Mini Trip to Ojai

So I hope you guys are enjoying the new layout. I know I kept constantly changing it this weekend, but I will try to fight the urge to change it. I just can't seem to settle for the look I want, so I'll see what you guys end up liking best, after all this blog is all for you :)

Anyway, I finally had my sinus situation controlled today and was able to take a little trip to Ojai with one of my Meetup book groups. Even though it was still a bit rainy, it was still a nice day to drive out to Bart's Books, an outdoor independent bookstore.

Bart's books, Ojai
{Source: Me}
Inside (well within the bookstore) there were tons of books and they even had a classics room where my friend Vanessa managed to get an almost mint condition of H.G. Wells The Invisible Man for only $12.  It is a pretty cool store just for the fact that it is all outdoors, but no worries the books are covered, so they weren't wet or anything. It is also nice that the store takes credit cards so you don't have to worry if you didn't bring cash with you. Here are a few pictures of the "inside":


Bart's books, ojai, travel
{Source: Me}

Bart's books, ojai, travel
{Source: Me}

Bart's books, ojai, travel
{Source: Me}



Bart's books, ojai, travel
{Source:Me}
Isn't it cute? I don't know about you, but I like being able to drive an hour or so away from L.A. and take mini trips to quirky places like this one. I am still in awe that this bookstore exists and so grateful Vanessa suggested a visit to it. And if you are asking if I resisted buying more books, you are wrong LOL. I mean who can resist buying books from such a unique place AND at a discount. So this is what I got for $26 (sorry for the bad pic):

{Source: Me}
I had wanted to read The Help, The Weird Sisters and Girls in White Dresses for a while and Vanessa suggested Defending Jacob since we were discussing mystery novels at the bookstore. I still can't believe what I paid for all for since each is about $15 at retail price. Anyway that wasn't the only thing we did in Ojai. After everyone had gotten their books( it was 8 of us), we decided to go look for the strawberry shortcake place my sister had told me to check out, she swore it was the best she's ever had, and it seems she was right, 'cause it was delicious (Yes I detoured from the 21 day fix a bit).

My sister didn't remember the name of the restaurant however, so we had to search for it on Yelp, which wasn't hard to do as it seemed to be pretty popular. So off we went to Boccali's, which was equally as cute, and had some great views of the mountains that surround Ojai. The only downside to this cute little joint is that they only take cash or check, so do come prepared if you make the trip. 

This picture does not do the mountains justice.


The girls admiring the mountain view while waiting for our table. 

Their Specials menu outside their door.

Yummy Minestrone soup.

And the reason we ended up at Boccali's...The Strawberry Shortcake
Overall, it was a pretty fun min trip out of the city. It is completely doable in a day and we all had a great time discussing books, the latest fashion in glasses, and catching up on what else is going on in each other's life. Also, even with the rain, Ojai is beautiful no matter what. I will definitely be going back, especial when it gets a bit warmer since Ojai also has some amazing hiking trails. So if you live  in Southern California, say L.A. or are visiting, I would 100% recommend you make a trip to Ojai for some deeply discounted books and the best Strawberry Shortcake in the area. 

Love,
Astrid



Day 4 in NYC: Exploring my New College and Time Square Strolling



NYC Queens College


So eventually on this trip we had to pay a little visit to the school that brought me out to New York in the first place or at least made it possible for me to do an exchange program and therefore an excuse for me to come. That school is Queens College CUNY. Now this appears to be the only university out here that seems to have its campus all in one place and looks like any school would with a "quad" and all as opposed to just being buildings that seem to have no relation to each other and are three blocks apart with commercial buildings in between.

So when we arrived, we decided it would be best to get a tour as again this was my first time physically there (I didn't visit before applying or even after until this day) and headed to the administration building (I forgot the official name for it LOL).
The Administration Building
Anyway, when we asked for the tour we were told we could get a map and take a self-guided tour, so basically they told us to figure it out ourselves. Well the first thing we did was to try and find all my classrooms, which since most of my classes took place in either of two rooms, didn't take too long. Since my advisor for the program had her office in the same building as two of my classes (again they take place in the same room LOL) we decide to finally meet her in person, after all she was the one that guided us through the registration part and all. Her name is Izeta and she is a very nice jolly(that's honestly the word that comes to mind) lady who really seems to like her job and was very welcoming. At the same time I feel bad for her cuz she tries so hard to make the whole group hang out for things we aren't always into.  Once we left her office we went to try to find my last classroom which was really hard to find. However, that allowed us to also walk around the part of campus and find a random red door and also find this building/museum(It's actually called Klapper Hall).

The red door
My sister in front of Klapper Hall
After finally locating the last classroom that turned out to just have an awkward entrance (and also being badly labeled on the map) we decided to head back to the apartment so we could rest up before meeting up from a friend from back home in Times Square. She was in town for a month-long gig and we were happy to be in New York at the same time. She also knew New York a little better than we did and has many friends in Broadway so we were eager to hear what places and shows she recommended. Even though she knew NYC much better than we did and more importantly, Times Square, it was still a challenge to decide where to grab dinner at. Finally we settled for Gyu-Kaku.
Although its a chain restaurant it was actually pretty good and also had a coolness factor since we got to grill our own food in the grill that's in the center of every table. We also had good conversation and ended the dinner with amore's for dessert, which I know is random for a Japanese restaurant, but still pretty cool. Andrea had to leave soon after to meet with her friends who had just finished a show so we decided to go explore Times Square.

NYC, Times Square
Times Square

New York City, Times Square,
Police Horse

Broadway, NYC, Matilda
This was so nostalgic to see since I loved the movie as a kid. Still need to go see it.

Broadway, NYC, Times Square
Posters of the shows playing. My little heart pitter-pattered.
It was honestly so much fun to walk around Times Square. It's just so pretty to watch all the lights shining bright and well the ads are pretty cool, plus it's always so alive. That being said it's also super crowded, but I actually didn't mind. I also liked seeing where a lot of the Broadway shows were playing and discussing which ones we wanted to go see. We also saw the lines of people getting ready to go in an enjoy a show. My sister got really excited about the Police Horse, although I really don't understand why New York even has them, but oh well. We also were pretty excited to go into Toys R' Us in Times Square because they have a ferris wheel. LOL So, yupp we ended the night overpaying for a ferris wheel ride and looking at toys we are all too old for, but that's just how we roll. 
NYC, Times Square, Toys R Us
The Toys R' Us Ferris Wheel

We got to ride the Jimmy Neutron car. Even more nostalgia LOL

My sister and me on the Ferris Wheel like a bunch of 5 year olds. 
Love from my 5 year old heart+ Jimmy Neutron Rockets
Astrid

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