and i can see the California sun in your hair.

Ojai Travel Blog

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welcome to ojai!
I arrived at the Los Angeles Airport on Saturday morning with no complications. I had one layover in Ohio but I arrived on time and safely. Elyse and her father picked me up and took me home on the 'scenic highway.' It took us along the coast of California - through Malibu (where we had lunch at a seafront restaurant called Duke's). It was beautiful to see the mountains on our right and the ocean on the left. It kinda reminded me of Chile, especially with the heavy Latino/Mexican influence in the area. Everything is brown and tan and neutral. But the flavors in the food, as i soon learned, are not neutral at all!

Saturday afternoon Elyse and I picked up her friend Jessie and got burritos for dinner. They were delicious and unlike any burrito I had ever had. Apparently this burrito was 'authentic mexican food.' I was so exhausted from the traveling that we just vegged in front of the television the rest of the night.

Sunday morning we headed off to Santa Barbara for some shopping and some beach going. Once again everything was beautiful and Elyse once again took us the scenic route. At night I went on a jeep ride with Elyse and her cousin Tyson. He drove to East End in Ojai...and this sounds corny...but it was amazing. To the right of us were the mountains, above us were the stars, to the left of us were palms trees and in the car we had Paul Simon blasting on the stereo. I couldn't have asked for a better night...driving on the back roads and just having simple fun with two really great people.

Monday morning Elyse and I woke up wicked early to reserve spaces on a boat trip at the marina in Ventura. (I think it was in Ventura) We got there early and reserved our spots for the 12:00trip - so we had 4 hours to spare. This led to a very busy and FULL day. We got breakfast on the main strip in Ventura (sooo much better than uncle bills), played on a playground, drove around a bit, and shopped at the marina stores. It was finally noon so we got on our boat and headed out to Santa Cruz Island. On the way we saw loads of dolphins, a hump backed whale and sea lions. It was incredible and the boat ride was beautiful! The island itself was magnificent! Elyse and I just rested the whole time there...playing along the shoreline and finding a little cove to catch sand crabs and write messages in the sand. The boat ride back was shorter and less choppy. Elyse was burnt and I was exhausted. But we still headed out to Dinner at BJ's (not the wholesale store) with a couple of her friends. It delicious and her friends are really funny.

That was last night and I once again had a sound night of sleep because of the sheer exhaustion I have from my full days.

I'm really glad that I stayed in California instead of heading right out to Hawaii/Samoa. It was a good transistion trip because I had already said good-bye to my family and the east coast. I'm still somewhere completely new with new people but I was lucky enough to be able to stay with Elyses' parents who are so welcoming and who have made my stay here so comfortable. Now i'm ready to go a bit further out of my comfort zone...I'm ready to meet my SIT group and I'm ready to take on Hawaii.

And I continue my trip this evening on my 5:20 plane to Hawaii...
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welcome to ojai!
welcome to ojai!
photo by: hudonnoodles