OJAI AND SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA JANUARY, 2016

OJAI, CALIFORNIA:
Patty’s oldest sister Ginny lives in Ojai with her husband Rocky and three cats; Alice, Boots and Shadow. Ojai, California is always fun. The Ojai Valley has been regarded as a magical place for thousands of years, in part due to its unique geography. The valley runs perfectly east-west, making it one of only a few such valleys in the world. The result of this orientation is early sunrises and late sunsets, leaving the valley bathed in sunlight all day, and making the hillsides glow with each sunrise and sunset. Ojai is famous for its “Pink Moment”, when the eastern mountains glow pink from the setting sunlight.

We stayed in a space at Lake Casitas State Park. The lake water level was very low and a Drought Declaration was in effect.

Steve and Patty visited Susan Gruber, Rocky’s daughter Ojai Valley Trail Riding Company. We rode out on the River Valley Trail along the Ventura River while enjoying breathtaking views of the Topa Topa mountain range.

We took an Ojai Olive Oil Company tour, with Alice the company’s owner. We found that the Olive oil making technique is interesting and the tasting the extra virgin olive oils and rich balsamic vinegars was fun too. One of the award winning Extra Virgin Olive Oils comes from these beautiful old trees, a Lechin de Sevilla varietal that produces a wonderfully robust and peppery olive oil.

SANTA BARBARA FUNKZONE:
The Funkzone spans the area between the ocean and Highway 101 and is adjacent to the Amtrak station. This area has enjoyed an upswell of boutiques tasting rooms, cafes, galleries, and shops. Converted warehouses and buildings decorated with graffiti murals and contemporary art pieces set the tone. There are surfboard shapers, winemakers, and a restaurant with the exterior covered in pennies. We enjoyed lunch at the Metropulos gourmet market and sandwich shop.

Ginny, Steve and Patty’s favorite gallery was the Gallerie Silo: Artist Studio. This tower was the original silo for the Weber Bread bakery. It dates to 1947. The flour vats that were in the tower have been removed, but the rail spur is still at the front door. Artist Michael Armour works in the studio upstairs.

Please click on individual photos to go to Gallery.


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