Sunday, January 17, 2016

Three Days and No Agenda

Iconic sight on the boardwalk
The sun rose over the eastern canyons of Laugna Beach with a brightness that promised well needed warmth.

Thank goodness for the rising sun
Warmth requested at a beach community in Southern California even during winter seemed a little farfetched but when J and L left their suite at the Laguna Canyon Resort for a day’s outing recently the thermometer in the car registered a dismal 32 degrees – yes, freezing!

May not look like it but it was cold!!
Uncalled for – undemocratic – unearthly – unwarm – and downright chilly.

The Resort was only a minute from the Coast Highway but in that short drive we gained the sight of the blue ocean and ten degrees. The day was looking promising for wandering the sights of the eclectic world of Laguna Beach with its myriad of enticing shops and delicious restaurants.

Chilly but a sweater did the trick.

What better place to have a breakfast while watching the glint of sun skid across the Pacific toward the outlying island of Catalina only twenty-six miles to the west? We found the Cliff and a marvelous breakfast while watching paddle boarders making their way southward over the clear blue waters.

Yes, the day was going to be fabulous with the clear skies, full stomach and nothing on the agenda – literally nothing.

Laguna Beach - a beautiful place to visit
Normally when on an outing J and L ensure there is no downtime with the belief that life is short and every second of traveling needs to be full of exploration but on this three day holiday to the coast no plans except relaxing and walking the crowded and welcoming streets of this idyllic beach town of nearly 23,000 souls.

Laguna Beach was founded in 1887 even though people had been living in the region far before that; the Native American tribe Tongva lived there centuries before the white settlers ventured down the canyons created millions by the San Diego Creek carving its way through the San Joaquin Hills. Then in 1944, the actual town of Laguna Beach was created and the rest is history.

New Orleans? No, Laguna Beach.

The storybook town has played host to many Hollywood movers and shakers including Betty Gable, Mickey Rooney, Charlie Chaplin and even today people like marine artist Robert Wyland, comedian Rita Rudner, tennis champion Rick Leach and Stray Cats bassist Lee Rocker call the small water front community home.

It is a city rich in history and things to do – obviously the clear waters beckon surfers, paddle boarders, kayakers, divers, and just those who want to push bare toes into the white sand looking out over the calming effect of the Pacific Ocean. Just a few miles south of Newport Beach lies this almost villagesque locale which boasts over three million tourists per year making tourism its number one industry.

A view and a cold local brew - Paradise

In the afternoon visitors often grab cocktails or a bite from rooftop restaurants with only the horizon for their view. 

Sunsets are something to behold as the light slowly dissipates into the blue waters just over the curvature of the earth and sometimes – just sometimes that green flash can be seen when the sun says goodnight. J has been fortunate enough to see two of these extremely rare phenomena in Mexico but not on this trip to Laguna Beach though the sunsets were spectacular in themselves.

Unfortunately not our photograph
What exactly is a green flash? Isn't that just a myth? Only to those who never had the chance to see it for themselves. The green flash is a result of refraction most likely seen in clear, stable air when the light from the setting sun can reach the observer without being scattered. You might expect to see a blue flash since we know the sky is blue as blue light is refracted most of all in the spectrum, and thus the last of the light from the sun to reach us before it dips below the horizon. But in a blue sky, the blue is preferentially scattered and that last beam appears green.

Three days, actually two and a half when including drive time, with no plans was a perfect way to settle down after the holidays. Of course, there will be a couple more follow-up blogs about this trip and what was leaned about what is going on in Laguna Beach but for now it was just nice to write about doing nothing but enjoying the time together. Sure, we relaxed but the camera and notes were part of the mini-vacation as always.

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