March 20, 2004

We like planning a trip and being surprised. Discovering Niki de Saint Phalle sculpture garden in San Diego was a great surprise. Our recent trip to Ojai, California was a neat surprise too. Dianne and I both grew up in Southern California, and yet neither of us had ever taken the time to visit Ojai.

Last Friday, we felt we needed a little getaway, and decided rather spontaneously on Ojai. Searching around the net, we found that Ojai has either pricey bed and breakfast resorts, or smaller motels. We chose Best Western, for the name, booked online, and even with the AAA rate it was $103.00 [not bad, but certainly not a Priceline rate].

Saturday afternoon, we drove north on 101, over the Conejo grade, and after passing through Oxnard, Camarillo, and Ventura, made the merge onto route 33. Almost immediately, we seemed to enter a landscape with green rolling hills, gnarled oak trees and crisp blue skies.

Much like the original Chumash settlers who felt the valley was spiritual ground, or the sense of Shangri-La that Frank Capra felt when he decided to use Ojai as his 'Lost Horizon,' the Ojai Valley is truly beautiful and picturesque.

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