I can’t believe I live here. Well, close anyway. I love (more like LOOOVE) to travel, but it’s hard to deny that home is a beautiful place. So let me elaborate a bit about a local personal favorite: Laguna Beach.
Beginning, the beach really does look like this. The weather is always close to perfect, like God kissed this place. The traffic to get there is tough: you have to take crowded Highway 1. But it’s worth it. Just look at that water!
Stroll along the beach. The sand is white and soft. The tides pull in and out quickly, like someone who can’t wait to get home punching in a timecard. Hurrying back to their watery kingdom. Smell the salt in the air. Taste it on your tongue. Let the breeze tickle your cheeks.
When feeling inquisitive, take a peek at the tide pools. I’m not a big tide pool person, everything is so teenie. But these ones are something particular. You’re not just looking at stones, going bleary-eyed from boredom while your friends motion you over to check out something you have to see. No, these sea creatures are right there, in your face. And there are colors, an entire palette of cloud-washed purples, greens, golds and blues.
Realize where you are in the here and now. No need for the Amalfi coast, the south of France, the Caribbean. Your own home is enough.
My best friend from childhood and I like to meet up and have dessert at The Montage. It’s one of the fanciest places I’ve ever been. We could never afford to stay there, and even the dessert is pricey, but look at what you get for $12:
I love ice cream, so take a minute to admire the dessert itself. Layers of flavors. Then let your eyes drift to the horizon. There. Now you see it. You can feel like Marilyn Monroe or Mickey Mantle with this dessert on your plate and this view at your gaze. If you don’t like ice cream, try a martini or something. Comparable price and experience, I’d assume.
After you walk on the beach, look at the tide pools, sit on the cliffs, eat a fancy dessert, it’s time to visit the art galleries and boutiques. Laguna is a small artist’s haven on the pricey California coastline. Complete with the Pageant of the Masters every summer. Rarely do I buy anything. But I like to see what inspires people and what they are inspired to make.
Finally, when you’re ready for sunset and dinner, take my advice and go to K’ya Bistro, located in the Historic Hotel La Casa del Camino. Make reservations for dinner in the bar, the place fills up fast. First, go up to the rooftop for happy hour and a gorgeous sunset. Then, find your table and enjoy a cozy evening of sharing small plates. Everything is delicious, reasonably sized and reasonably priced. You can taste a variety of yummy dishes without spending your last dime. My sweetie and I spent a romantic anniversary there thanks to his keen eye for good restaurants and foresight in calling ahead. I’m so thankful he did!
Your toes are sandy. Your hair is salty. Your eyes are bright. All senses have been satisfied. You can stay the night, or drive home. The memories are yours to keep.