November shaped up to be a month of travelling, starting with the very first day. Angelo had to head up to Ventura for some nuun related business so Arlo and I decided to hop on the trip and turn it into a little day roadtrip.
We headed up to Ojai on Halloween, checked into a cute AirBnb, took Arlo adventuring on some local trails, and proceeded to enjoy the small town for the evening. The next day was all business - taking the drive to Ventura to pick up some stuff for nuun, shuttling it to Long Beach, and then heading home.
I love roadtrips and love that even work related road trips can turn into a quick night away.
More about what I loved on this two day adventure below!
One of the stops on our trip was a hike (of course). The hike was described as having a few creek crossings, but that was really all we knew (see below for more). When we parked the car at the trailhead, we realized you had to walk through some private land to get to the actual trail. That land happened to be a nature preserve - complete with goats, sheep, horses, and lots of birds. The bird area held chickens, roosters, and peacocks! They were absolutely gorgeous, and just feet away from us as we walked through. I had never seen a peacock with his feathers on full display (with the exception of maybe a zoo visit?) and we got to witness it here. Stunningly gorgeous.
The hike itself was amazing as well. It's called the North Fork Matilija Trail. It weaves through forest, crosses a stream 5-6 times, has boulders and rocks and soft trail, and was the perfect fall feeling adventure. Arlo had an absolute blast crossing the stream (both swimming and jumping from rock to rock) and we enjoyed playing as well. The total hike is somewhere between 5-6 miles round trip. I'd love to go back and do the whole thing. We got through about 4 miles before running out of time. I highly recommend this trail!
Our Airbnb was just outside of Ojai and was surrounded by active ranches. It's not that I particularly like the smell of horses, but I do love the immediate feeling that you get when you smell them. You feel removed, away, and in the country. That was exactly the relaxing vibe we were hoping for when we booked the Airbnb. Living in a city lacks nature smells, so whether it's farm, or horse, or trees, or water - I welcome them.
For our one evening in Ojai we rounded up a few restaurant recommendations and ended up checking out Farmer and the Cook. This adorable organic, vegetarian/vegan friendly grocery store-meets-restaurant was perfect. The ambiance was hippie, the food hit the spot (the sweet potato lentil soup was bomb), and the people watching was perfect. Plus, dogs were allowed on the patio (always a win). But the true star of the night was dessert. They had a day old molasses cookie in the bakery case for $1 and Angelo and I took a chance. Holy cow, it was delish. Soft, chewy, rich tasting. Legit blew us away and overshadowed everything else.
Roadtrips mean podcast time. One of the podcasts I listened to on our drive was an episode of This American Life titled "In the Shadow of the City 2017". It was a fascinating collection of stories about interesting things that happen in the odd, far reaching, and dark corners of big cities - often right under the noses of residents, who never know. Give it a whirl.