Sometimes I find myself thoroughly amazed by the power of the Internet. Most days, I find myself going through social media and googling the next random question mindlessly, and then there’s days like yesterday where I find myself completely blown away by its power. It saddens me to say that this overwhelming feeling was realized when I cried for a family I never even met.
If you’re on Facebook, you may know the story about Emily. If you don’t, she was a young girl who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at just 18 months of age. She fought a long, hard battle for 20 months, and this Sunday she was given wings and went to her home in heaven.
I still remember just finding out about her story on a mom group I’m in almost a year ago, and I just felt compelled to follow. Her family is beautiful. How her parents shared such a difficult time so beautifully and patiently moved me, and I prayed with every update they shared that Emily would live to see her next birthday. Her story reminds me every day how fragile life can be and to love and love deeply. I wish her family so much peace right now.
Sometimes people wonder why my husband and I thrive off of adventures together. At the end of the day (and as cheesy as it may sound), we know our universe would crumble if we didn’t have each other. If I ever lost either of my boys, I know a big part of my soul would go missing. And so, we adventure. We play. We get excited about life together, sharing new experiences and new goals. We invest in each other, and we do so often because time lost spent elsewhere is time that you can never get back.
That said, this past weekend, we made an adventure out of our Saturday. We were heading out to Ventura County for a baby shower, but instead of taking the usual freeway route, we took the famous Mulholland Drive to PCH. If you don’t know, my husband loves a good drive, and this winding road was a treat for him. I have to admit too, it’s always refreshing to drive on a road that moves with the earth where you get to see and feel the vastness of mother nature. The second you see the ocean after a turn on the drive is pretty breathtaking.
After the baby shower, we planned to head up a little more north to check out Ojai, a small city I’ve heard much about but never visited. We had every intention of making this a weekend getaway, but even 2-star motels would cost nearly $300/night. Could you imagine 3 or 4 stars? By the time we checked hotels, all of the recommended hotels were booked too, so we ended up just making it a quick day trip.
As we drove through town, I really fell in love with the idea of staying here for a weekend in the future. It’s just classic. I didn’t take any pictures, but I will when we visit again. It probably won’t be until next year though 🙂
We drove to Lake Casitas which was packed and the water park was completely sold out. We weren’t really planning on doing much here, but it’s clearly a popular spot. Since that venture was a bust, we decided to head up to Meditation Mount which had a great view of Ojai Valley.
We drove uphill on winding hills (again) and past “dead end” signs, then we eventually made it to the destination.
This place was filled with native Californian plants. It was beautiful! It wasn’t your typical idea of a garden, but it just felt like home. It was so peaceful with a path to walk around and a meditation room for personal use. They have parasols you can borrow as you take a nice walk around the garden, and an awesome seat for an incredible view of Ojai Valley. The downside of this is that there’s only one bench to sit and soak in the view, so if you get there when someone else is already there, you might just be able to take a few pictures like we did. It’s still incredibly stunning.
Here’s some photos from our visit 🙂 Visit if you ever find yourself in the area and are in need of some peace and cleansing. The walk really felt like a meditative walk.
^What a view, huh?
^The closest I was able to get to a bee. Can you find it?
^There’s always time for a milk break.
^ He was determined to hold the parasol! Luckily it never whacked me in the face like I thought it would.
^Picking up sticks wherever he can. This time it was a tree root though so he couldn’t pick it up 🙂
^A little upside-down meditation before we leave.
When it was time to head home, instead of taking the same way we got in, we took a new route which was almost entirely a one-way road back inland, so we basically made one big circle. We got to experience a lot of new spaces of California, and it was so refreshing. It was nice to get out of our norm. One not so refreshing thing? Dominic actually got carsick towards the end of the ride. We were literally 10 minutes away from home when he threw up, but he was himself again once I got him in the bathtub. We had a long, fun bath waiting until his little toes got wrinkly before getting out. Now we know not to give milk so soon before a long car ride!
I love this state I call home, and I love exploring it with my boys every chance we get. It’s unreal how much land we still have yet to experience here. I’m so thankful for them, for love, for the spirit of adventure. Let’s not forget how wonderful these simple things are.Ojai, we’ll be back to discover more of your beauty.
Meditation Mount | 10340 Reeves Road, Ojai, CA 93023