By Maggie -- Sep 26, 2014
As some of you might know, I've been working freelance on the road for a friend of mine as a community manager for her web app. MAP (www.madewithmap.com) is her startup creation that is currently in development, and it's focus is allowing creative travelers to share places they've been and find new places via MAP's community. Basically, it's like Google Maps but on crack. You can search for a location and see photos of that location taken by others, leave a comment, save it to your own map, and more. It's also based on the principle of searching by #hashtags, similarly to instagram. It's a wonderful tool and it's been so much fun to help her grow her initial user base and test the beta as it's being built. Also, working with Puno is never boring. Here's her About Page on her website - yeah. She rocks!
During our weekly checkin, she asked if we were planning to stop in Ojai (pronounced Oh-hi) at all, to which I replied, "maybe?". We had no clue where were going to go after San Luis Obispo. "I can get you a room at the Ojai Rancho Inn, they said anytime I want a room I got one!" We gleefully accepted her offer and within minutes we had a free room booked for us in Ojai. She had done some photography shoots for the owners of the hotel, and had done a collaboration with them on MAP's social media account. The Inn owners have an awesome collective of artists and creatives in their personal network who have completely outfitted the hotel. From top to bottom, this place defines the word COOL.
Walking around the hotel property, we noticed a yellow Shasta trailer tucked away in the backyard, unlocked. Of course we had to investigate - it's in mint condition, and you can rent it and stay in it! We knew we would love this place. The vibes are great and the people have a very welcoming, casual attitude and approach to everything. It was refreshing and reminiscent of vibes from one of our other favorite hotels in Palm Springs- the Ace.
When we checked into the hotel, we found out that their pool is "closed indefinitely" due to some long-running city dispute. Total bummer, man! But as it turns out the hotel down the street is allowing the Rancho Inn guests to use their pool. WHEW. It was 90 degrees and not a breeze to be found, so we needed a pool asap. First we stopped in the tiny hotel bar for a drink, later on had a fabulous dinner at Osteria Monte Grappa down the main street.
Yes, we went big in Ojai. We're in celebration mode mainly because I'll be gone for a few days this weekend for a bachelorette party, so Ryan will be camping solo while I'm gone. These are the last few days on the road together and we wanted to go out in style!