The Trifecta. The cherry on top. The light at the end of the tunnel. The pièce-de-résistance…if you will. 

For the first time since maybe the second day of our journey, there is a a predominantly worry-free atmosphere in the All-In tribe. We’ve got mom’s car that miraculously can hold all of our gear and 4 adults…

*Quick side note: My mother is deeply devoted to her 10 year old, 110 lb, Pit/St. Bernard/Boxer mix, Zipper. She takes him everywhere and has tricked out her Aztec gold PT Cruiser to his exact specifications, and by that I mean it’s 90% Zipper’s car. Imagine my mother as Morgan Freeman and Zipper as Jessica Tandy. We’ll call it “Driving Mr. Zipper”. License plate used to read: GLDLVER. Naturally, we’ve always called it the “Gold Liver”.

Anyway, to get it to the place we needed, we had to remove several layers of dog blankets and pillows, bag up 3 hefty sacks worth of dog toys and accessories, nearly film an episode of hoarders, and cleanse ourselves of copious amounts of dog hair. We did so with grateful hearts, since we were getting a vehicle that WASN’T the RV. 

Friday, The Vine:

Driving into Ojai in the “Gold Liver”, Jared and I regaled Sandi and Kim with stories from our days living there which seemed like three lifetimes ago, that included bike rides, wineries, a very significant proposal and several other anecdotes that defined who we were at the time. We reminisced, laughed, and realized how relaxed we all were. Rudy was happily left with his cousins and Aunt and Uncle, so Sandi got to spend her last night with all of us, as her final leg of the All-In tour came to an end. Jared was in such a good mood, he decided to take us all down memory lane — literally — and drove us all around Casitas Springs, and the back streets of Ojai, showing off our beloved bike path, hiking trails, bars we frequented and orange groves we pinched an orange or two from on our adventures in this paradise so long ago.

cheersSince we had time to kill, we invited Kim and Sandi to join us at the Ojai Beverage Company, watering hole extraordinaire, and indulge in a craft brew before our gig. We all breathed a collective breath as we walked in and viewed the wall of over 900 bottled beers to choose from, and the 40+ taps keeping the tenders company behind the bar. This is the place that taught us about truly crafted beer and prepared us for the grandeur of the brew offered in the Pacific Northwest. We bellied up to the bar and enjoyed every sip of our selections. We toasted the “All-In” salut and prepared for the first of the weekend’s 3 shows. 

The Vine:

A small, relaxed wine, food, and cocktails bar in Ojai, residing where the old Barrel 33 was and owned by the same wonderful man who helped introduce us to Ojai-ins, Nigel, who previously owned and ran The Village Jester- an Ojai hot spot, we knew this would be a nice evening. Welcomed by long time and returning fans, we were eager to get the show rolling and introduce everyone to Kim and to what Jared and I have been up to for 3 years. Kim did not disappoint and, by the second song, people were hooting and cheering for more from her. Jared and I sat back and soaked in all the words of love and approval from our fans, thanking us for bring her. Never gets old. 

CS was excited to share some new stuff and bring back old favorites. By the time we wrapped up the evening, Nigel cleared his bar and got it ready for “Minnie The Moocher”. It wouldn’t be a CS finale without me on the bar. Some poor business men tried to ignore me…we all know how well that goes over. Saying goodnight to a standing ovation and a million arms outstretched for hugs felt good and reminded us why it was so hard to leave. 

Let’s get some sleep. The party really starts tomorrow at 2. See you at the Margarita Villa. 

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