Taking Time To Tour Our Own Country -- Starting Our Road Trip In The Great State Of California

Road tripping in the U.S. of A.! After eight months overseas and one month in the United States visiting family over the holidays, we are fulfilling a life long wish of mine to road trip across my own country. 


Nicole could probably perpetually travel overseas. She never gets tired of suitcases, Airbnbs and not being able to speak the language. But I do! Although after eight months I was a lot less tired of travelling than I thought I would be, largely due to our strategy of longer stays -- typically two weeks -- at most travel stops, I have to admit I am loving being a tourist in my own country.

As recounted in an earlier post, we recently bought a car in Arizona with the intention of driving it cross country back to New York.  

But first we headed in the wrong direction ... to California! In order to make it a truly cross country trip, we took the opportunity to spend a week in The Golden State.


First stop, Turlock, where we visited a dear friend who works for a large wine company and got to, among other things, visit the employee store -- note to ourselves: try to make more friends in the wine business! :)


Our second stop took us to San Francisco where we visited some of our great friends from my time in law school (and after). San Francisco is one of America's great cities and, based on Nicole and I's time there, it is as vibrant, gritty, and eclectic as ever. For anyone visiting, check out The Rebel Within, an awesomely named homemade scallion muffin with a soft cooked egg inside -- a Nicole approved breakfast treat available at Craftsman & Wolves patisserie.


Then it was on to Ojai, a town of approximately 8,000 friendly people approximately two hour's drive northwest of Los Angeles. Ojai is a beautiful, thriving community. I'm jealous of the lucky folks who live there and our wonderful friends gave us the full tour. A few highlights were our stops at Bart's Books, a bookstore where even the walls are made of books (and where I picked up a used copy of The Alchemist that I am reading for the second time, a perfect read for the road), the Revel for some yummy kombucha, Beacon for coffee, Ojai Tortilla House for terrific burritos, and Point de Chene for a wide great selection of small production wines.


From Ojai, we made the spectacular drive to Los Angeles along Highway 1 with a stop for coffee at the Malibu Farm Cafe conveniently located on the scenic Malibu Pier. In L.A., we got to reconnect with one of our good friends from our New York days over lunch at the trendy Rose Cafe near Venice Beach before spending a fun-filled night hanging with one of Nicole's childhood friends and her husband, dining at The Tripel -- excellent burgers! The next morning we hit the road at 5:45 a.m. to beat the morning traffic and then it was back to Phoenix. 


More road tripping stories to come!

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