You couldn’t have ordered better weather. Sure it was hot, the early September sun, thick and golden, poured like honey from the pale blue sky upon the Ojai Valley. We didn’t mind, the water in the pool was just right, cool and cleansing, washing away the worries of the day, pulling forth the magic of the evening ahead.
Chatter hung in the air, babies giggled from their blankets in the shade, music harmonizing with the sounds of summer ending. One last gathering, one more day spent uninhibited by life’s daily tasks.
Fifty people gathered. Coming from all over the Southern Californian coast to share in a meal, find friendship, hear music, and get lost in the experience so carefully planned by Simone Rubi and Janella Fox.
The Ojai Rancho Inn was the perfect backdrop for such a gathering. Their pool soothed our sun soaked bodies, their trees provided welcomed shade, their rooms gave shelter for the night, and their back lawn, drenched in the glow of cafe lights, was an enchanted space to share a communal dinner.
The line wound around the large wooden tables, patiently waiting their turn to partake in the feast laid out before us. Chickpea pancakes prepared as they were ordered, divine tri tip with sweet and spicy roast peppers, late summer potato salad, cilantro lime corn, a market salad, and heirloom tomato tart; plates were filled to the brim, barely leaving room for the peaches and cream served as the sun sank below the tree line.
Conversation rippled on the night air as a crescent moon grinned from a sea of stars. Music awoke the night, talented individuals coming together to serenade this sacred gathering. We stretched out on the lawn, entranced by the melodies, until the cops arrived. It’s funny, something that could have felt daunting or strange ended up making the evening all the more special. We retired to the camp fire under the trees. The serenade continued, carrying us off into the night.