Horseback Riding in Ojai

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Entering Ojai Valley is scary. I’m driving 50mph (or more) through all these twists and tight-turns with the locals driving right on my tail. Then I look out the window and all is ok. Mountain ranges with the sun just bouncing off of them creates this majestic color that looks like a postcard.

Once you say goodbye to the Pacific Ocean and start heading west you think that it’s going to get less gorgeous. But it doesn’t. Ojai Valley is just a new kind of beauty in California. This dry and sunny city is home to many vacation homes for celebrities or just crazy rich people and for good reason. There’s horse ranches galore and a great downtown area. If you love the outdoors (and the heat) and are kinda a hippie this is the place for you. With locally-grown food everywhere, farmer’s markets every Sunday, and the mountains as a constant backdrop this is undeniably an amazing place to live (and visit!).

IMG_4309Chain stores are actually prohibited by law making Ojai a great place to start a business, because the government does all it can to promote any and all local businesses. Also fun fact: Jim, from The Office, used to live there so yeah it’s pretty much the greatest place on Earth.

My boyfriend and I stopped for a burrito at Ruben’s, which was finger-lickin’ good. It’s just a cute little family run restaurant with amazingly spicy stuff. I got one of their milder burritos and it was still spicy. Luckily they have delicious Horchata so that really helps with the burn from the spices.

Then we were off for some horseback riding! I was actually kind of nervous going riding just because it was my first time and they’re pretty huge creatures. Also this sign didn’t help…

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Once I started going I had a great time! The horse I was riding on was great and our guide was amazing. My boyfriend’s horse, Chance, was quite stubborn and really slow. He really just wasn’t feeling the sun that day.

Another fun fact: Easy A was actually filmed in Ojai! The “hippie” culture here is even obvious in the movie.

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Just look at how gorgeous this area is… Like drool.

 

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Best of Spring Break Food

Samoa donut from Sugar Shack in Richmond, VA

Samoa donut from Sugar Shack in Richmond, VA

Honey Lemon Chicken Schnitzel from Ol' Heidelberg in Huntsville, AL

Honey Lemon Chicken Schnitzel from Ol’ Heidelberg in Huntsville, AL

Crab and Shrimp dip at The Aquarium Restaurant in Nashville, TN

Crab and Shrimp dip at The Aquarium Restaurant in Nashville, TN

Peach Froyo with cheesecake bits, strawberries, mango flavored bubbles, and coconut flakes from Yogurt Mountain in Huntsville, AL

Peach Froyo with cheesecake bits, strawberries, mango flavored bubbles, and coconut flakes from Yogurt Mountain in Huntsville, AL

Homemade chili thing (red beans and rice with so much more) with cornbread

Homemade chili thing (red beans and rice with so much more) with cornbread

Sweet Tea (my favorite of all of Spring Break) from Urban Cookhouse in Birmingham, AL

Sweet Tea (my favorite of all of Spring Break) from Urban Cookhouse in Birmingham, AL

Ham and Pineapple Sandwich with mac and cheese on the side from Urban Cookhouse in Birmingham, AL

Ham and Pineapple Sandwich with mac and cheese on the side from Urban Cookhouse in Birmingham, AL

Fried Peach Pie from Peach Park in middle of nowhere Alabama

Fried Peach Pie from Peach Park in middle of nowhere Alabama (hidden in a gas station)

Seafood Gumbo from Doc's in Gulf Shores, AL

Seafood Gumbo from Doc’s in Gulf Shores, AL

Hush Puppies from Doc's in Gulf Shores, AL

Hush Puppies from Doc’s in Gulf Shores, AL

Pulled Pork Sandwich and Baked Beans from Lambert's Cafe in Foley, AL (home of the throwed rolls)

Pulled Pork Sandwich and Baked Beans from Lambert’s Cafe in Foley, AL (home of the throwed rolls)