Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Roadhouse Wedding

At the start of July, an old friend of mine was remarried on the cliffs of The Lookout bar nestled midway up the edge of Ortega Highway (for those of you familiar) I'd never been there before but legend has it it's got quite the reputation. Old big names who use to stop in for a drink after a windy drive up the mountain, tales about the Eagles showing up and playing on a whim on a dark patio at the rear of the bar. Weddings use to happen here regularly and the photos lining the inside of the place hint at all the nostalgic airs it must have lived through. Those photos, and the old woman inside, who still cooks every plate that comes from the kitchen, were my favorite part about it.

I've known Paige since she was a punk rock teenager with a serious attitude who became a mom (twice) before she was 20. I saw her marry, divorce, welcome a new beautiful baby, and become a wife again here, on the 6th of July where she looked happier than I've ever seen her in all those years prior.

Here's to Mr. & Mrs. Smith. And new beginnings.
And old bars.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Weekend In Ojai

Summer is coming to a close. For us anyway, with school just around the corner.
These past few weeks have whipped by us in a flash, so much that I can hardly believe July has just about escaped us. Feels like yesterday we were busy preparing for the 4th. And honestly I'm not ready for August. For school shopping, schedules and routines to pick back up. Especially considering all the fun dinners, and play dates, and movies in the park, friends, and long days at the beach we've seen in the weeks since school's been out, with 'routine' out the window.

Last weekend, our family was invited to the Ranchero Inn in Ojai Ca. for a big family style BBQ. It was a blast. The yard section of the hotel was set up with a face painter, crafts for the kids, and food & drink for the adults while the pool quickly filled itself with kids of every age, and the lawn, lined with blankets, umbrellas and plenty of great conversation between quite a few new friends. Unfortunately, I didn't think about digging my camera out to snap any photos of this grand event, for fear of losing sight of the present - a mood I've been stuck in for awhile now, which makes it hard to keep up a blog based on these very kinds of images. Luckily, others were more diligent (and great photographers to boot!) if you care to visit pieces of the weekend, you can see find some great stuff HERE , HERE & HERE

As for Ojai - I would definitely recommend a visit if you're a so cal local. It's offers a nice country getaway just outside of L.A. An old hippy town full of all sorts of cool corners to uncover. The Rancho Inn is a must as well. Great pricing and a hometown, cozy feel with just enough "hip" features to set it aside from your average ranch style inn. We weren't there long enough to properly scope out the bulk of the city, but I do know two main attractions during the trip were: The Farmer and the Cook (for healthful late morning breakfasts) and Meditation Mountain, for evening hikes to soak up the sunsets.

Ojai,  we'll be back.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July Fourth

For the past few years, as long as this great beach side tradition of ours has been in tack, we have come to expect that the Fourth of July carries the risk of one ill fated incident or another popping up and threatening to ruin a piece of our festive little American spirits. There was the year in which nobody showed up but we had a grand time in spite of all the extra food, the time the wrong person (with the demon child) showed and overtook the likes of our RV for an entire weekend, the time it rained and everybody sulked around the beach in sweatshirts (except for Ana who got conveniently lost at the bar) and lastly, the year that violent stomach flue wiped through our entire camping crew with a vengeance, sending nearly every one of us to bed for three days following fireworks.

This year proved no exception. Late Wednesday night my wallet was stolen from the Von's shopping center as I loaded groceries into my cart, car packed to the rim with all our beach gear, bringing me to tears as I realized my much welcomed new iPhone (for those of you who know me, this new phone was a long time coming) had been stashed inside. Two hours later, with a sheriff as a no show, we headed back to the beach to meet Mike in the RV (already camped out in line to ensure parking at our favorite spot) only to awaken to Rex with a golf ball sized swollen left eye. With little hesitation we bid farewell to our prime parking and made our way to the nearest Urgent Care only to hear them conclude - as our google skills had so faintly suggested in the moments of debate that came with having to drive back into town - that he was likely "bit" by "something" and needed additional care only should it become infected (it did, but that's another story and he is fine now)

In the end, the wallet, the phone, the eye and the exhaustion hailing from one long and sleepless night, didn't ruin our day in the least. In fact, after a certain point, the bad stuff just kind of faded from focus and we were back to being simply satisfied by another beautiful holiday on the sand with warm weather, blue skies, good waves and a few old & faithful friends by our side. We spent the day sun bathing, snacking and laughing. And then ended the night over on the shore at San Clemente pier for the most spectacular fireworks show we know. For the those 35 minutes, sitting on a dampened sand bank, watching those big bright lights explode over the ocean, everything - minus Leon screaming hysterically from a beneath a Tye Dye sheet after every single boom - was just as we had planned.

The rest, is for the record books.

Till next year, Independence Day.

Monday, July 1, 2013


Resting up from a fun-filled weekend spent in the green pastures of Saulsalito / then San Francisco, with a few of my favorite girls.

Reading The Rules of Civility. I've just begun so I'll be sure and let you know how it goes.

Enjoying This project by Jade Beall, which seeks to help in redefining social standards of beauty and the female form by celebrating new mothers in various states of their postpartum bodies. Check it out if you haven't already. It's quite beautiful.

Eating plenty of Caprese Salads since a friend of mine turned me onto them last month. It's the perfect combo to combat this dreadful heat wave that started happening this past week. For a fancier version than the one I make on the run, there's this. 

Anticipating a great big Forth of July holiday on the beach Thursday, as is our annual tradition. Bbbq, friends, and plenty of tacky flag gear because if it's one holiday we go overboard on, it's this one. Expect plenty of photos as proof later this week. 

Loathing this exceptional heat. Our air conditioner is broken so the second story gets to be brutally hot throughout the day. We've been getting out as much as possible, but the nights are bad and make it very hard to fall asleep. 115 degree weather will surely take the wind out of you, let me tell you.

Missing Mad Men. Sunday nights were the best when I knew I had a quite house, and a snack to look forward to in the evening with my favorite show. Plus I really enjoyed this season. I think I must have watched each episode AT LEAST twice. And although I grew weary of the Draper past flashbacks, think it ended well, (though I cannot bear to face the fact of next year being it's last run. I can't say it out loud. I won't say it out loud. . .)

- As far as blogging, I've been off any kind of regular schedule. Posts are sporadic and sparse sometimes I know. I'm ok with that. Hope you are too. Summer goes by too fast. We try to make the most of it, which means getting out for adventures, visiting friends and neglecting these spaces a bit more. Not a bad thing in the least.