Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Laguna Beach

Of all the places on the California coastline, Laguna Beach is my favorite. It has nearly perfect weather all year long. When the sun is shining, the water reflects the most brilliant shades of blue. You can easily walk to shopping, dining, beaches, tidepools, the park. It's why I'm so glad my mom now lives here!! AND so glad she wants us to visit!! She has settled right in to her new life and she says she's never been happier. You can believe it too because she walks around with the biggest grin and very often gazes heavenward whispering, "Thanks, thanks, thanks."
This is a stark contrast to where we were a year ago, at my dad's bedside, as he passed away.
My mom has a great network of friends and neighbors, the church members have stepped right in to befriend her and take care of her needs, driving her to dr. visits, etc. It was nice to spend some quality time with Mom/Nana and experience a little of her world last week.
This is basically my mom's front yard. You walk out her apartment, across a residential street to the park, walk down some stairs and this is what you see.
We enjoyed remarkably good weather our first day--for which I was gazing heavenward and whispering "thanks." We had this little beach area all too ourselves--It must be winter to everyone else?!

Happy as a clam

Kate turned all mermaid on us.

Gotta love the view from Nana's apartment. We stayed in a hotel nearby. It was perfect. We just had to walk half a block to visit Nana every day.
Taking it all in; Laguna Beach

Exploring at low tide. We found anenomes, crabs, and mussels

We saw a bride get her picture in this exact spot later in the day.

Nana took the girls for a day on the town. Ever wondered what happened to some of those candies you grew up with--think Garbage Pail kids? They have them all at the coolest candy shop in town, The Candy Baron.
Beach yoga
I went for morning walks with my Mom along the trails of Heisler Park. One of the highlights for me was watching a pod of dolphins gracefully making their way down the coast.

Beach treasures
Cannon kept pointing and saying to anything on a leash, "there's a wolf!" Apparently dogs are all the rage here. There are more of them then children for sure and they are all very well accessorized. We met every breed imaginable, including a few min pins, which is what we'll be getting in a few weeks. When we'd stop and owner to ask about their dog they were so excited  to share their tips and advice from nail clipping to training.
Cannon also pointed out all the pelicans, calling them "pteranodons." We didn't think that was too far off.

Glorious sunsets.
If you asked Adrie, she would tell you her favorite part of the trip was the hotel hot tub. Somehow with all that beach activity we still managed to get in the pool and hot tub every day. We have never slept better!
Sunday dinner by the sea. We went to Nana's LDS church with her in the morning. The people were overflowing with warmth and generosity. It seems that Nana has landed herself in the perfect ward for her. They LOVE  her here and they were so excited to meet more of her family.  I loved looking around at all the beautiful people. Brandon got a book during his Elder's quorum lesson signed by the author, the teacher, on becoming a successful leader. I got to meet the author of one of my favorite blogs, "" who happens to be in the ward. One of the youth that gave a talk looked like the front page of the GQ surfer edition. The meeting house had an amazing view of the ocean. I even had a view from the toilet of the women's bathroom--which made me want to stay a while!

 Our last morning, we said our goodbyes and drove to Huntington Beach and walked on the pier. The girls picked out Shark tooth necklaces and Cannon got an "orca" he calls it, and it actually is.  It was overcast and a very cold and whippy wind had us high tailing it back to the car.  Good thing too because had it been otherwise I might not have ever wanted to go home!!
Can't wait to do it again!


cold cocoa said...

I'm so glad your trip happened. And at no better time! January in CA is a desire for me!
Beautiful view and place your mom

Megz said...

Does Nana need some extra visiting? Her new home sounds idyllic for the beach lover in you.
Looks so beautiful. I wonder if you hung out long enough on the beach how many famous people you might see.

Sheree said...

That looks so magical! I love Laguna too. I've noticed all the different dog breeds there too.

About the min pin, can I talk you out of it? Those are mean little dogs. Jared's parents have had two. Feisty and scratchy and mean. (like a doberman, just little). It could be they had that small dog syndrome going on, they were definitely a little spoiled. But to be honest, I've never met a nice min pin.

Sher said...

Sigh. What a beautiful beach. I'm so glad your Mom is in a place with such beauty and such nice people. I'm glad you could go visit.

stephanie said...

that looks so heavenly! what a glorious vacation! I am glad your mom is happy

LC said...

Thanks for the warning, Sheree.
I had heard one bad story before too so I was anxious to talk to the owners of the ones we met in Laguna. They were all very happy with their dogs but yes, as with many breeds (and children:), they will be naughty if spoiled or undisciplined. We still feel good about getting one because they are just the right size(small poop), playful and like to cuddle but your story will make us extra on the ball about behavior training. What an adventure...

Emily Bogh said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time. That blue water is amazing, and the view is incredible. I am so glad that you were able to visit and get your beach fix!