Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ojai in Early Autumn ~ Pumpkins and Mud Rituals

There is something in October 
sets the gypsy blood astir:
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame She calls, 
and calls each vagabond by name.
~William Bliss

 It seems when I go up to Ojai these days, it's a short whirlwind. These pics are from two trips. I'd gone up late after working in LA on a Saturday night, got up in the morning on Sunday and got my yearly treat of Pumpkin Pancakes at Bonnie Lu's! Yum! I'm not saying I will only have them once but they are only there in the fall until Christmas ... then you have to wait until fall rolls around again!

They really don't even need syrup. If you get to Ojai in the fall, I highly suggest you go to this cute little diner for your pumpkin pancakes. They were every bit as good as I'd remembered!

After Bonnie Lu's, I headed to the east end of town to Boccali's Pumpkin Patch. Yes, same place I went last year and the year before. Can't seem to resist taking more pictures and and taking in the beautiful array of squash and pumpkins!

October, baptize me with leaves!
Swaddle me in Corduroy and nurse me 
with split pea soup.
October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets
and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins.
O autumn!
O teakettle!
O grace!
~Rainbow Rowell, Attachments

If I thought I could get this pumpkin out of my car and up my stairs, without dislocating my shoulder, I would have done it. Isn't it it magical? Looks like the perfect pumpkin to be turned into a coach! 

This ear of corn, below, was on the ground. The photo is kind of my autumn version of the "Lion King in the pumpkin patch" ... lifting it to the sun! It looked spectacular in the sunshine, right? It's as if it were wearing a crown. 

I get a bit overexcited about these things, I guess.


I didn't go nuts buying this year, but got a nice little array for my little apartment ...

After the pumpkin patch, I raced over to this funky little place called "The Relaxation Station." They don't speak much English (which is fine) but for 21 bucks they'll massage you for a half hour! And they're good! Perfect to recover from all the driving around Southern California, in traffic!

Then, I raced to my parents class to teach a little hour and a half art workshop to 4 kids. Then I devoured a little grass-fed patty, before heading down to Ventura to my friends' house. They were leaving 5 days later and I had all kinds of maps and things printed out for them, on Rome and Umbria, for their honeymoon. And, you all know how much I love talking about Italy!

Check out Jessica's watercolor! It's a still life of one of the bouquets from my friends' wedding. Stunning, right?

Anyway, I was there at my friends, talking about Italy until Midnight. Got up in the morning, met my friend Lynn for coffee (she also lives in Ojai too) and then headed out to Costco in Camarillo to get new tires, then Sherman to grocery shop for my friend who had surgery. 

I might have over scheduled myself a bit, but it was all good stuff, so ...

These couple of pics were from my parents' place ...

My parents' collection of float balls, in the late afternoon light ...

On my sister's birthday weekend in September, she decided we should got to the Ojai Valley Inn Spa for the Kuyam treatment.

Here is the description of the Kuyam on the website:

"The only treatment of this type in the United States, we encourage our guests to experience the Kuyam (Koo-Yahm). Kuyam is a Chumash Native American Indian word which means “a place to rest together.”
This treatment combines the therapeutic effects of self-applied cleansing desert clays infused with essential oils, dry heat, inhalation therapy and accompanied by a traditional Chumash narrative. Diffused low lighting, rich colors and Moroccan-styled tile chaises enhance this unique offering. Each session can accommodate up to eight women or men."

The Kuyam is very "groovy Ojai" and very relaxing. The Native American Flute music helps with that. There are 3 or 4 different clays that go on different parts of your body and they are amazing, each with a different mix of essential oils. I wish they sold them! 
Anyway, my parents got my sister and my Kuyams for us, for our birthdays, which was very sweet. I'd never gotten a treatment at the Inn before! (I'm generally more of a "20 bucks at the Korean spa kinda gal.") The Inn, as you can see, is pretty swanky.

See? Swanky. It's another world. A beautiful, swanky, relaxing, Spanish Style world.

Little birthday treat for my sis!

My nephew and brother-in-law, were off on a Boy Scout adventure, so my folks took Penny and I to her birthday dinner at Suzanne's. If you ever stay in Ojai ... it's my favorite fine dining. So yummy and they have a bit of everything. It's sort of French/Italian, seasonal  and fresh. You can check it out here. 

This time I had a mix of seasonal seafood with beurre blanc sauce, and a really lovely fresh salad, of butter lettuce with blue cheese, shaved red onion, and sweet pecans ... but they also have a great lunch menu! (Love the salmon sandwich with dill-caper mayonnaise!) 

Anyway, now you know where to eat and buy pumpkins, in Ojai! Oh, and you can eat casually (pizza/pasta) at Boccali's too, not just get your pumpkins!

For other types of dining, check out Osteria Monte Grappa or Farmer and the Cook!

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came-
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples
And leaves of every name.
The sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
~George Cooper

Oh, yes, and ...
Happy Halloween!!!
(My sis and I, c. 1973)


Rick Forrestal said...

Wonderful travelogue pics (as always).
Love your seasonal shots for Halloween . . .
and those pancakes! (You're killing me.)

The Inn in Ojai looks luxurious. Never been to
Ojai, but I hear lots of good things about that
cool town.

You have cute feet!
Send me some pics from your trick-or-treat outing.
What's your costume this year?


donna baker said...

Lucinda, you have such a sweet soul.

Candy said...

Lucinda, I agree with Donna. On top of that, I must say that you and your family are gorgeous. Jessica's watercolor is amazing. I'm ready for pumpkin pancakes right now. I don't think you're overexcited:) You have plenty of reasons to be excited and I'm grateful that you take us along with you on your wonderful trips.

Lucinda Keller said...

Thank you guys so much!!! :) <3