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Archive for December, 2009

“The World’s Greatest Outdoor Bookstore”

Their website saysccand perhaps it is. There aren’t too many outdoor bookstores on the Planet Earth. I certainly recommend checking it out if you are in the neighborhood of Ojai, California. Very cool indeed. You may even spy a “celebrity” or two while there. They have a huge supply of books ranging from the 35 cent  honor system books that line the bookshelves out on the sidewalk to rare out-of-print first editions.

Bart’s Books, nestled under the 420 year old coastal live oaktree at the corner of Matilija and Canada streets in Ojai, CA, is the home to the largest independently owned and operated outdoor bookstore in the U.S.A.

In 1964 Bart’s Books was little more than a sparkle in the eye of Richard Bartinsdale whose collection of books had gotten so overwhelming that he constructed a series of book cases along the sidewalk so that passersby could peruse the titles.

In lieu of a cash register, “Bart” left coffee cans atop the book cases. People would select a title or two and leave payment in the cans, giving birth to Bart’s world famous tradition of selling books via the honor system.

Since that time Bart’s Books has become host to nearly one million books ranging from the thirty-five cent specials which line the outside walls and are still for sale on the honor system, to rare, out of print first editions, and art books (like Dali’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland) valued in the thousands of dollars.

Currently Dave Ray is Bart’s Books bookseller extraordinaire. With his unique blend of expertise, vim, and pure passion for the art of the written word, he brings new life to what The Times calls “an intellectual haven.”

Nearly half a century after its inception, Bart’s Books continues to mystify patrons, journalists, and book lovers with a character and charm that beggars description and a selection of books that is beyond compare.


Ojai Art Colony

 Art is a huge focus in Ojai. The are many famous artists that grace are beautiful mountains. There are certain towns in this country that attract artists, certain places that artists seem to go where it is open to their expression.  ”Ojai is a wonderful mix of a variety of people who are fortunate to live in a community surrounded by mountains, streams, where people are open and friendly.”

Like a true art colony, there is always something happening in the arts in this town. Art studios line Bryant Street and if you drop in on Thursday evenings at the bookstore you might catch a poetry reading. Grab another cup of café mocha and chill. The annual Artist Tour is amazing you actually get to go into the homes & studios of these amazing creative types and ask them lots of questions. 

As the night sky descends on the quietude and beauty of the Ojai Valley, it is a sure bet you will return to Ojai, the real difficulty is leaving.


Ojai Best Fresh Catch!

 Freshod in Ojai, Fresh, Fresh Fsh Market, Restaurant and Sushi & Oyster Bar.

In August of 1985  they opened their doors in Ojai, California, September of 1998, In Thousand Oaks, California, and Channel Island Harbor July of 2000. But the story began long before this.

In 1963 when Bill Sutton, one of the owners, was only seven,, his Dad took him on a fishing trip. From that day forward he was “hooked”. Bill as a small boy would have his Mom drop him off, and pick him up from the pier, where he fished all of his spare time. Bill brought his small catch home, and with red wagon in tow, marketed his catch to the local neighbors. This was the beginning of it all. Bill then worked on sport fishing boats part time while in school and after graduating from high school in 1972, went to work on commercial fishing boats that fished up and down the Pacific Coast.

The place is casual & the service is excellent.  Wine list is fun too!


Hand Crafted Ojai Ice Cream & Wine ?

If you are a sweets person & will travel for something absolutely decadent & one of a kind. Ojai Ice Cream is worth the whole trip. The Ice cream & Sweets shop has been in downtown Ojai for over 20 years & owned by the same family all these years. I think the best part is when you walk in the door you are literally punched he face with the overwhelming aromas of sweet waffaly,creamy,sugar coated goodness. I swear it happens everytime without fail!!  The local simpleness of the whole environment is so down-home & it feels as if you are in a Hansel & Gretel movie. daily and with secret recipes. The texture of the ice cream is softer & creamer than your typical  gourmet creams. They have fantastic flavors that complement the seasons of Ojai like Ojai Orange in the Summer & Lovely Lavender during our Annual Lavender Festival n Late Summer. My Favorite is there Pumpkin Spice  made in October any Pupkin you have tasted PURE PUMPIN PIE. Oh my  traditional flavors like the best Rum Raisin you’ve ever tasted and Drk Chocolate, a super Vanilla Bean, Mint Chip oh and a very chunky & festive Bubble Gum the kids will do Fairy Flips for. The sweet creams come on a variety of handmade huge Waffle cones that can be dipped in Chocolate then dipped in sprinkles. If Ice Cream is not your thing try there handmade Fudge with delightful flavors. It doesn’t hurt tha Casa Baranca Winery is right next door! what could be better that Ice Cream & Wine!!! Good Lord Sweet Jesus life up here in Ojai is so creammmmy sweet !!


Full Moon Community Meditation

There is nothing like a “Ojai Full Moon” all the beautiful people come out to play!!

Full Moon Community Meditation
Meditation Mount
December 30, 2009 7:30pm-9:00pm
Full Moon Community Meditation in Capricorn
Wed, Dec. 30th @7:30 PM

Please join us in this group meditation for humanity. Your generous donations are greatly appreciated.

10340 Reeves Rd., Ojai


Holiday Events In Ojai

Winter LeavesToday in ojai: events and culture

Tuesday December 15Winter Solstice Gathering at Krotona School
Wednesday December 16Peddlers Fair at Oak Grove School
Thursday December 17Fast Fund Raising Workshop
Friday December 18″A Christmas Carol” play to benefit Ojai Education Foundation


Candle Lighting Ceremony

Ojai Retreat
December 20, 2009 4:00pm-6:00pm
You are invited to attend a Candle Lighting Ceremony – a rich, spiritual experience and delightful social event for people of all faiths. WINTER SOLSTICE EVE SUNDAY DECEMBER 20, from 4 – 6 pm. Explore roots of winter “HOLY DAYS”, refresh your spirit and soul, ignire your dreams and visions.
Ceremonial leader Rev. Marilyn Miller will share with you the deep purpose and meaning of winter’s holy days (based on 25 years of research). Rev. Marilyn Miller is an interfaith minister, is author of “Holidays and Heroes” and Director of the Singing Earth Foundation. She is recipient of Women of Vision’s Global Community Building Award. This event is held at The Ojai Retreat, 160 Besant Road, Meiners Oaks. wwww.ojaireteat.org. Call (805) 386-2694 to reserve your space. Love offering.

ojai events : events and culture in the Ojai ValleyEvent Category: Religion

Contact: Rev. Marilyn Miller – 805.386.2694


Ojai Wine Tour & Tasting On Us!

The Old Creek Ranch Winery is owned and managed by John and Carmel Whitman. Carmel is the daughter of Mike and Carmel Maitland, the original founders of the winery in 1981.

During the 27 years of the Winery’s operation there have been many award winning wines produced. The Winery has been a contributor to the economy and as a visitor site of the Ojai Valley since 1981.

The greatest attention to quality and detail are forefront to our winemaking process. The winery focus now are wines of Southern France, Spain, and Italy.

The Winery is open Daily from 11am to 5pm.

The Winery is located on the Old Creek Ranch. The Ranch is part of a Spanish 22,000 acre land grant awarded to Don Fernando Tico, dating back to the early history of California. In the late 1800′s Antonio Riva of northern Italy purchased the ranch. He was a chef in Paris, London and later in San Francisco. He built a winery on the ranch at that time.

Today the original winery still stands and has been depicted as the logo and on the label of previous wines. At that time, wines were made without electricity and utilized gravity as a means to move the wine in the processing. Riva produced wine until about 1942, including the prohibition years. Wine purchasers would leave an order and money on the clothesline and would return later to pickup a jug of red wine left at the base of an oak tree. On one occasion he was warned the FBI was coming to raid the winery. All wine beyond what was legal for one family to produce was dumped prior to their arrival.

In 1976 the Maitland’s purchased the property with the intention of revitalizing the old ranch. A couple of years later they were approached to start a new winery on the property. In 1981 the first vintage was introduced. Many award-winning wines were to follow.

As of 2007, Michael Meagher has been in charge of the winemaking. He has been making his own wines at the ranch since 2004 under his label, Vino V.

A vineyard of 20 acres was planted during the 1980′s. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc were produced. Sadly, the vineyard fell prey to the bacterium that causes Pierce’s Disease. Plans are now being developed for a new vineyard at the top of the Ranch that will distance the grapes from the insects that transmit the disease.

The Winery now out sources grapes. We are involved with some of the premier growers, Branham Obsidian Vineyard (Napa), and from Santa Barbara County, Stolpman Vineyards, Sanford Benedict Vineyard, White Hawk Vineyard, Vogelzang Vineyard, McGinley Vineyard (formally Westerly), and Estelle Vineyard.

In the meantime, today the ranch is an 850-acre cattle ranch with a winery, and fruit orchards. We have planted at the entrance to the ranch an orchard of five varieties of cherry trees, and are extending the orchard with a variety of Japanese plums.

doors are open seven days a week! Visit the Tours and Tastings page for more information about scheduled tours and tastings.


The Winery overlooks the entrance to the ranch at the end of the Old Creek Road at the bottom of the Ojai Valley. Located an easy 90-minute drive north of Los Angeles, Ojai offers you lots to see and do on your next vacation or weekend getaway. Biking, hiking, spa retreats, horseback riding, camping, or just enjoying lunch in the great outdoors; Ojai offers something for everyone.


Hand Crafted Olive Oil & Tasting In Ojai

On Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm, rain or shine, you’ll find us at the barn, ready to welcome visitors who come to tour the Asquith Farm’s olive grove and taste our products. We’ve had this open-house policy for over a year, and it continues to be a success. Clearly, people enjoy a reason to venture into farmland and explore a working ranch. The tour we offer begins outside with the history of the grove, an explanation of the olive varieties, their maturing process, the harvesting, a visit to the tree nursery, and more. Visitors ask all kinds of questions, and we enjoy responding and sharing the adventure of producing premium-quality olive oils.

Ojai Olive Oil

Ojai Olive Oil, Inc. is a family owned and operated business that came into existence 10 years ago. Our farm is located in Southern California’s Ojai Valley that lies straight north of the coastal town of Ventura – 80 miles north of Los Angeles and 35 miles south of Santa Barbara. The Asquith Farm is located on the southern edge of the Los Padres National Forest. We are surrounded by dramatic natural beauty and share our land with numerous forms of wildlife that roam the hills and mountains. Like a vigilant guardian of the Ojai Valley and its bounty, Chief Peak rises more than 5000 feet just to the north of our olive grove. Read more »


The Winter Ojai Vacation

When trying to find the perfect place to vacation you find yourself searching the web for endless hours. Then you end up just more confused and discoureged about the whole process. These days Vegas is one somewhat affordable option. This is a big party & not really a relaxing soul chilling experience. So if you are cnfused 7 need a real break whre you can have fun but also rest and have beautiful california retreat. A Ojai Vacation is the obouious choice. Ojai offers some of the best resturants, Hiking, Ojai nautral hot springs, Organic wines & wineries, Horsebackriding, Ojai massages & healers, lots of secret hidin treasures. Ojai Vacation Rentals are the only way to go. This is your way of taking your Ojai Vacation to a higer level. They have lots of special touches, kitchens, spas, views, land & privacy. This is really a more afforadable way to go as well if you really break it down. Once you grace Ojai’s Shangri La you will always come back. Its just that special. It is the perfect Romantic Vacation, Family Vacation or Personal Retreat. Enchantment Vacation Rentals is the ultimate personal service. We will help talior your “Ojai Getaway” to match your ideas and budget. We look forward to giving you the Perfect Ojai Vacation!!