You are looking for a natural, communicative way of learning Ancient Greek. So have I been. Here's what I've found for the self-taught person.
1. Learn a little bit every day, no exceptions.
2. Learn that little bit fully, so that you comprehend it automatically.
That's the bare bones of it.
# 1 is up to the individual.
#2 - I've found some of the following thing help:
Learn easy, easy Greek first. Resources for this are scant. Randall Buth's 1st book is very good. I have had trouble keeping on task with his 2nd book, but that's probably my fault. Maybe the Ollendorf stuff would work for you.
When you read something in Greek, read it out loud, read it with over-emotion, read it with gestures. These things help your brain to take the Greek as REAL communication and language - they plug into the right-hemisphere which picks up things more holistically and doesn't drag you down with details.
When you get to a certain point in your learning, you will feel phrases or words coming to mind at times outside of your actual study of Greek. This is a good indicator that you are ready to start using the Greek in communication. Do that. Speak or write Greek to others. Never stretch more than a tiny bit outside of your comfort zone. If it feels like work, it's not communication, it's not helping you learn.
Reading grammars or looking into some details of the Greek is fine, but it should always and only be in response to Greek that you have encountered and have engaged with already. Reading grammar to learn Greek is like getting an hour lecture on how to ride a bike. Not very useful, perhaps harmful. Your Dad gives you a couple of hints and pushes you off. But when you crash into the tree, maybe Dad says, "you need to keep your eyes up, son. Don't look at the pedals." That's the sort of situation in which an explanation of Greek might help. Crash the bike, then look at a grammar if you must (or better, get on the bike again and again... you'll figure it out).
By the way, Biblical Languages Center (Buth) is based near Jerusalem. A bit closer to you than California.
(Hello, also to my fellow workshop, mate, deerslayer... πως εχεις;)
I will babble until I talk. ετι λαλαγω...