Afternoon in Ojai!

Yesterday Adrian and I headed out to Ojai for the afternoon. A visit to Ojai was on my Fall Bucket List because the Ojai Valley gets more fall foliage color-changing than our valley (and because I’d take any excuse to visit Ojai!).

On our drive over we had to stop to check out the beautiful views of Lake Casitas along Highway 150.

Lucky for us the weather held out and we didn’t get rained out.
This picture looks romantic, but in reality there was tons of trash littered on the side of the road…womp, womp.

The last time we were in Ojai – over a year ago for our three year anniversary – we also discovered Hip Vegan Cafe on Yelp and we couldn’t wait to go back! We got into town a little after 2pm and we were both more than ready to dive straight into lunch. Our meals each started with a bowl of White Bean Spinach Soup.

Hip Vegan Cafe’s White Bean Spinach Soup

The soup was super flavorful and I am now determined to recreate it at home. I ordered “Ray’s Reuben” and Adrian got the BBQ sandwich. Both were delicious! The BBQ sauce they use is unreal and I’m all for serrano chiles in a Reuben. We were so excited to eat our sandwiches that I didn’t get a chance to take pictures – oops! But I did snap a picture of their cute outdoor dining area as we were leaving.

After lunch Adrian grabbed coffee from Ojai Coffee Roasters and we walked about a mile through downtown over to Bart’s Books. Visiting “The World’s Greatest Outdoor Bookstore” was a must-do for yesterday’s visit since we ended up skipping it during last year’s anniversary trip because of heavy rainfall. It was worth the wait – this place is so cool you guys!

Outside Bart’s Books.

Even better that the first books we stumbled upon were running books. I guess my eyes are immediately drawn to all things marathon.

Double-checking I haven’t read this Jhumpa Lahiri book before.

I ended up buying three books: Chi Running by Danny Dryer, Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran, and The Lowlands by Jhumpa Lahiri (I loved The Namesake and Interpreter of Maladies). I can’t wait to settle down with these babies over Winter Break!

My happy place 🙂

Leaving the bookstore we found one of the most Ojai-esque things ever. A family had set up a get-one, give-one quote exchange. I love this little hippy city.

We ended up pulling out a beautiful quote from a published poet along with an obviously kid-written and hilarious quote that gave us both a good laugh.

I had to stop to take a picture in some of the colorful leaves we had come to see.

We also enjoyed the trellises and fountains in Cluff Vista Park.

Next stop was the Casa Barranca Tasting Room downtown. This was definitely an impromptu stop that ended up being better than what we could have planned – we loved all the wines we tried in the flight we split, got serenaded by local carolers, and met an adorable Alaskan Husky that made us seriously consider getting another dog.

We also stopped into the cutest shop (I totally forget the name of it – let me know if you recognize it!) with all sorts of products from local and international artisans. We picked up this “Masked Bandit” raccoon ornament for our tree.

Finally, we decided to stop at Topa Mountain Winery on our way out of town. We’d seen the winery on our way into town and decided we might as well continue our wine-tasting at one more location. To be honest, neither of us were crazy about their wines, but the property and tasting room were amazing and they had live music and lawn games. We caught the end of the music set and played a [hilariously pathetic] game of cornhole as the sun went down.

The day ended with dinner at home. After dealing with a cold this week, I’ve been a little obsessed with turmeric everything (I made Golden Milk for the first time on Friday night) and made a miso and turmeric broth soup with somen and udon noodles, shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, and carrots topped with thinly sliced raw onions.

Turmeric Noodle Soup.

Feelings about turmeric?

Favorite quote?

Any book recommendations for once I’ve finished these?


  1. Sarita

    December 23, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Love that outdoor bookstore!!

    1. Angela

      December 27, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      It was so cool! You would love it!

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