Fresh Start to Fall

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

It has been a challenge to get out of my usual environment during the pandemic. My husband and I finally found a way to get back to our love of travel while staying safe and healthy! Keep reading to find out how we did it (and the good eats we enjoyed along the way)...

Finding a way to get away

This past week was a busy, fun, and adventurous one! It started with our first official getaway since COVID-19 began. We decided to do a driving trip to celebrate my husband’s retirement. I miss traveling so much! I admit, I was a little nervous about going away, but my concerns were alleviated as soon as we arrived at our destination.


We went to the Ojai Valley Inn. It’s only about a 1.5-hour drive from our home, so it felt like a perfect way to get back to the travel that I love! The resort is very prepared for these unprecedented times. There are hand sanitizer stations everywhere, even in the elevators! Everyone is wearing masks throughout the resort, and the restaurants are set up for socially distanced outdoor dining. We felt very comfortable from the moment we arrived.

It started with our first official get away since COVID-19 began. We decided to do a driving trip to celebrate my husband’s retirement. I miss traveling so much!

When we first arrived, we used the bikes the resort provides and rode a short distance to go wine tasting at Topa Mountain Winery. It was a fabulous way to start our getaway. We continued to enjoy socially distanced activities at the resort: golf, tennis, arts & crafts, swimming, walking, and, of course, eating! The resort restaurants are all terrific!


We also took some time to bike ride into town. The main street is filled with quaint shops, wine tasting rooms, and lots of restaurants with take out and outdoor seating options. We picked up lunch one day from Ojai Cafe Emporium and picnicked in the large park right in town. For all of you who love breakfast anytime of the day, they serve it all day here! Overall, this getaway was perfect and exactly what we needed!

It’s always a sad day for me when my vacation comes to an end, but it is also nice to get home. My last breakfast at the resort was challah French toast. It was so delicious that I decided I wanted more at home. I baked a fresh challah (check out my recipe here) for Friday night and enjoyed the leftovers for French toast Saturday morning!

Overall, this getaway was perfect and exactly what we needed!

Back at home

In honor of Halloween, I roasted fresh pumpkin seeds from the three pumpkins I cleaned out. The house is beginning to smell like fall! I am slowly trying to get myself back into cooking-at-home mode, but, since it was Saturday night and Halloween, we decided to order in from our favorite local Japanese restaurant, Kiwami. My husband and son enjoyed the sushi, and I enjoyed the chicken teriyaki--and sake, of course! Sadly, last night, we didn’t get any trick or treaters, but we did have fun decorating the house just in case.

Sunday was a lazy day at home. I'm trying to get back into exercising, painting, and our normal routine after vacation. Finally, I got back into cooking mode. For dinner, I made herb rubbed tri tip (check out my recipe here), roasted potatoes, and roasted broccoli. As the week comes to an end, I am grateful for all the fun I had! The getaway was fabulous, Halloween was fun despite Covid keeping everyone home, and my family is happy and healthy. Have a great week everyone!

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