We left for a four day vacation to a middle of nowhere town called Ojai, a small village located in the mountains of California, with a population of 30,000 in the surrounding area, and only 8,000 in the city center.
An hour and a half long drive from our Beverly Hills apartment, found us in an endlessly green location, surrounded by vegetation, pathways of hedges and incredible never-ending plants, making the whole traveling experience and the stay that much more relaxing for both mind and body.
Ojai – a Secret Heaven
Yoav was invited to cook as a private chef for a successful Canadian band (one of whose members was a cute Lebanonian-American man who we made a special connection with) in a private home rented by 10 writers and artists, all young musicians who came together to develop music intended to be the next MTV or iTunes hit.
They took out an incredible airBNB apartment in the middle of nowhere on the mountain, where they opened a small studio, brought plenty of beverages, musical instruments, good vibes, and of course – a private chef.
The chef (Yoav) made large amounts of food and treated everyone to his immense culinary talents (each day was a different cuisine – one day Greek, one day Italian, one day Japanese and one day Israeli food).
In the meanwhile,
on one of the nearby streets of the small, magical mountain neighborhood, not far from the band’s rented home, while Yoav was busy feeding the band members, I found my own peace and quiet in my own airBNB apartment, rented for the duration of our stay.
We were hosted by a lovely local couple who have lived here for over 20 years, with a large swimming pool, luxurious hot tub at night under the stars, two pairs of bikes for exploring the surrounding areas, and endless greenery all around us.
During the sunset, I found myself jogging on the marked path circling the mountain, with ethnic-beat music in my ears and the sight of sun rays crashing against the incredible horizons, painting the green trees with gold, as the grand and blurry mountains stagger one after the other in the far distance.
My heart was overwhelmed with emotions, and as I ran, I looked to the sky, breathed in the cold night air, and thanked the universe for the opportunity to be here in this place, at this moment, with this feeling.
Occasionally, on the side of the road, secluded local houses sprouted, short and designed in a classic American style. Besides them, a convertible or an open jeep were usually parked,
typical vehicles for locals who often go on adventures in the surrounding mountains, with a couple of bicycles attached at the back.
One of the most beautiful and unique locations in Ojai is Meditation Mount, a breath-taking spot you can reach by a short drive and hike up one of the mountain sides, that takes you to an incredible viewpoint, with the entire city spread below. I walked the area’s jogging trail, around me green as far as the eyes can see, and large boulders carved with spiritual sayings and proverbs relating to matters of the mind and soul.
I am not a particularly spiritual person, but when you find yourself in such a soothing place, with clear mountain air, breathtaking views and such a close proximity to the skies, you can’t help but feel the energy in the air, or hear the amazing music of the wind stroking the leaves of the trees, along the blurry mountains in the far distance.
This is what it looks like from a birds-eye view:
My visit in Ojai was short, but I have a strong hunch I’ll be back here soon 🙂