand exploration, as well.

seKor&Co.
deKor&Co. photo:dekorandco.com

We decided to take the winding backroads home, passing many ranches and miles of open land, picking up the 101 in Santa Paula.

Ojai is a lovely day trip.

We arrived home in time to watch the Syracuse/Duke basketball game.

It is a great rivalry, pitting Coach K and Coach Boeheim, two legendary college coaches, against each other.

photo:syracuse.com
photo:syracuse.com

I am thrilled to report that the Syracuse Orange prevailed in yet another nail biter 64-62.

And so concluded another idyllic day of sightseeing, eating, shopping and positive sports reinforcement.

Sway to the sounds of The Mommas & the Pappas singing, Monday, Monday:

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