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Friday, September 2, 2011

Laguna Beach, CA, USA - Aug 31 & Sept 1, 2011

 (Pictures available!  Right mouse click on the title and opt to open in a new window.)

It seems a little like cheating to write about Laguna since we have lived here for so long, but none-the-less, it is our first stop on the Aventura and it certainly deserves full mention.

The town is lovely, nestled between the green grass of Main Beach and the wilderness hills on all sides.  Years ago, the residents of Laguna voted to raise their property taxes in order to purchase “wild” acres of land surrounding the town and it has paid off nicely.  Very rarely in Southern California do you get to see so much open space, particularly so close to the ocean.  (Well, once you crane your neck around the massive hillside homes.)

We spent a leisurely morning in camp at Moro Canyon before packing up the dogs and heading into town, two miles south.  A quick stop at Zinc for the best drip coffee in town got us prepared for the fun of Bark Park (a few miles out of town on the State Highway 133) and provided our first “uhhhh” moment:  Kathy at Zinc, while waiting on me with her usual great service, asked what I was up to today.  “Uhhhh”, [insert blank stare], I replied.  How do you quickly say that this is the first day of a brand new life?  I certainly didn’t know, especially being asked before my much-needed second cup (we celebrated our first night with our last bottle of Opus One and I was still in recovery at 11:00 a.m.)  I finally offered, “We are playing tourists in Laguna today.”

Powered up, we headed to Bark Park and let the dogs run wild-ish.  Rosco really just tries to get laid with an occasional chase thrown in to show he still has “it” and River tends to be a little shy in crowds.  But they took off just as we realized we were being followed.  A lady working next door had seen us arrive with River and, having an Irish of her own, naturally had to come over for chat.  She was very pleasant (as are most people in Laguna) and certainly didn’t deserve our “Uhhh” [insert two blank stares] reply to her question of whether we lived in Laguna.  We really need to come up with a better answer to this soon.  I imagine this will get easier when we are not standing in Laguna.    

Since the New Austerity has kicked in (Alan’s phrase, naturally), we picked up lunch at Whole Foods (passing up our favorite [pricey] restaurants) and ate at Main Beach while laying in the sun for the first time all year.  The water was too rough for swimming so it looks like we’ll be leaving town without even on dip in the ocean.

An afternoon treat at Brussels Bistro (Leffe, Chimay and fries) before returning home to a turkey meatloaf dinner enjoyed while gazing at the ocean from our picnic table.

We may be getting into a bit of a routine:  Alan has gotten up first and walked the dogs and returned to make coffee for two days in a row.  This morning (Friday) he added flapjacks.  Alan calls it, “Habitat for Her Majesty.”

Off to the mountains – time to catch some fish and lower our food bill!

-K