Monday, August 3, 2015

Traditions and New Additions

Three years ago I went to Laguna Beach, California for a family reunion vacation.  I spent one of those days climbing around the tide pools and took some of my favorite photos ever.

I got a lot of pictures of colorful starfish, purple urchins and little crabs  (Click here to see more of those photos Tide Pools at Sunrise).

It remains one of my most viewed posts ever and one of my favorite wildlife experiences as well.  But this trip was different.  I skipped the tide pools and spent most of the visit just relaxing on the beach and climbing on the rocks.

I'm not really a sand-in-my-suit kinda gal, you see.  But give me rocks and I can be happy all day.

And birds.  They make me happy too.  They like hanging out on the rocks like me.

Of course all our time wasn't spent on the beach.  Though we did get in a few games of Farkle with our big wooden dice.   It's a real game, folks.  Google it.  And some backgammon, Frisbee, and bocce.

One day we took a walk through town which of course had to include a stop at The Candy Baron.  It's tradition.

And happy hour at Avila's El Ranchito.  Another tradition.

Honestly, they have the best, bar none, salsa on the planet and a great outdoor patio.  Eating outside is one of my favorite things about Laguna.

Did I mention we stayed in the same hotel AND in the same room?  Just coincidence on the room.

But back to our walk to town.  We spent a little time showing our oldest son the north side of town this trip.  Down the boardwalk and up to the point.

Heermann's Gull

And we gave him a little family history lesson about the Templeton connection to Laguna Beach going back generations.  This lovely old apartment building used to be part of the family back in the day owned by my husband's great-grandfather.

Too bad it's not still owned by the family.  It's in a fabulous spot on the very edge of downtown on the Pacific Coast Highway with a fantastic view of the ocean and boardwalk.  It has an Art Gallery on the lower level and housing above.

This trip was shorter than usual, but filled with so many traditional events that make it comforting (Sawdust Festival, dinner at Salerno, and nightly walks to get ice cream at Chantilly).  But we branched out and tried a few new spots like The Watermarc Grill (oh my yum!) and The Koffee Klatch for dessert (we'll be back).  I do love Laguna.  And in case you decided not to take a peek at my Tide Pools at Sunrise post, here is just one more of my favorite shots from that day.