Friday, August 13, 2010

Goodbye Laguna...

Remember when I said my blog was about meatloaf? Well, it is. Meatloaf and cupcakes and pumpkin cookies and lunch. And so it goes...

Our last trip to Cafe Zoolu. Here's my cioppino . . . ahi, swordfish, clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops in a spicy tomato broth. Perfect.

Bridie's angel hair pasta in garlic, olive oil and tomato . . . with some grilled chicken.

David's trio of swordfish. He has a new favorite, the lemon caper one.

We had a blissful day in front of the ocean reading. It was the perfect day for our last day in Laguna Beach. I feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle life, and more.

Until next year...

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cupcakes, what else?

Fresh fruit raspberry (a one week special), vanilla and pumpkin.

I'm about to finish that final Giffin book. My beach bag is packed with Eat, Pray, Love to re-read before I see the movie.

Tomorrow when I arrive in Las Vegas I will remember I needed to put the heat on in my car this morning at 9:15 a.m.

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Where I hang out (or, why I love Bristol Farms)






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the last beach day...


This is it. The party is over, as they say. The plan of attack for the day is to take one last drive to that cupcake place (today's special is a fresh raspberry cupcake) and visit Bristol Farms again. We have to move the car for the street cleaners - otherwise I would be sitting on the beach extra early. As soon as we get back we will take our regular spot on the sand, watch David take his last surf lesson, read . . . and then head back for our dinner reservation at Cafe Zoolu. It's over.

Yesterday was the laziest ever. Too lazy to rehash. While I sat in my robe on the deck reading David and Bridie went to the bakery for some breakfast pastries.

This eclair was Bridie's "lunch dessert" and Missa, she thanks you for this lexicon addition.

We walked down to the village last night and even bought a Christmas present. There were hamburgers and shakes involved and it was fun. We came home and watched Sleepless in Seattle on a laptop and laughed at the parts we know by heart. It was a good night.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesdays are wonderful...

Today was another lazy day. While David went to Jack's Surf Shop to pick up his new fins Bridie and I took our sweet time deciding the plan of attack for the day. As it turns out the waves were tame, so the surf school rescheduled the surfing lesson. I have to say, there was a lovely ocean breeze today . . . we read most of the afternoon. Others went in the water, others being everyone but me. They also played some Frisbee.

I read two Vanity Fair magazines cover to cover and two copies of Esquire. The fiction I read in all four was better than anything I've read since I arrived, although (again) I really did like Father of the Rain. Not sure what's on my reading list for tomorrow. Still not sure.

You can see from these pictures we left the beach late, close to 6 p.m. I didn't want to go...

Tonight is (for sure) a Dinner for Schmucks night, with a few stops in between.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Terrific Tuesday...


Today we picked Bridget up at the airport around 11 . . . it's been a fun day.

First place we stopped? Yep, you guessed it. Today's picks . . . a vanilla (my personal favorite), orange, strawberry and peanut butter chip.

Remember when I talked about the wetsuit deal?

He bought it. They come in extra handy in Las Vegas.

Tonight is a deep dish pizza night. And a gelato night. And maybe a Chocolate Box night. It's still young. The night, that is...

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early evening at Shaw Cove


Last night we took a drive to check out the Cliff Drive area. We checked out both beach areas, tiny and secluded. Loved it.

Last month I made a few cakes for a wedding . . . I did the math and knew I needed 40 sticks of butter, but somehow when we got to Costco I thought I needed 40 pounds of butter. I have many pounds of butter in my freezer now, probably enough to get me through the holidays. It pained me to buy a pound of butter here. I'd say that was poor planning.

Last night we decided on Dinner for Schmucks . . . our timing was just off. We never made it. Have you seen the original, The Dinner Game? Old school screwball comedy. We liked it.

I'm back to the Carly Simon/Carole King book and another Emily Giffin book. Not feeling either. My plan is to take the stack of magazines to the beach today after we pick Bridget up at the airport. More to follow.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday musings...

I spent some of the morning listening to Mindy Gledhill on my laptop, mostly her new album. It's awesome. I have to own it.

It's been another very leisurely day. Huge surprise. While my spouse had another surfing lesson I took the Pacific Coast Highway drive I love. I bought a new pair of black heels at a fun store near Sprinkles, putted around in Bristol Farms and perused at least 20 different cake platters in Sur La Table. Oh it was fun.

On the way back I decided to take a detour down Cliff Drive. I saw a house for rent there a few years ago that I fell in love with and decided to scope it out along with the beach close by. I might have found the place for next year. Cliff Drive is what it sounds like . . . those famous California coast roads that look over the expansive Pacific. Tomorrow we are planning on visiting both beaches close to that rental, the first one being Divers Cove. I shall report.

I finished Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand but it was a chore. I feel like I've been reading the same novels over and over again with a few simple twists of facts. I'm done with "the heart wants what it wants" sort of novel. Yawn. Tomorrow I shall tackle the stack of Vanity Fair and Esquire Magazines and take a break from what I've brought on the trip. I'm welcoming it.

Today's cupcakes? Banana and Red Velvet . . . he loved both of them.

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

dinner and a movie

Last night we walked a few blocks south to our favorite local restaurant, Cafe Zoolu. It never disappoints. If you don't have a reservation you don't eat there, so we've learned our lesson the hard way and we make those reservations way in advance. We are going back on Friday.

This is my macadamia nut swordfish. The sauce he puts on this swordfish is so terrific that's all I ever want to eat there. I cut about 1/3 off that hunk of fish and passed it over to my spouse. It's one of his favorites, too.

He opted for the meatloaf and loved it. When we asked if they'd removed the Cowboy Steak from their regular menu they said yes, but . . . "Would you like it next Friday? We'll get one for you." Done.

After dinner we walked north to the village and checked into Skandia Bakery, even though we knew there were no pastries coming back to our little cottage.

We went to see The Other Guys and laughed ourselves silly until midnight. The walk back to our cottage was interesting. Apparently there's nightlife in Laguna. Who knew?

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Friday, August 6, 2010

First Friday...

The street cleaners come by on Friday mornings ... I had to move the car. I decided to take a drive up Pacific Coast Highway toward Newport, again. I love that drive by Crystal Cove along the Pacific.

I walked into this store. It reminds me of my friend, Cori . . . so much color. I spied a beautiful glass cake dish with a dome. Perfect. The sales girl flipped it over for me to tell me the price. $172. Lovely, thank you, no.



I left the store and stumbled into a pet shop. Alright, maybe stumbled is the wrong word. I ended up on the floor with a dog I wanted to buy so much it hurt. I felt pain. I took his picture and send it to my spouse. His reply? "You know better than to go into a place like that." For support I sent the same picture to my granddaughter. Alexa said, "Grandma, BUY HIM." I had tears in my eyes when I left him.

I bought a pair of shoes instead. I hope they don't become that vacation casualty purchase . . . the one where you get home and think, um, I'm not sure what I was thinking.

Afterwards I stopped at that place. You know the place. I bought him a milk chocolate cupcake with milk chocolate sprinkles and a strawberry cupcake.

I arrived back at the beach place just after the street sweeper did what he had to do and made a beeline to the beach. My spot for the day was pretty perfect.

I'm not certain I'm committed to today's book . . . I'm enjoying the Carole King part and the Carly Simon part, but I sort of want to skip over Joni Mitchell. Doesn't seem right. This is pretty much the biggest decision I have to make today, which beats deciding what rule applies to a Supreme Court writ. I'll take it.

I see these two guys every day on my walk to the beach. Please forgive me, but, "Our pets heads are falling off."

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

lazy hazy crazy days of Summer

It wasn't a beach day today. Not in the same way it isn't a beach day on Cape Cod ... I could have done it. There was just no sun. We opted to drive up the coast to Newport Beach and um, look what we found. Sprinkles!

The line went out the door. My spouse carefully chose four different cupcakes, a coconut, carrot, cinnamon (she modeled this cupcake after the original donut muffin) and a yellow cupcake with milk chocolate frosting. He has eaten all but the coconut cupcake . . . they haven't lost their touch.

We went to the Lido to see Inception. I'm saying nothing.

The Pacific is beautiful tonight. It's chilly . . . I'm turning in early with a book. The forecast isn't spectacularly sunny for tomorrow, but my plan is to sit staring at the ocean for the entire day. No matter what.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What is stress?


This is what the beach looked like when we left around 5:30. Can you see that sun skimming the ocean? Awesome.

Today I finished The Blue Bistro and began Father of the Rain by Lily King. I'm blown away by this book, halfway through and I don't want it to be over. Please read it so we can talk about it . . . that is how I feel about this book. It's great.

Tomorrow I shall start Girls Like Us by Sheila Weller. I expect this book will take at least a couple of days. I'm excited to get to it. I took this book to the beach last August but didn't get to it. It's all things 70's, about Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon "and the Journey of a Generation."

We haven't even ventured beyond the little Laguna village yet . . . the pace is much more leisurely knowing we have two weeks to relax. The car is in the same spot since we arrived Saturday and we're just fine with that. Also fine with needing extra blankets at night ...

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O Henry

We stayed in this house once (the one with the long, wood, white staircase) about 15 years ago. After Melissa and Garett joined us (following their short honeymoon) all eight kids were there. I cannot let myself think all eight kids wouldn't recognize that house, even though I know the truth. Let me lie to myself.

Yesterday I sat right in front of that house from about 9 until 5:30. In between reading and watching my spouse take a surfing lesson I thought about that vacation. I was reminded of O Henry's observation of life when he said it consisted of "sobs, sniffles and smiles, with sniffles predominating." It seems he was right, but the smiles times . . . they are awesome. Such was yesterday.

Here he is taking his first of five surfing lessons. He claims the suit makes the water feel warm, which translates to "I'm so buying one of these before I go home."

Many surfers from about 9 till noon . . . the waves are crashing and they're mesmerizing.

I finished the Emily Giffin book. Definition of a beach read, which is a nice way of saying, let's face it, chick lit. Whatever.

I am close to finishing The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand. I have to admit it was the book I was the least excited about, but I chose it because her books are set in Nantucket. You just can't take the Yankee out of me. As it turns out, yes, it falls into the beach read category . . . but I like it. I like Elin Hilderbrand.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Peppertree Lane...


After dinner last night we walked down to the Village, stopping (like always) at Peppertree Lane. I love this little alley. Ivy covers the brick walls inside and there are white lights along the path.

The gelato store is always packed, and why not? The doppio chocolate was close to black. And that pistachio . . . it was calling my name.

The Chocolate Box remains one of my favorite places. My spouse is in there chatting up the sales clerk and buying himself a coconut haystack and a homemade version of a mallo cup.

We walked to the downtown theatre and saw Salt. I'd love to review the movie but my hands were covering my eyes just about the entire time. Pretty much I have nothing to say.

I started Baby Proof by Emily Giffin. It's a light read and I think I might hate it, but it may be just what I need today.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead

The morning was slow. It started with breakfast on the tiny deck, and in my bathrobe. Believe it or not I needed a blanket. Underneath all the spinach and garlic and tomatoes and onions on that plate are 3 egg whites. Delicious.

I didn't get to the beach until noon today, waiting for the haze to burn off. It always does. We had a perfect deserted spot. I didn't leave until I managed to finish the Jerry Weintraub book I started last night, When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead. Loved it.

We are off for a walk downtown and maybe a movie.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Job? What job?

We are one quarter block from Pacific Coast Highway. When we cross the street this is what we see.



Today I finished my second novel. First up was Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man and it was nothing like anything James Joyce ever wrote. I read so many reviews about this book - it's been in my queue forever. I'm not sorry I read it . . . it was a glimpse into a world I can't relate to at all and it was disturbing. But it wasn't exactly like last year when I read The Road.

Today's book was One More Theory About Happiness. Somehow I feel like I was tricked into reading this, certain if I knew the topic I never would have picked it up. No matter, by the end of it I was just so happy I did.

In the end, tomorrow will be all about one of those light beach reads I brought because, frankly, I am in need of light.

More to follow...

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