since i was in the UK early march, i didn't plan on "celebrating" my 32nd birthday at the end of the same month. i figured i had been there, done that and the older i get, i don't care as much about my birthday. luckily the bf slapped me out of that train of thought and insisted we get out of town for the night and stay somewhere cool. OJAI! neither of us had been but both had heard nothing but good. and it was all true....
we left long beach on a sunday around 11 and arrived in ojai around 12:30. i'm notorious for doing yelp research before trips to find local favs for food and cool ideas of what to see and do while i'm there. 90% of the time yelp does me right. this trip was no exception.
first stop: SUSHI lunch! Hakane Sushi was not only fresh (our yellowtail was caught that morning) but laid back and affordable. perfect way to start the day in a new town.
driving around this small city reminded the bf of taos, nm. ojai has a main street (e. ojai ave) which is filled with shops, wine bars, restaurants and hippies old and new. the weather this time of the year is ideal because it's warm but not too hot.
next up: wine tasting! casa barranca tasting room serves organic wines from their estate winery in the ojai hills. the wine was good, not outstanding, but the atmosphere and company was worth coming back for. plus we picked up a healthy buzz.
time to hit the pool and venture over to our hotel- the blue iguana inn. the bf got a great deal for the area and we were upgraded to a suite for an extra $10 after we told them we'd be getting in-room massages. that's right bitches! rub 31 out of my body!
loads of character in this 12 unit inn with the option of room, suite or bungalow rentals. i highly recommend it.
home sweet home- #3
the decor had a cool southwest vibe but not in a tacky way. not only did we have a family room but a full kitchen and a large bedroom with an amazingly comfortable king bed. breakfast was included in the price of the room and was more than filling.
we hit the pool while the sun was still out to tan our winter white bodies. cocktails in hand, we enjoyed being the only ones out, making us feel like it was our own private retreat.
after a mini post-pool nap, we ventured to Osteria Monte Grappa for dinner. lovely outdoor seating area with a super attentive staff. the food was good. a bit under-seasoned for my taste but fresh.
monday, my actual birthday, we had our couple's in-room massages. what a way to start the day...and the year for that matter! a little more poolside action before we checked out and then it was back on the road. hwy 33 which takes you from the 101 to ojai is filled with rolling hills, wildflowers, eclectic architecture and orchards. eye candy.
instead of going home the same way we came, we decided to venture down hwy 1 and have lunch at malibu seafood fresh fish market. YUM and the view....well the view (dolphins included) couldn't have been better.
32 is comin in hot!