On the way back from L.A., Mike and I stopped by Ojai, California, home of my second cousin Lonnie, her husband Randy, and their family. I have not seen them in quite a long time, and it is probably some sort of travesty of familyness that it has taken me this long to get down there. Here is a group photo with Ojai in the background:
Mike, Lonnie, Randy, and me
It was a really good visit. Mike and I were fascinated by Lonnie's miniature horses. She has around sixteen of them, and she takes them to shows, etc. around California and beyond. These horses are a sight to behold -- they are so small, that hey almost don't look like horses. Yet, when they trot, snort, or neigh -- you immediately realize that they are the real deal.
Lonnie and Randy showed took us to lunch at a superb italian restaurant, and showed us a bit of Ojai. The town itself fits my mind's eye vision of an ideal, picturesque, California town. The view of the valley is akin to something of a storybook. The downtown, with its limits on growth and stores owned by mega corporations, has a pleasant feel to it.
Although we only had a few hours to spend there, Ojai was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. The pictures from Ojai start on page five of the gallery that I posted. On the way back to the Bay Area, Mike and I took 101 (on Lonnie's suggestion). This proved to be the correct choice -- as some of the scenery that you can see from the road is amazing.