Las Vegas and Los Angeles are so close, just one affordable 70-minute flight away. But I have not been back once since I moved back to the United States more than a year ago. The huge elephant in the room is that L.A. was not good to me, and I really don’t have any affinity for the place at all, although I have two very dear friends there. But while I do like to get all riled up about the place, saying “why would I ever go back?” blah blah, the truth is simpler. My life in Las Vegas is ridiculously, over-the-top, out-of-control busy. I moved here from a town of 3,000 people, people. When I want a weekend off from Sin City, I am not headed to L.A., where I get lost and sit in traffic and can’t find parking. When I can get away for a few days, I want peace, a charming little getaway where I can see lush landscapes and get outside.
My friend Catherine was headed to southern California to do a story for a little magazine called Vegas. I’m not sure how it all got started, but I somehow invited myself, and it somehow all worked out. We were so excited! Our fireplace suites at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa (you know how much I love hotels) were breathtaking: crisp apples laid out in bowls, fresh lavender on the towels, views of the lush valley… That place is a dream. I slept in until 8:30 the first morning! It was no wonder — we both agreed it was the most relaxed we’d been in ages.
With a welcome basket like this, there’s almost no need to leave the property!