A Sweet Drive through Ojai

We left Beverly Hills and headed off to our next stop, San Luis Obispo (*yes, the happiest place on Earth).  As we did the long drive we stopped a long the way, mostly for meals, but also to enjoy some gorgeous scenery.

First stop outside of Beverly Hills: Malibu.  We went to Marmalade Cafe, in Malibu.  We ate there on a previous trip, after I had heard it was a favored spot of Jennifer Garner, and so on this trip it was an easy to choose spot to return for a large and filling breakfast.  Marmalade (in Malibu) is decorated in country kitsch, features large breakfasts and is the kind of place where young girls at the table to our left debate the latest tanning treatment and to the right two men discuss who’s hot enough to be cast in their one day film…

For Breakfast: Egg White Frittata for me, Multi-grain pancakes for Mark

On the road again… Toward Ojai and Ventura. Per the recommendation of a friend we veered away from the Pacific Highway towards the smaller towns of Ojai and Ventura. If you, like me, are a fan of ABC’s Sunday night TV, then you may know of Ojai from the Walker Family. When we determined to go that way I became determined to find a place to get the Walker’s favorite snack: a date shake. A conveniently timed bathroom break brought us to Blender’s in the Grass and wouldn’t you know it, they had a date shake. We made our own creation, a banana date shake – and it was to die for and perfect to share on the road.

If you wanted to make a similar creation on your own here is a health-conscious version of this already healthy shake:
* ½ C. skim milk
* 4-6 pitted dates
* 2 C. frozen banana chunks

Our smoothie powered us all the way to what is my favorite spot in California, Santa Barbara.

We have been to Santa Barbara on a previous trip and at that time we really explored the city’s wine culture with multiple stops and taste at wineries. On this trip I feel like we explored and experienced Santa Barbara like locals, and not tourists. We found cute parks when the Ocean meets the real estate, libraries and sweet stores, and art galleries with cafes tucked inside of courtyards.

Next stop, the happiest place on Earth, SLO!

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